Foot

Okey Foot Okpa

Okey (Foot) Okpa was indeed one of the best editors in the country, and he was the most sought after! Odili Ujubuonu, Jude Ibia, Ahmed Maiwada and some other great Nigerian writers had worked closely with him.

And so when Hyacinth Obunseh directed me to meet with Foot in 2008, as a young writer I was greatly looking forward to the encounter. About a month after that encounter, Foot wrote this, amongst others, on my manuscript, Colourless Rainbow:

“Senator, sir, you’re good! Very. I doff my hat”.

The poem below is dedicated to Okey (Foot) Okpa, my late editor and would-have-been publisher at Coast2Coast, who passed away on Christmas day in 2008. My heartfelt condolences to his lovely family and friends, including Odili Ujubuonu, his first author.

Your Indelible Footprints (to late Okey Foot Okpa)

Tell me, Foot
Tell me why your red-inked footprints
are everywhere on my manuscript
gleaming in my heart,
But none, Foot,
none in this poem
This poem that gives you life?

As colourless as the rainbow
we were searching for
before you left your footprints behind on my manuscript,
like red petals on eternal whiteness.

Your footprints are indelible
not just on the sands of time,
nor on this wet-earth you left behind for my feeble feet,
But on these lines you left behind.

My heart is heavy,
not with the faltering fullness of tears,
but with the brimming emptiness of these words
I’ve had to squeze from the harrowed heart of the mourning muse.

Tell me, Foot, tell me
why your red-inked footprints are everywhere
on my manuscript,
gleaming in my heart,
But none, Foot, none in this poem
that gives you life?

Senator Ihenyen

Visit Foot’s online memorial here

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Thanks for visiting my blog! You can be sure I'll get back to you in no time. You're always welcome around here! Senator Ihenyen Author

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