Totem

by Shola Balogun

Enamored moon quitting
The lightning stance,

Shango Olukoso’s flame
Only Oya’s rubious gaze
Can ramshackle.

Osun douses fire from hearthstone,
Dire tongues dire dividing lines
With naked angst.

Is man’s hand not
In the making of the gods?

In the narrow path
To the secret knowledge
Of divinity,

Esu, the nodal head,
Owns the labyrinth.
A lamp in his right hand
And a bagful of craftiness
In the left, Esu
Is both Janus and Prometheus


Author’s Note

Shango Olukoso is the Yoruba patron god of smiths.
Oya and Osun are water goddesses.

Esu is the trickster-god of the crossroad in the Yoruba pantheon. He is related in many of his forms to Janus, the Roman god of the threshold, and to the Greek god Prometheus who, according to an age-old account, stole the fire of Zeus and taught man its use.

Esu is mistaken by some reviewers to be Satan, the devil in the Bible record. An in-depth look into native theory and worldview will help further our appreciation.


Copyright © 2016 by Shola Balogun

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