Davy Jones Scrolls are testimonies. Sometimes severe punishment result in great blessings. When I was sentenced to Davy Jones Locker to spend the rest of my days there by Cap’n Blood, I was blessed with The Better Salvation. I also became Mascot of Davy Jones Locker assisting Forgone terrors in their transitions. Here are some of my told experiences.
I saw Fabio Romani the other day, recently. He was kind enough to enter my submarine on his long journey, unknown to me then, to the Land of the Forgone. He was indeed a Jolly Sailor who showed me a thing or two about being at sea during our meeting. However, he had never been on-board a submarine. He inspected my submarine and what he saw impressed him. He asked me,
“Is this where you launch your mutinous torpedoes and cruise missiles from?” hiding a bit of anger under his sunny disposition. I was too shy or embarrassed to answer.
My offering was to give him a grand and informed tour of the ocean’s bed and the sheer panorama did all the talking with its variegated splendour. Then I took him to the Davy Jones Locker’s rendezvous. When we both entered the rendezvous, it surprised him to see a third fellow there, another outstanding sailor who did not want to be disturbed. They exchanged brief greetings as if invisible to each other. The Locker was too cold for liveliness, and people do not elect to live there; it’s Adam’s Punishment or Cap’n Blood’s Punishment; Fabio was there for the former, I was there for the latter.
A heavy silence loomed over us like wet shadow. It seemed he had not much to say to me. Before then he might have scolded or lectured me. I then presented him with a bottle of Olololo, the best rum you could find in the Caribbean or any sea beyond. Fabio accepted the drink and inspected me as if he would never see me again. He would not.
“Your sails will forever be rough, over lands and seas and especially underwater, mate,” he said, praying for me
“Yohana and Amen!” I shouted in response.
“And to myself, may eternity be ready,” he said.
“Amen, O ruggedest,” I said.
My moment of understanding had come, and it subjected me to a thorough humbling. It was a cold but reverent moment. Afterwards, he downed three generous shots of rum and stood up with a slight yawn.
“Awa, where is the Great Gang Way?” he asked.
I pointed in a vague direction and led the way. I took him on a long walk to the Great Door that opened onto the Great Gang Way. We could hear muffled noises emanating from it. Merriment was going on behind the Door, but I didn’t want to know about it. I would not go near the Great Door; I stood far from it while he proceeded. But like a genuine man of the sea and an ocean current tested sailor, he approached the Door without qualms, and it slowly opened, letting clear sounds of merriment into the chambers of the Locker but it suddenly went silent as if for him and then crossed the Gang Way to the other side. As the Great Door closed, the sound of more considerable merriment exploded. Time had separated us, only time. Water ran away from my eyes and kept running and kept running. Fabio had taken the exceptional step of many to join the Foregone Travellers of the Sea, a great finality to a great vocation.
Meanwhile, I didn’t spend long at Davy Jones Locker rendezvous, even though I was in confinement there never to leave. No prison guards were there, so I left it in a hurry. I had an ocean to explore submerged with the Locker only being a rendezvous. I intend to come to the surface soon.
Rest in Peace, O Fabio, Grand Matelot of the Seas.
The Forgone Are Forever…
Be good, not lucky.
Saturday the 25th of April 2020 was cold and blank in the Davy Jones Locker. A few sailors had passed through the rendezvous to the other side after becoming victims to Covid-19 and other causes, but this Saturday there were no forgone sailors arriving. For the first time in my experience there, a particular case of forgone reversal occurred. The Great Door had opened, releasing a solemn song accompanied by restrained okombo [drum] beats. I became very concerned and might have tricked myself. I was not afraid. The Great Door only opened when a sailor was about to cross the Great Gangway. Why had it opened without a forgone arrival? I heard footsteps; they got closer, and a man emerged, Paramole himself. About 7 feet away from me, he stopped. His face was listless. I froze all over with amazement, and he did not seem happy to see me where I was.
Saturday, the 25th of April, was his birthday; Paramole a.k.a. Ayo Odebisi would have been 64 years old. Because of my proclivity for formality, I first wished him “Happy Birthday.” I wanted to hug him, but he stopped me by firmly saying, “Don’t!” “Because I passed on you left the fold?” he queried. I said nothing. “And because if I passed on, the fold is splintering asunder”, he added. This time I responded, “that is true.” “I know you have a lot to say about that. But I don’t want to hear it. You and your renegade Association, how dare you!” I said nothing.
