"Asylum Song" by Valentine Okolo

“Some are here as refugees, some are here as citizens, some are here without papers, but they are all my people.”
                                                            —Gene Wu, Member, Texas House of Representatives, USA.


Spirit of nomads,
escorts of wandering caravans
through time,
guide us as we commence our
journey to strange lands.
We have waved our farewells to the wind,
with our feet imprinted in river beds.
We have grasped a handful of soil
and poured it out to the four corners
of the earth:
to the East we said “go”
to the West we said “go”
to the North we said “go”
to the South we said “go”
with the wish whispered by parents
as their children set out on a journey
of unlikely outcome.

Go before us,
and may our progenies
always remember  
the place of our origin.

Our children would grow up here
on foreign soil,
seeing the old land as a mystic place,
only spoken about in noon day tales
and viewed
as National Geographic episodes,
and the old tongue a riddle
that needs to be solved,
an arithmetical equation
in a notebook without pages.

For them, this is where they belong
this is where their memories reside,
this is where they have their friends,
their schools, jobs, and shopping malls.

We on the other hand
will make new ones
as we are caressed by nostalgia
of the memories we left behind,
and make up for it by trading tastes
with new ingredients for old delicacies.


Valentine Okolo is a thinker, writer, and artist. He was part of the online team of the U.K-based magazine, Know Yourself, and while it existed was art and self-expression editor. He has also served as an editor to a few other magazines as well. He is currently an editor for businessiqonline.com, the fastest and largest circulating business magazine in Africa. He tweets at @poetval.

Posted on October 25, 2017 .