Monthly Archives: March 2013

“The Explorer” by Chinua Achebe

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Like a dawn unheralded at midnight it opened abruptly before me-a rough

circular clearing, high cliffs of deep forest guarding it in amber-tinted spell.

A long journey’s end it was though how long and from where seemed unclear,

unimportant; one fact alone mattered now-that body so well preserved

which on seeing I knew had brought me there.

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The circumstance of death was vague but a floating hint pointed to a disaster in

the air elusively. But where, if so, the litter of violent wreckage? That

rough-edged gypsum trough bearing it like a dead chrysalis reposing till now in

full encapsulation was broken by a cool hand for this lying in state.

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All else was in order except the leg missing neatly at knee joint even the white

schoolboy dress immaculate in the thin yellow light; the face in particular

was perfect having caught nor fear nor agony at the fatal moment. Clear-sighted

with a clarity rarely encountered in dreams my Explorer-Self stood a little

distant but somewhat fulfilled;

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Behind him a long misty quest: unanswered questions put to sleep needing

no longer to be raised. Enough in that trapped silence of a freak dawn to come

face-to-face suddenly with a body I didn’t even know I lost.

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R.I.P Chinualumogu Achebe

November 16, 1930 –  March 21, 2013

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