Ours to Plough not to Plunder by Niyi Osundare

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The earth is our to plough and plant
The hoe is her barber
The dibble her dimple

Out with mattocks and machetes
Bring calabash trays and rocking baskets
Let the sweat which smells earth roots
Relieve heavy heaps of their tuberous burdens

Let wheat fields raise their breadsome hands
To the ripening sun
Let legumes clothe the naked bosom
Of shivering mounds
Let the pawpaw swell and swing
Its headward breast

Let water spring
From earth’s unfathomed fountain
Let gold rush
From her deep unsearchable mines
Hitch up a ladder to the dodging sky
Let’s put a sun in every night
Our earth is an opened grain house
A bustling barn in some far, uncharted jungle
A distant gem in a rough unhappy dust

This earth is
Ours to work not to waste
Ours to man not to main
This earth is ours to plough, not to plunder

(by Niyi Osundare)

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