Posts Tagged ‘poems from Ghana’

by Enos Kwaku Dade Boadu

 

Where are those songs that rang murky when I first met him?

Where are those fluid melodies that nectared through my ears

and  cheerfully opened my every pore with his little little fingering tapping?

Where are those repeating days that closed my eyes and squeezed my soul to eat and savor the bulky bliss of his lips thawing every lip of me?

Where are those moments and nights when he dripped his rough softness in me and me all about him

and soaking every beat of the rhythms that our rubbing bodies played, and widening and widening our pores to drinking the mead of the black hole of our seeming ever-revolving souls?

Where are those tears, those watery claps from my obese heart that cooled and teased my trembling cheeks?

 

But, oh, see those seeming cooling and warmth and those tickles of moisture! All were mockeries and

deceptions!

All those songs and melodies, those dreamy days, those moments and nights ― those rushes of blood biting redemption is all dusts and ashes

Dusts and ashes like the faces and whispers and the memories of he who has ghosted my soul and still wounds the ghost

 

But the clot in the womb would throw the poison away

Now this child, this cheek-soft daughter, this smiling pound of memories, this innocent and staring two O’s

blunts and deadens all the daggers

 

Now it is Sunday morning

But the stomach knows no Sabbath to halt the aching

and, Oh my child, my cheek-soft and nothing-stomached daughter

Sorry you are pass milking, and I, pass those Bethlehem and Canaan breasts

And, you, ancient soul, may bite my teat again if I give you these Gomorrah breasts again

 

Oh my cheek-soft and pitiful faces darling

We always ask, but we never receive

except for eyes which shame, and cheeks which crack to mock, and loins and tongues

which seek me another doom and after-tastes of the memories about your father

 

Sunday morning

And our ears and all are charged with the songs and the voices of the church

 

Sunday morning

And the hymns of the church come to tease our vengeful stomachs

 

Can we too enter those chapels and seek for food

for loving that does not ash or turns dust

for hearts that would tremble like our tired knees

to mingle and humor me with you my darling ―the filling of your belly and all

with those bites and chewings and down-washings

that grow and flower and fruit smiles and giggles and speeches and good worrying?

 

Can we too enter those chapels? ― No!

Because I remember the same town that shame and mock and sneeze us off their paths

Are the same enchanting songs and voices of the church ―

 

Sunday morning

And as you sleep on, my sweet cheek-soft darling ―as you sleep on

I too am rehearsing those songs and melodies and rhythms that still sing and mime and ring my present

I too am rehearsing those daring charms that chain and undream the weaker souls

I too am rehearsing those motions that hold the mead cup of life and crashing it to the memory of sour scars

 

Sunday morning

And when you wake up, my sweet cheek-soft and nothing-stomached darling ―when you wake up

We shall drink from the chief fountains of the dreams you wail for

 

Sunday morning

And when you wake up, and when you up, and when you wake up ―

We wake up till eternity and a leap night!

 

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History does not only rest on the tongues of the elderly or sit somewhere on the dusty shelves in a community library but also takes a seat in literary arts. It then becomes a memory and landmark on social map. An essential capture of humanity in literary arts is a testimony to the evolution of both ills and beauty in our shared space as social beings. Poetry is no exception to these universal truths. The astonishing beauty of poetry is when few say much – when just one word, phrase or clause is the foundation on which a recorded event in history stands. It is measurably fascinating to discover the seminal thoughts of poets as they jot events as a future pointer. Most often, it is connecting these dots to real life events that suggest the poem’s preferred meaning or purpose.
How a group survives to tell its story should by always be a prominent feature in advancing such narrative as a viable option. No one captures this better than Kwesi Brew’s Ghana’s Philosophy of Survival. The opening line is striking, a powerful and dense metaphor. Brew goes straight to the point without trading words.
‘’ We are the punch bag of fate’’
This poem is not one that entertains complaints. The plurality of the voice of the persona might deceitfully suggest so. It says it as it. It makes no direct reference to political events but the subtlety of it can not be ignored.
‘’ their viciousness on our patience
until they become caresses of admiration’’
Whoever is the object of address is cunning.
‘’ and time that heals all wounds
comes with a balm and without tears,
soothes the bruises on our spirits’’
As a typical Ghanaian, she knows time, silence and fama Nyame (‘’give to the God’’) heal. The persona goes on to suggest that as a mean of survival- ‘’ mettle of invisibility / This is how we outlast and outlive / the powerful and unwise.’’
In all these, she has hope.
‘’ love of family kith and kin and brother-keeping
has cast us in the mould :
that while we take the blow
and seem unhurt,
speechless, we also watch and wait’
Notice the pun – ‘’kith’’ and ‘’kin.’’ The persona is counting on comradeship to sail them through the sea of times.

 

 

Note :

Please, read the poem, Ghana’s Philosophy of Survival by Kwesi Brew  here