Peace peeps in…
preparation Meets procrastination.
perfectionism Spurns Both.
prose Rolls Into poetry. And Back. poetry Prods prose. Again And Again.
pencil Flits Across paper.
pen Is Clamped Between Lips.
Presence tip-toe in…
* * *
Real. Dreams. OR ‘Random’ Defined.
The night before,
the dream spoke of
Suya and Suraya
The morning after,
a dress said,
Shakespeare – no Juliet in ‘RoMEo and
Juliet’ asked of what is in a naME.
S/he forgot to add that of
They both forgot to add that
random both begin with R, and come before the twice twin es-es of
‘…and rANDom’ you said?
and oh no…
You know what?
Yes, no. Never mind.
* * *
Of Daughters’ Names.
quote by Wasan Shire
…and give your daughters names that force people to ask questions, people who don’t know enough to ask yet, know enough to want to learn. Give your daughters names that teach others that names mean much more than a group of letters strung in syllables, that names have and are forces, that names have in them the power to make…and if possible, be life itself. Give your daughters names, not just any name, sexy names. My name is Sheilla Aishetu Nelson. [And I am my Father’s Daughter.]
– Aisha Nelson : 12th June 2015
* * *
Which Mother sends one daughter a (swim suit kinda) bra, three strings of waist beads, big bottle of corn drink and a generous pounds of salted beef? Mine does. Naa Amanuah Ankrah is her name.
Many a time, it is the thought, the state of heart that matters most, and not the matter…
This too is…L.O.V.E. And I am my Mother’s daughter.
* * *
Muse-ic. Love-of-a-kind. Lyre-ic.
I love music, especially, soulful, spiritual music.
They say I’m an old soul. I’m still learning what that fully means. So the older the song and or its genre, the more dense (need not be steeped in figurative language) and the more it speaks of and to the issues of life and of living it, of this and other life-s, the easier and harder (pun not intended) it is for me to fall for that song. In fact, I can think of more than three songs that if I hear being played anytime! anywhere! my life HAS TO come to a stand-still until the playing is ended. That is, I just can’t (continue to) do anything sensible or productive…I can do nothing, apart from sitting or standing or lying still – depending on my posture as at when the song came – until it is gone and done with…
Many times, the tone of the said song – whether serious or lighthearted, whether
sophisticated or suggestive, whether puerile or dead down-to-earth – does not matter:
the earnestness and genuineness of the voice – as in, NOT the voice of the singer/ musician but the LITERARY voice IN or OF song – is what matters most. To me. The instruments, melody, pauses, pitch and crescendos and all the other jargons are mere bonuses; they just have to be good enough or more, but most importantly, they do NOT have to get in the way of the words, not in any way. The words, the lyrics. They may be tickled or meaningfully! touched by the periphery-s, but they ought not to be scalded, scathed…
The song. The subject matter can be anything from laughter and love to heaviness and hate, anything from the exalted through the noble to the mundane, anything from the sublime to the silly. It just has to be honest, not trying too hard to please, to reach…
Once in a while, I pick up more modern, recent songs or songs from more modern genres. I add them to my collection of all-time-favourites. Hymns are one of my special, fetish genres. They are one of a few favourites of a much-higher-order.
There’s been many many times a song that I don’t know the lyrics to or what the song even means in its original language would ring strong and long somewhere deep inside of me – a non-physical part of me. Later when I research the lyrics, someway somehow, it
feels exactly like I’ve known the lyrics all along. As much as I’d known the tune. Why this usually doesn’t surprise me, I’m yet to (fully) know.
These past few days, [a] song [has been doing] the rounds, doing the ringing in that part of me…I know it’s [quite] ‘common’…but I’ve never known its lyrics beyond the first line.
The tune, yes…
* * *
Day-Dreams OR Of other Worlds
…is reading, thinking through Philip Larkin‘s ‘Born Yesterday’, a poem.
Eyes are fixed on books and books and pamphlets and more, all waiting to be read; poems and short stories and other write-ups also waiting, to be completed, revised, edited or simply, read.
A little above books et al, on a mellow blue painted wall, are a few tabs of random reminders – to do-s; a ‘picture’ of a long, flare, flowing and rather colourful dress, which was jointly doodled by nephew and littlest sister.
