Earlier this year Nigerian poet Obi Nwakanma filled my Gathering Room with talk that made the world right for the hours he shared himself and conversation. We exchanged poetry books at the end of our time together. I sent some of Daniel’s hardworking roses home for Obi’s wife.
In the days that followed our encounter, I stayed in my cave and read “The Horseman and Other Poems,” often calling friends to read sections of the book to them in an effort to contain the fullness they evoked in me.
Do not strike me down in anger.
Who would love the world if you do?
Who would drift with the plains? Tending
graves. Nursing the shipwrecks of the afterlife.
Whose voice will stir the air with songs? Rock,
roll, tremble in the core of your very hands.
Who would tell your history? Or keep your old
shrines, as would the curator the artifice,
as would the rocks the myth, of your last sojourning
on earth. Who would even rouse you to anger? Or
in your tutored silence
discern an image.