“Can you take me to Lagos?” he asked. He furthered, “Fabio Romani said you have a cute submarine.” “Omi PM, anything for you!” I said with excitement. “Anything but sailing onboard the flagship,” he said curtly. I resorted to blank silence once again. We both boarded the submarine and headed eastwards from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for Lagos. “Why is it you, Pinto, and others use your staggering creative abilities for division? Why not for unity?” “Are you saying I did not do so consistently and continuously suffer for it?” I said with a rebuke in my voice. “I am not saying that. All I am saying is those who can dismantle systems are the same people with the capacity to build better systems. Such people should be immune to pain and frustration.” He then went over to the cabinet and got out a bottle of single malt whisky, poured some into two glasses and proposed a toast, “to the future of the flagship.” Tradition and my respect for the man forbade me to refuse to drink the whisky, and it tasted great. He then wrote notes until we got to Lagos.
On arrival, he said, “I am going to see Cap’n Blood and his archgoons to straighten out the situation. Come to pick me up at the same time in eight days.” As he was leaving the submarine, he handed me the notes he had written on the journey. “Read this and contact those who matter. All you need is in there,” he said with much hope in his voice. “I have got a flagship to rescue. And I will.”
“Happy Birthday,” I wished him again, to which he replied, “Thank you. When you cross the Great Gangway, you do not celebrate days; you celebrate aeons.” He had gone ashore on a mission.
It was the same Paramole that had gone into Davy Jones Locker that had also come out of it. But I could not help continually asking myself, “Is Paramole really back?” I am waiting.
Be good, not lucky
Yesterday, as I was making octopus pepper soup, I had a sip of seaweed kinkana, a mild alcoholic spirit. Paramole had given me the recipe to make the still when he returned from the Great Gangway. The Davy Jones Locker rendezvous was quiet, cold, and sterile as usual, but also inspirational and unencumbering. I must emphasise I love the place; it is my kind of place; it is my home now. I only use my submarine to necessary subsea explorations and to come onshore these days, which is rare.
There was a time when taking submarine voyages was the best thing I could do. I would encounter variegated sizes of sea creatures and their unusual and inexplicable activities. The intelligence of sea creatures is something to be seen, to be appreciated. |The flora of the deed sea was just as striking. On land I saw iroko and sequoia trees, but I found much bigger trees and growths submerged undersea. We think everything great in our terrestrial creation happens above sea level and on solid land. I did encounter strange sea creatures and breath-taking under water structures and flora. After a while, I got fed up doing it alone. Exploring and minding David Jones Locker was better suited to the solitary life.
My unfailing experience was, an hour before a Forgone Terrors arrive at the Davy Jones Locker rendezvous, the Entrance would turn deep indigo or even purple. It is a signal for me to get ready to Mascot, a Forgone Terror to the Great Gangway in any manner I choose. Now, for the first time in my experience, the Entrance turned blood red. It was a signal that an unauthorised person was arriving. I had never seen this happen and wondered who would appear at the Entrance. Was it the Devil himself, Sir Francis Drake, Vasco da Gama, Black Beard, William Kidd, Calico Jack or the god, or Poseidon? I knew it had to be a man by the attendant laws of nature. The pepper soup was ready and scenting fine, and what a meal! No more sips.
The Entrance door opened, and I saw a very familiar face, white halo afro and a white goatee. Familiarity was no preparation for the surprise. It was Captain Blood, no less.
“Sir, you are not supposed to be here,” were the first words to come out of my mouth. His demeanour could not hide his sudden disappointment with me.
“Bark and act pyratically,” he demanded.
“O Cap’n Blood of Tortuga, An Infinite Sailing Ahoy to You!” I offered.
“An’ Ahoy to You, lubber”, he said, looking me in the eye and offering me his hand for a handshake. I turned away from his gaze but he ordered me, “Look me in the eye. Are you scared of me?” I said “Yes.”
His eyes widened, “You scared of me?” mimicking or showing disbelief, and he broke into heavy laughter. I felt embarrassed, though it was better than calling me a fibber.
“O Cap’n Blood, you are not allowed in here,” I reminded him.
“Die it!” he snapped.
“This rendezvous is my pet creation and don’t forget I sent you here!” he continued.
“I am not stepping on your rod, O CB. Why are you treating me like a Pyrate? You put me on a UV spot.” I said with audacity.
“Do you know why?” he asked. I shook my head.
“I did not want you to lose your sincerity to the 4-7 Creed and the rest. I know the sincere and insincere Pyrates on sight, especially when I look into their eyes. You were losing your sincerity, and I could not allow that to happen,” he assured me.
