Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

Molly July 28, 2011

Filed under: Abstract — Betty @ 2:00 pm

Atta beats the gong today. We’ll let his words speak for him. Come one. Come all. Here’s ‘Molly’:

Mine is the tale of a weeping sky and a cloud that had no tears to give… of an ‘if’ that was slain before it became… of the thing that you felt that you could not say. My pen is the gong they would clang if they could: I speak in their stead.


I named her molly. She had come here only moments before, on tiny blue wings, a bird without a name. I wanted her. There was nothing more to this desire. No end. No lofty intent. No cause. No reason. I would have her and all would be as it should. The bird was not aware of this. It did not want these things. To be caught, then owned. It did not know I named it molly or assumed it was a she. It was not particularly worldly wise or concerned with affairs of state. It was a bird, blue-winged and harmless for the most part, the unwitting object of my unreasonable desire.
But even as I watched her make those brisk, jerky motions, watched her search with a ‘something reckless’ about her, for something that never seemed to be there, I knew I could not own her. I knew that if I tried I would fail. And so, content to fail before I tried, I stood motionless, unwilling to risk her misinterpreting a sudden movement for the beginnings of a coup d’etat of sorts. For she was loyal, you see: she had sold her soul to freedom a long time ago. Maybe it was this that made me want to have her – that I could not. It is the way of all men, I imagine: always reaching.
I took her all in, stored every detail in that temporary place that disappears when the thing is gone, but while it is there, exists solely for adoration’s sake. It was as close as I could come to seizing her. But even of this, she was unwilling to let go. If I must have the details, then we would share. They were hers and they were mine. There would be no bartering.
And then far too soon, she left – ripped herself away from me, running through the air, with the part of me she’d torn away, tethered to a wing, trailing on a current.
I stared at the place where she used to be. It was still now. Silent and meaningful. I tried to see it as it could be – ‘molly-esque’, tried to see the bird again, but there was something corrupted about the memory. Something fuzzy. Something to do with something else. I did not own the details anymore.
It stung where she had pulled away. I could not find the wound. But the throb was fleeting. It was not long before I could not find the sting. It was gone just like the bird I could not remember and I was grateful to the forgetting.
But I would always know I had been hunted – circled, perhaps; named, even; baited, snared, tethered and taken – would always be haunted by the knowledge that the thing she sought was there all the time. I would never completely forget the bird. Molly. Blue-winged and harmless – for the most part.

22 Responses to “Molly”

  1. Moyo Says:

    Nice! I particularly love this “…sold her soul to freedom…” The oxymoron of that statement gets me

  2. phoenix9ja Says:

    There’s something haunting about the wistfulness of this piece.

  3. ibetapassmynebo Says:


  4. afrosays Says:

    I remember the first day I read one of his works. His blend of the art and the engineering of this language was so clever that I mentally chastised my lazy inner writer.

    I always hoped to one day have him here.Today is a happy one for me.

    Molly to me is the love I let go, the dream I let go, the chance I let go, that I wanted to possess but somehow managed to elude me.

    Maybe it was me? Maybe it was Molly’s persistence in not being mine?

    But all of Molly is just a mirage now. All of Molly but some lingering essence of her.

    • Atta Otigba Says:

      “The love I let go, the dream I let go, the chance I let go…” hmm…

      Thank God for ‘lingering essences’. The desire to pin down what they are often spawns another exquisite intangible… exquisite words. Maybe I can’t have the bird… but I can write about it. And that’s why this blog is great.

      Thanks for the welcome… i’m honoured. Really.

  5. THINKTANK Says:

    To say Atta has a way with words is most assuredly an understatement.

    The words of this reverberate in my mind.

    So much to be interpreted from this, this simple analogy. For me, I see in Molly, the grand ideas which I have. Many come, sit, fill me with wonder of potential that could be and then disappear. Details lost before being fully formed. I guess they are meant to be dreams. Not owed by anyone, not even me, the dreamer. Just like Molly.

    Beautiful piece.

  6. highlandblue Says:

    What can one do? The heart wants what the heart wants even when it cannot have it. And then sometimes what u really want is right in front of you but you ignore it cos you think it cant be that simple. *sigh* Why are humans like this?

  7. Bonnie Says:

    I like this post very much. What I like most is the way the writer weaves his words. He’s not lazy, very unlike other posts I’ve read. He pays attention to punctuation (a lot of ‘writers’ have forgotten what this means)… and the length of the post is just right.

    Very nicely done.

  8. 0latoxic Says:

    This is a stunning piece.

    Atta owns his words, they are no one else’s. They cannot be given, but perhaps they may be lent out. If they could be lent, I would borrow them…

  9. @bule_jr Says:

    This piece to me is about something that I could have achieved but I wasn’t ready to work hard for, not neccesarily letting go but just not being able to reach for it…yet.

    This was a pleasurable read. (Y)

  10. malota Says:

    I love this 🙂 “you see: she had sold her soul to freedom a long time ago. Maybe it was this that made me want to have her –” lovely post. I know understand why the thinktank still has this on his mind

  11. theGeneralsDaughter Says:

    Lovely piece…you’ve got great descriptive skills.I could almost see the blue-winged bird, ‘harmless – for the most part’, and obviously unaware of what harm she’d brought. And I love that Molly could be anything: unrequited love, friendship, a lost dream…

  12. Jaycee (E.A) Says:

    I LOVE your writing, UberBetty. This was particularly moving. Just to know it was about a bird, but not really about the bird but the person who tried to own it by all means, really moved me. I also liked the line, “You see, she had sold her soul to freedom a long time ago.”

    • Jaycee (E.A) Says:

      I guess it was “Atta” who wrote this, not Uberbetty. Brilliant work, Atta.

      • Atta Says:

        In fairness, UberBetty’s writing really is quite something so… the error is understandable. Bottom line: you were moved, and i’m thankful for that… and to you, Jaycee.

  13. Mehn…na wa o…I guess Afrosays isn’t a place you come if you’re afraid of swimming in the deep waters. I guess I understand what the noise about Atta was about. *bows* I honour you, Atta-dono.
    What I could glean from this (after reading it like twice) is the bird is that part of us which refuses to be tied down by life and its challenges. We are content to merely have the memory of those things, for we believe they cannot be achieved or expressed; content to simply know that we once possessed them, even if we never really OWNED them.

    Once again I’ve gotta say, this is awesome stuff.

  14. Ekwe Says:

    I appreciate the depth of the descriptions and the longing inherent in the words.but I do not understand this. the point of it.epth of the descriptions and the longing inherent in the words.but I do not understand this. the point of it.

    • Atta Says:

      Assuming that by ‘point’ you’re referring to the singular idea i intended to pass across, then there is no one ‘point’. I don’t think there needs to be one either. Perhaps a better question would be ‘what does it mean?’… And to that I would reply ‘what COULD it mean?’. Whatever you come up with is one version of true… and right there, you have the point you seek.

  15. saboswhite Says:

    A beauty that can’t be tamed no matter how much I try and now memories seems difficult †o retrieve….I mayb wrong but I must admit its a nice piece

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