_Spoils of the War_

_spoils of the war_
*_(An epistle)_*

_Larinnaka !_ 

Come forth,that I might anoint your forehead,

With this palm wine that forsake fermentation,

When the moon walks upon the absence of the sun,

You shall see the crest of the seventh night,

Then you’d be a masquerade of your old self,

For only the brazen endure nights with two faced ancestress in _igbale_,

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
_Larinnaka !_ 

Today,you’re brute but not an ogre,

He that shall learn this art must taste blood,

This blood is the sap of the ancestral tree,

Where _Akara-Ogun_ took shield by the footsteps of an enigma,

He who taste this blood becomes invincible,

For deep in the nights, _Orunmila_ will chant unto indemnified souls..

_A kii mo ori ahun ka pa ahun_

_A kii mo oriki ile,ki o gbe ni de_

_Eni fi ikarahun mu eje s’oogun aiku_

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
_Larinnaka !_ 

The coast is clear,for the sun is in its ripe age

The stallions keep neighing, for souls are soon to be mislaid

I will ride on this stallion, I’d be your stallion

Ride on my very inguen,to learn this art of valor

Today,I will fight and sheathe this sword into its scabbard

Tomorrow,you’ll fight and never sheathe this sword into its scabbard..

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
_Larinnaka !_

No one leaves the shrine without a vanguard,

But heed, _Obatala_

Heed _Olukoso_

Heed _Sonponna_

Heed _Esu Ebita_

Heed the sixteen _odus_ of _Ifa_ the diviner

This impending combat is a junction of blood,

For life and death exists within a thin strand,

But when this strand of hair falls into a flowing river…

Wives shall paint the bones of their husbands in black palette,

Sons shall remember their fathers in the dirge of a quill,

Mothers shall exhume rotten placentas in memories of valiant sons,

Daughters would wish their spouses were their fathers..

But this land,would only wax stronger for a selfless sacrifice,

It is martyrdom…it is a sacrifice !

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.

I am _Larinnaka !_

I am not a coward but I would rather take shield under a bamboo leaf,

I am yet but an apprentice who knows not the face of the Grim reaper,

How do I send a soul on an errand to the Elysian fields ? 

If I do learn this art, _Alao_ who purloined my woman will be no more

Even _Tolani_ who fled from my seeds,would go on this journey

But maybe by the setting dawn,I might learn this art

To chant the enchanting chants of _Orunmila_ 

_Kijipa ee se egbe awo maalu_

_Igi ti ara Oshin fojudi lo fo leyinju otun_

_Ete ti o kan aditi Ira,o ni je o kiyesi kurukuru ojo_

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
I am _Larinnaka !_

And my eyes have witnessed terror..

Terror sight of a skull inscribed upon the hills,

Eyes of an innocent lad plucked out by an ogre,

I have witnessed the slain of a merchant,

Who traipsed into the cold hands of death,

On a gory day when his feet should have ceased to walk,

His blood is the liquor for hotblooded swordsmiths,

His blood a shea butter for he who can’t afford Vaseline,

Amidst ignorant wails, came the emergence of frabjous eulogies..

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor. 
I am _Larinnaka !_

And I have seen gory gore..

Before my blurry eyes,a maiden has won an epitaph,

Her appealing hair now scraped off,the shadow of _Ajirebi_,

Her inguen unveiled by hungry soldiers who haven’t seen their wives in seasons,

This is a story that must not be told,

But an art that must be bequeathed like _ajogunba_,

This is the art of war,the anatomy of valor.
But then.. I surged up from this mental state,

Prying through roots and stems for my father,

But all the earth could give was his amulet

And a sheathed sword in its now bloodstained scabbard,

This must be the art of war,

For no anatomy of valor proves supreme than this..


Balogun Alabi Yusuf,popularly referred as Gemini,is a novelist,playwright,poet,author and a teacher. Most of his writings are known for idiosyncrasy as he appreciate traditions and culture. His works have featured on several blogs and he’s currently a resident of Lagos,where he writes. He could be reached via +2348181400105 or yusufbalo15@gmail.com