“You made me a pariah to my brethren,” I said almost recklessly. He took a long stare at me and shook his head a few times.
“No sincere Pyrate hates, resents or disowns you. Not one. If you think so, it is only in your head. We have many insincere Pyrates, so many. And your mischief may have attracted them to you. Then they betray you to get ahead or something else. Never doubt what my ears have heard.” He paused, then continued as if with reluctance. “We should have kept the rule of ‘the Fewer, the Merrier’. We should have,” his voiced filled with marked resignation.
To change the topic, I wished him, “A Minimum of One Century on the Planet Happy Birthday to You.” He then stretched his hand to me for a handshake.
And with a genuine smile, he said, “Many thanks to you, My Little Brother.”
“I have always said you will cross the 100 years of age barrier in good health,” I said for reasons I know not. In a snappy response, he uttered, “O Wrong Travesty, you seem to be the only Pyrate that thinks so. They are all preoccupied with my passing.”
I remembered our necessary hospitality and rushed to get the bottle of Seaweed Kinkana. I poured out two glasses of the still up to their brims and I asked him to propose a toast. He refused and said I do it. It was easy. “To Gbogborima, the 4-7 Creed and its practitioners and the personage of Cap’n Blood,” I said. He was unresponsive. “And to all my brethren,” I added with awkward abruptness. He raised his glass to mine, and we downed all its contents in one swig. “What is this exotic tasting rum made of?” he asked, which was predictable. I explained how it was a product of delicately brewing seaweed, algae and tinbace, a melon-tasting marine flavouring. We shared a few more glasses in silence.
“You seem to love this place. That is abnormal. Are you trying to prove Olympian ruggedity, Little Brother.”
“O Cap’n Blood, I hated this penitentiary at first and still have not gotten used to living here but it gave me much relief from intrigues and manipulations of the 99% of the brethren and many lubbers. With hind sight it is a blessing.”
“Aha. That does not sound honest. The rambunctious vitriol you hurl at your brethren with reckless intent, and I mean anyone. That is not how receivers of blessings act,” CB said, looking at me with an even gaze.
“I kept everything in-house. Then because I was the easiest person to spot. Many who deserved spots never got them. And I hadn’t finished what I was saying.” I replied.
“Show me around this place,” he said.
We did a short tour of the place and I showed him the Great Door. On the completion of the tour he took one shot of Seaweed Kinkana for the road. Then he headed back to ‘Ash Montana’, no before hugging me like he would a son before he left.
And that is how I celebrated Cap’n Blood’s birthday with him. He was with me for one and half hours, but it was enough. I had sailed onboard Tortuga on a tatally level despite the UV. Sailing onekindishly is legitimate to those who know. “Who knows, knows,” is not for empty mouthing.
Be Good, not Lucky
I sat absorbed in thought at an incredible distance within myself. Meditation had taught me the courage to look inside myself, the innermost recesses of my mind, could be as rewarding as globetrotting or space travel. I am no entheogen experimenter though. My journey inside has only had a boost from rum, and rarely so. My senses were all but in limbo, only the taste of salt in my mouth attempted to bring me back to everyday alertness. Where I was visiting within was a truly beautiful and serene place. It conformed with several descriptions of paradise. It was full of happy sailors forgone enjoying eternity, one moment at a time. I tried asking these sterling sailors of nether times what the name of the place was, but no one would say, not even the super liberals, Spitfire or Black Dog. They rather I be merry.
The lights change once again and the journey from paradise to the desolate, cold, damp, and lonely Davy Jones Locker Rendezvous took one nanosecond. I had not spoken to my other inmate despite the high inner affinities between us. Cap’n Blood banished us to Davy Jones Locker to reflect, and it is about the only vocation you can have there. We master reflection in brief spans of time. It took my fellow inmate weeks, while it took me almost a year, because I left the place often in my submarine.
Who was it this time, I asked myself with solemn fervour? It was Pinto Limboko. He pretended as if he did not see me and walked straight past. Same furtive eyes, same cautious swagger, same bald head, and same cunning. It was no surprise he made his disdain for me known long ago. In honesty, I earned his disdain for reasons beyond my control. Or so I like to think.
Davy Jones Locker is a massive place and I have not explored even a fifth of it but I know the sea route, to the Great Door which opens unto the Great Gangway. No one else does, not even my fellow inmate. I also know where to dock my submarine.
Pinto Limboko, after much trekking in search of the Great Door, returned past me a few times as if I was not there. I knew the energy he came to the rendezvous expires in three days and before then, if overexerted. Forty hours had passed, and he returned to my station the third time. I guess he could now feel his energy expiring and he did not want to remain in limbo forever. Pinto Limboko walked up to me, maintaining a distance of four metres from me.
