Procession | Henry Strange

Procession | Henry Strange | Agbowo | Reincarnation Issue 2022

ISSUE 5 | JULY 2022 | REINCARNATION


“death is an end to one life only & a gateway to another; man must be reborn, for reincarnation is a spiritual necessity. “ (rooke)


when great narratives die from

wrong endings      there is still

music

but this is not so in our story

this is circuit     this is

border-crossing   this is

the igbo cosmologythe great

pilgrimage between life

& death

& life again    this long history of

a people nameless   holding onto

each other within arms reach

this trembling in the dark before the 

aftertime     

these songs

of the mourners at our deaths

& the ululations at our births   these

many names we were called by

in our previous lives     that died

with our memories     before our last breath

before the great procession

before rebirth   before me

before you       before us

before tomorrow

i dream of keys without lock

death is not the end

death is not—

caterpillars die & are reborn

as butterflies     birds go into the earth

to become songs

do you even understand this

this science   this carbon-cycle

our people call this ịlọụwa

this intermigration between

two realms           this flesh

become dust become

molecules become foetus

this       an old death

a new beginning


Henry Strange

Henry Strange, born Liberian, is a versatile Nigerian artist. He has pieces of literature published or forthcoming in Eboquills, Brittle Paper and elsewhere. When he is not in the company of people, he enjoys the solitary of typing away behind his laptop & smoking his favourite brand, Chesterfield. You can find him on Twitter @hxnry_strxngx

Photo by James McDonald on Unsplash


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