“…I believe in light and day
beyond the tomb far from the solitude
of the womb, and the mystical might,
in the coming of fruits…“
– Kofi Awoonor: from A Death Foretold, a poem.
…for Onukpa Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor…
Grand-e-mother said someone’s one can be more
than another’s ten. Child.
So here, take corn, salt, take
Pepper. Take that which sates and has character.
Where I come from, they say one can be the killer
of cow for feeding the whole town. (Wo)Man.
Oh smile. laugh. even in death (read SLEEP).
Shine. live and sing. now and on. and again.
Where I come from, they say the Leopard does
not age (together) with its claws. Old.
So here, take dew, wine, take
Water. Take that which fills and extends…
fate got it
Wrong. And it’s not fate’s first time. It bit. It
chewed. And it will forever be left
With the swallowing, the eating proper.
One time too many that even in death (read SLEEP), some
Leopards, with one stone of a leap, kill that two-bird of
a death, of a cow, with one leap of
A life, of a life that shames both age and grave.
ugly in mouths still munching the pay to praise. praise is
sickly when the one it is poured on needs to look askance,
to look behind to see if it is not for another the praise is…
will not be forced, will not be poured, not be willed. Praise is
comely on Its own self. So here, take no praise. Be. Take. You. Are…
For the Want of Tears
the fruit did shatter. baring red
flesh, scattering brown seeds. even
if it was stray birds the mangled lump fed,
it added to life – or some kind, form of life. the fruit.
it extended some other life. the fruit. what the birds leave,
the ants will eat. what the ants left, the earth will not forget to save,
to save, to keep. forever. Let the sun bear witness…
We need not go salvaging –
We need not get too careful seeking with tears –
what is gone, but really is. here
what never rotted, in the first place
what can just not be marred by the dirt it was mashed in
We will let the realms be. while
the moon and sea tides roll and roar on,
we will perch on this pointed, upright pole. We will
take – and continue to – take
the insult of the ones who were called fools for
waiting. The ones who, in the season of
eking tears out of delicious memories,
took home the last basket of far too
much laughter. for Seed-s do shoot. shoots
grow. trees too grow to gain ground.
see! fruit always remains. And it is
the dead who gets mourned…
Monday 20th August, 2018;
Kalpohine Estates, Tamale, Ghana.
These two poems were originally written circa April 2015.