Beside drawing is a fancy wooden crucifix hanging on a sheer lacy fabric, with a flowery dial centre on which is inscribed both the verse and quotation, Joshua chapter 1, verse 9 : one of a year-or-so old souvenir/gift from my students.
Meanwhile, a fridge hums away in the nearest room and from the backyard, a nest of birds take turns scattering crisp-dry fallen leaves and chirping their little frail lungs off.
Some background this is…
From outside, a distant grooving of Kwesi Pee’s ‘Me nkoaa’ and closer by Grand-E-mother’s insistent pet talks weave in and out of fragments of thoughts and smiles and introspection and all…
* * *
They used to call me a crier. I don’t know if they still will, would, or do. But I know it was cleansing, healing, and refreshing the first and only time in my life when someone understood me enough to not only listen, but to cry with me. Don’t they say men don’t cry? I have not stopped shedding quiet tears in memory of you, and of your passing away. And you still remain the finest Gentle-Man I have ever known. Let them say their worst, I still have you at heart. And it is because of the seemingly little, even insignificant ways you touched my life and showed that you believe in me; it is because of these same little things which make you irreplaceable.
* * *
Mami tamɔ taami.
Mɔko mɔko tamɔɔɔ Tsɜ Ataa.
Mother is like miraculous berry.
No one, none is like Father FATHER.
* * *
Corn reigns and rocks everywhere…
Either the whole cob or the grains. Raw, peeled (outer coat of a grain), dried, or soaked overnight. Milled into various textures. Roasted, steamed, boiled or stir-boiled. You may or may not add sugar (yes, sugar!) or salt; you may or may not add cassava dough or even groundnuts.
Serve shaped in balls, loaves or simply, stuffed into plantain et al leaves or good old corn husks ( I know right! Even this part of the maize plant is useful.)
Etsew in Central Region. Baŋku and Kenkey in Accra. Abolo and Akplɜ in Eastern and Volta. Et cetera.
Add fish proper (may be fingerlings or other seafood like oysters, shrimps, crabs and lobsters) – may be fried, grilled, boiled in a wide variety of sexy stews or soups. Or replace stew or soup with twice sexy pepper sauce – grounded or fried.
Not to talk of Tom Brown, (white) koko, eko-egbee-mli, eyɜɔ, asaana and my favourite, ŋmɜdãa.
You name it.
Corn for you!
Corn for life!
* * *
Nu is Water. Hulushitee is Sunrise.
As part of many a needed change, it showered, briefly, today. The grass was mowed a little before the showers. Now the familiar, but not at all mundane smell of damp earth and cut green and lapping sea and distant fish and good old salt hangs in the air, is a blanket, actually, cast over my part of the world.
The housekeeping ladies have ‘sacked’ me from my room to my corridor. But this should be nothing at all. Nothing to be compared to:
The dancing woman has still not been tamed. She would rather not be forced into giving her-self and her story away easily, not even if she is asking for it…
But there must always be a way, another way, and life must go on, with or without her.
* * *
Hulu is Sun. Nugbɔ is Rain.
clears. The storm subsides.
let down the last of its heaviness. Sunshine should
come soon. I’ve a brighter
smile in ready
for that, for life and
for all goodly, divine gifts.
* * *
wouldn’t wait for me to return from work
to worry her:
pull her legs, sit on her laps,
sing with her; dance for her,
tell her how sexy, she –
person, clothes and all – is
re-arrange already combed hair; re-prop pillows and postures – quite unnecessarily
re-tell her stories she already knew; stories she (probably) told me in the first place
ask her silly questions; fake sadness or surprise at her
ever razor-sharp, short answers
repeat all these and
more, once and
over again –
to just get her worried: talking and laughing and finally,
wouldn’t wait for that day
when I will write
I’m on my way home,
I had heard wrong yet,
wouldn’t be waiting with her
everyday ‘Miwula, ayekoo’
for my merely having returned from work.
She wouldn’t be waiting
for the one ‘Minaa, ayekoo. Mbo!’
for her having led a life well, fully and more…
She wouldn’t be waiting for any worries – whether words, whatever –
* * *
There’s something lightening, freeing and of course, refreshing about traveling. In many ways, including spiritually. For me, at least.
* * *
Music has its ways.
Music finds its own course.
To those part of us
that nothing else can reach,
that only music can reach,
As far and as deep as we let
– 21st August, June 2014
* * *
12th October, 2015