“The Wrong Someone,” he said.
I did not know I could do it, but I made him disappear from my vision. I did not have to ignore him; he was not there.
“Someone Wrong, I know I ignored you, but I have to leave this place soon,” he said.
I could hear his voice, but I could not see him.
“You cannot blame me for being furious with you. You know that,” he said.
“Yes. You and your cohorts are always right, never wrong,” I said.
“We were all at fault, but you went too far,” he said.
“You guys went too far in avoiding responsibility,” I replied.
“I am still your Cap’n,” he said.
“True. But in Davy Jones Locker I am the mascot. No one goes to the Great Door without me taking them. I am the mascot here,” I said.
“Then do your job. That is an order,” he said.
“In Davy Jones Locker, there are no orders, just duties and compliance. You are the one who did not comply,” I said.
“I will wait for you when you cross the Great Gangway,” he said.
I knew he was bluffing.
“Just before you arrived here, I saw me being with sailors like Black Dog, Spitfire, Buster Nimo and Sweating Bottle in paradise, not here,” I said.
“Is there such a place?” he asked.
“Yes, but it is not your portion,” I said.
I did not hear an immediate reply and left it at that. Ten minutes later, I heard his voice again.
“Wrong Something, please, help me get to the Great Door. Just do your duty,” he said.
“I will,” I said
My first task was to bring him back into my vision. Then I stood up, and without a word, led the way to the Great Door. We had to make several stops because he was tiring and breathless. He must have walked tens of miles because of avoiding me, which was an unnecessary waste of transition energy. He drank a few times from my water bottle and even asked for a sip of rum. Rum is also medicine. My indignation soon turned to sympathy. In life, he was a good man, open and honest, all-welcoming and generous. He was good to me. However, the politics and dealings of a foul system fouls things and people up.
We reached the fifty-metre mark from the Great Door; I stopped.
“I never go beyond this point. I wish you a wonderful journey into the forgone,” I said.
“Are you afraid of nearing the Great Door?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said.
“Okay, Derio, my brother, we forgive each other as we forgive each other,” he said.
“O Cap’n!!!” I shouted with a sudden explosive but unexpected energy.
He was the same sweet person I knew from long ago once again. I could not bear watching him join the forgone sailors. I walked away at gale-speed. From about five hundred metres away from the Great Door, I could hear music of drums and male voices.
Pinto Limboko Don Come
Pinto Limboko Don Come O
We wait o, we tire, ekpe!
Pinto Limboko had crossed the Great Gangway. Like Fabio Romani before him, he was more loyal to Cap’n Blood than Gbogborima. Mens must choose their ways. In the end, every man shall receive measure for measure, blood for blood.
O Pinto Limboko, Grand Consul of Panama,
Farewell, O Cap’n,
Derio to your Rugged Bones!
Be good, not lucky
A strange event floated into my quiet space like an aimless freak and stunned me harder than a shock-wave. The indigo lights had come on, showing an outstanding personality or deity was on schedule to visit Davy Jones Locker for some unpur knownpose or is it, unknown purpose. Then the light went out, making my eyes fall to the ground then return to its sockets with a little dust that itched them. Such a one-in-a-billion chance event had to be a cancellation or an error. It rattled my mind.
Hitherto that moment of the lights, I was there alone in the gigantic cavern brainstorming the fate of Davy Jones Locker if Nigeria broke up. “Against Tribalism,” I said aloud. Will the 4-7 Creed undergo scrapping or revision or undergo its own Tower of Babel? What concerns a map-maker with the chromium content of stainless steel? I was shaking like a vibrator due to the cold despite wearing thick woolly socks, a trouser over tracksuit bottoms, two jumpers, a black beret, and a greatcoat. There were only a few candles burning with still flames and darkness seemed ready to pounce on me. Not a place for the gregarious.
Imati, a junior deity to the Goddess Oshun, had given me invaluable advice a few times in the past. Now again, I needed her wisdom. Only men who were cyclo-sex for over three years or more could invoke her. Woe unto those who say there is no benefit in abstinence! Imati is so beautiful, each time she appears to me, Gbogborogbo! And for six hours. My invocation of Imati is secret. She appeared, and I laid my complaint to her about the lights.
“The forgone sailor is Nathaniel Oyelola aka Bony Bill and it was a mistake to schedule him for Davy Jones Locker,” she said with an onyokorising voice.
“Where will he go then, if not here?” I asked.
