An African Elegy : Ben Okri

We are the miracles that God made.
To taste the bitter fruit of Time

We are precious.

And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.

There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy

Do you see the mystery of our pain ?

That we bear poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things
And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?

We bless things even in our pain
We bless them in silence.
That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth

I too have heard the dead singing
And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire and always with hope

There is wonder here
And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.

  • Ben Okri