For Ayo Banjo At 90 By Niyi Osundare

Date:

Seasons come, seasons go

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But your virtues remain steady

Untouched by passing fancies

Below is a slightly amended version

Of my ode to the Teacher

Two remarkable decades ago. . .

Old teachers never die;

They simply wax wiser with passing moons. . .

Old teachers never die

The wine of age is winking in your glass,

Sip it in style;

Sip it with relish.

For when you sat in the saddle*,

You never rode roughshod upon our earth.

Your voice called up our depths

Your silence gingered us into song

Our growing scrawls mellowed into hieroglyphs

On the tender papyrus that was your palm:

(Allophones we all, of your happy phoneme)

Liberal star, compassionate moon.

Scion of a stock in league with Light

Let your ebony laughter unknot our brows

As we journey all season from sky to sky

Powered by the wind of your word.

Morning by morning**

We count your blessings

And regard our days

Old teachers never die;

They simply wax wiser with passing moons. .

** In the Saddle and Morning by Morning are two exceptionally crafted and evocative

autobiographies of Ayo Banjo.

Niyi Osundare


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