“He is on schedule to go to Fiddler’s Green.” She replied.
“Where or what is Fiddler’s Green?” I asked in follow-up.
Imati began laughing, causing my body to onyokorise all over. I had become asexual by the restrictions of Davy Jones Locker but I thought about what the disaster-resistant luters, the group-raters, and the obrush-shiners would do if they were here. Tsunami only-ers are trustworthy in these circumstances, but a different breed. Even Oshun is too young for them. The Lute-diers are also trustworthy, “ever rumming, never luting.”
“Fiddler’s Green is where those who sailed with clean and genuine hearts go. They must “be good, not lucky” and served so for at least fifty years. But some who served for over thirty years are essential,” she informed.
“Is Paramole in Fiddler’s Green?” I asked.
“No. He returned on his birthday in Davy Jones Locker because he wanted to tame your excesses. He still believes in you, more than you can imagine. He gave you a task, fulfil it,” she said, raising her voice. I was silent.
Imati only allows a maximum of seven questions and then she disappears without ceremony.
“I have another question,” I requested. Imati nodded her head. “Are there any other places besides Davy Jones Locker and Fiddler’s Green for forgone sailors?” I asked.
“Lyonesse. Fiddler’s Green is for those who have earned their rest and eternal enjoyment. Lyonesse is where the builders and workaholics go. They do not want to rest. If they had lived as long as Methuselah, it would not complete their dreams. Ayo Odebisi, Tunde Bajah, Bola Ige are in Lyonesse working on the problems of an unjust society,” she declared.
“How come I never heard of Fiddler’s Green and Lyonesse before now?” I asked.
“The day you are Xmas’ed, Gbogborima decides where you will spend your forgone years because of his Akashic Eyes. Those fed to the sharks do not go to Davy Jones Locker, Fiddler’s Green, nor Lyonesse. But don’t worry, the sharks refused to eat you,” she said, hiding a smile.
“Can I take Bony Bill to Fiddler’s Green?” I petitioned.
“You can pick up Bony Bill and take him to Fiddler’s Green. Get to know him,” she said, handing me a map and disappears.
I did not waste time to board my submarine. I was so lost in thought as I moved eastwards across the Atlantic using Talisker Ten years and supported by dried octopus and seaweed sticks. My latest grooming was ruggedity gets you to Davy Jones Locker but only love thrusts you into either Fiddler’s Green and Lyonesse. Wow! The hours it took to get to Bony Bill passed like minutes. Thought has its own unique time horizons.
Bony Bill knew who I was as I approached him. He looked jolly, but frail. I greeted him and beckoned him to board my submarine. He ignored my “Ahoy!” and gave me non-verbal cues not to claw him with a handshake. For almost a quarter of an hour, he stood looking at me, speechless. The mutiny-spirit was at alert but yet to brew. It was always very slow to anger. I suspect it twinkled in my eyes. Not sure though.
“Are you ready to take me to rest?” he said, breaking the long silence.
“O Cap’n, at your orders.” I replied.
“And Ahoy to You, O Man of Wrongness! You look and act so respectful. I heard you were genuine, but so mutinous.” He said, seeing my reaction. “You look like a newborn puppy,” he furthered, with a quizzical smile on his face. “Never mind, on the way to Fiddler’s Green, please tell me your grievances, if any. I can straighten them out,” he said with remarkable cheeriness. “You could only take me on this journey because our sailors require 30 days to arrange the transport,” he informed me. To own and run a submarine is difficult O!
We boarded the submarine together. Bony Bill eased himself into the same seat Fabio Romani had used. It gave a good view of the ocean and its floors. I could now understand why Paramole sat somewhere that would not entertain or distract him. Work, think, work. We were heading for the place only the best 1 percent of sailors go to rest in pleasure for eternity. I wondered if I would see Ahoys Wota Koloho or Spitfire there. Our conversation was yet to begin. He closed his eyes and piped an ancient sailor’s song I had never heard, then stepped it down to the familiar “Hokpe Halele O, Hokpe himalele.” And I supplied the chorus. It was a damn short song best enjoyed with endless iterations. We had an interesting journey ahead of us.
Oceaneering is too sweet. I reserve my ahoys and Honours to the great Bony Bill, Supreme Master of the Clippers, till we get to Fiddler‘s Green.
Be Good, Not Lucky.
Please, take a look at my memorials to Ayo Odebisi’s Embrace: Through The Words of Henry Miller and Remembering Ayo Odebisi (Paramole) – His Lessons. And my short story, My Name Follows Me. Cheers.