Piano and Drums by Gabriel Okara

When at break of day at a riverside

I hear jungle drums telegraphing

the mystic rhythm, urgent, raw

like bleeding flesh, speaking of

primal youth and the beginning,

I see the panther ready to pounce,

the leopard snarling about to leap

and the hunters crouch with spears poised.


And my blood ripples, turns torrent,

topples the years and at once I’m 

in my mother’s laps a suckling;

at once I’m walking simple

paths with no innovations

rugged, fashioned with the naked

warmth of hurrying feet and groping hearts

in green leaves and wild flowers pulsing.


Then I hear a wailing piano

solo speaking of complex ways

in tear- furrowed concerto;

of far away lands

and new horizons with

coaxing diminuendo,  counterpoint, 

crescendo, but lost in the labyrinth of its complexities, it ends in the middle of a phrase at a daggerpoint


And I lost in the morning mist

of an age at a riverside keep

wandering in the mystic rhythm

of jungle drums and concerto.


About the Poet

Gabriel Okara is a reknowned Nigerian poet and novelist. He was born on April 21, 1921 in Boumoundi, present day Bayelsa state. He attended Government College, Umuahia, Yaba Higher College, and Northwestern University, USA. He worked as a book-binder for many years and as a journalist in the then Eastern Nigerian Government Service. His works are widely accepted with his poetry featuring in the Black Orpheus and other anthologies. He has to his credit the following:  Fisherman’s Invocation (1978; Commonwealth Poetry Prize, 1979), which is partly based on the Ijaw oral tradition, The Call of the River Nun, and The Voice (1964), a controversial short novel.

To be continued

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  1. Emmanuela Reply

    Waw!!! Am so happy, i hv been thinking nd thinking 😐 on hw to get dis new syllabus on literature bt nw i am relax 😎 u wnt to d secret? 😀 thank u so much monamie, my God dat sent his son to us will bless u, O! I cnt wait to finish d rest 😉

  2. Boat Reply

    Hello Dayo,
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  3. jumoke Reply

    No explanation?why now?God bless u for helping us

  4. Atulukwu Atede Victor Reply

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  5. Dayil Cletus Reply

    I can’t wait for the remaining text. Good job though

  6. Nojimdeen Mahmudat Reply

    God Bless U Monamie.I Cant Wait For The Rest

  7. Innocent Reply

    thanks for ur service. God bless you in Jesus’ name

  8. Funmilayo Aliu Reply

    I’m also grateful for this your gracious charity!
    God Bless You Too

  9. joshua Reply

    What is the language, theme, tone and subject matter of this poem?

  10. Bukunmi Reply

    Here is d hope of cresendo success,ample thanks to u madam u analysis gives me hope of distinction in my achileel’s hill.kudos to u barrister

  11. Zahra Aleeyu Reply

    What a wanderful job! please keep it up, more synovial fluid to your joint

  12. Habeeb Reply

    Wonderful! really, it’s a big thank to you

  13. ben reign Reply

    Please post all the details in piano and drums,I. Really need it Or rather still. Thisis my email,send I to me, benjaminjoseph742@gmail.com,thank you


    wow!! this man has much to his credit


    Pls i need your help finding”The panic of growing older”by lenrie peters

    • Dayo Okubule Reply

      Look through the blog. You will find it.

  16. Dayo damilare Taiwo Reply

    Pls ma we need it analysis , my email is damilaretaiwo111@ gmail.com.ma,am send your feedback to my box as soon it here.

  17. Folahan Olabode Reply

    Wow this is amazing

  18. Sherif Reply

    Good job, but we need it in full just like others. realshereeph@gmail.com is my mail

  19. damola adeniran Reply

    i like this hope u still much poem because am an art student

  20. Ufuoma Reply

    Thanks ma ,u make lit in eng easy ,thanks very Much

  21. Genesis Augustine Reply

    That was splendid i am very grateful.

  22. Happie😍 Reply

    Wonderful thanks😍

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