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What gives you all this joy
that you sing from dawn till dusk?
You herald the first streaks of morning rays
before the sky lights up the eastern hills

Rooster's crow I hear and often ignore
but your wake-up call gets me on the ball
Could it be the imminent sunrise
that excites your pre-dawn melody?
Or are you mocking the fast-retreating night
as its lurking dangers lose their dread?

Even at high noon when all stands still
your sweet tunes break the eerie calm

In even time as day's work nears its end
and weary folks leave the fields for home
From treetops your soothing serenade
seems to hail the day's job well done

You must be singing to the gods
Enchanted spirits your company love to keep
For you fete them with endless chain of songs
in return for boundless joy and lack of want

Maybe I should learn a tune or two
so I can lift my heart from chores galore

(Written - c. 1996)
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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