CloudYOU! – #TheFruition (Part 8)

This poem is the seventh in my CloudYOU! series. Learn more about the series in the Introduction. Read the firstsecondthirdfourth , fifth and sixth poems. 

You
know I did
not, could not
have forgotten to write
the day before today.

You
know that too well, I
know.

Life – corn and fish
and, and well, and
You – happened.

feet and heart shape twig

Picture mine: A heart-tied stick I chanced on, while on a trip to selected locations in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The specific location here is a footpath to one newly discovered waterfall – Akaa Falls – which is still being developed as a tourist site. –– Thursday, 14th June, 2018.

Yes, Life happened again
with the character that salt is
with the personality that is pepper’s
with the quiet confidence of sun
with the simple immensity of water

and

with You
with You
with You
with You
with You…

*

Love,

AishaLovesToo.

– Tuesday, 3rd July 2018; North Kaneshie, Accra.

*An earlier version of this poem first appeared on my Facebook page.

Soul-ed Up.

Of Music and Muse(s).

Presence,
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.

Peace,
Presence tip-toe in…

– 3rd November 2014

*                *               *

randomness

photo credit.

Real. Dreams.  OR ‘Random’ Defined.

The night before,
the dream spoke of
Suya
Suya and Suraya

The morning after,
a dress said,
Live, Laugh
Laugh, Love
Love

Shakespeare – no Juliet in ‘RoMEo and
Juliet’ asked of what is in a naME.

S/he forgot to add that of
a word
They both forgot to add that
real and
random both begin with R, and come before the twice twin es-es of
suya
AND suraya

‘…and rANDom’ you said?

and oh no…

You know what?
Yes, no. Never mind.

– 26th January, 2015 

*                *               *

Of Daughters’ Names.

on names (2)

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

*                *               *

Naa.

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.

13th June 2015

*                *               *

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…

music

photo credit

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…

1st March, 2015

*                *               *

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.

bird books backyard

photo credit

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…

24th July, 2014

*                *               *

Nelson

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.

– 16th June, 2015 

*                *               *

Without Title.

Mami tamɔ taami.

Mɔko mɔko tamɔɔɔ Tsɜ Ataa.

Mother is like miraculous berry.

No one, none is like Father FATHER.

– 18th February 2015

*                *               *

Abele Rocks!

CORN

photo credit.

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!

– 31st January, 2015 in Senchi, Volta, Ghana

*                *               *

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.

9th April 2015 at Coconut Grove Beach Resort.

*                *               *

Hulu is Sun. Nugbɔ is Rain. 

sun and rain rose

photo credit

The fog

clears. The storm subsides.
The rains
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.

21st August, June 2014

*                *               *

Grand-E-Mother.

She
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 –
anything
to just get her worried: talking and laughing and finally,
we
Pray.

She
wouldn’t wait for that day
when I will write
about her.
Properly.

I’m on my way home,
wishing
I had heard wrong yet,
knowing

She
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 –
from me…

Dusk: Tuesday, 27-January-2015

*                *               *

Journeys

journys

photo credit

There’s something lightening, freeing and of course, refreshing about traveling. In many ways, including spiritually. For me, at least.

– 31st January 2015 :Anfoeta Tsebi, Volta, Ghana

*                *               *

And Music and Song is Lala.

Music has its ways.
Music finds its own course.
To those part of us
that nothing else can reach,
can touch;
that only music can reach,

can touch.
As far and as deep as we let
only music…

21st August, June 2014

 *         *       *  

Love,

AishaWrites.

12th October, 2015

Of Karma and Charcoal: The B*tch of One and the Burning of the Other

ch

I should have written or I have written this – in my ‘head’ – somewhere around the first Friday of September 2014, but I have been busy living out my life passions: teaching, writing, dreaming (including daydreaming) and thinking – sometimes as in worrying, but mostly as in the reflecting or introspecting or musing or something-of-these-sorts or something-between-these-sorts sense of it. This thing they called Thinking.

And oh, I have also been busy being grateful for these life and other good gifts…

The goodness of a good number of these gifts is not necessarily explicit, ready and overt. If not for anything at all, this is because nature, just as it is said to abhor a vacuum, has no place whatsoever for waste – again, inherently, and in the grand scheme of things. Just look around.

23useKARMAdefined

Again, if what they say about no (wo)man being an island is true, it goes without saying that fellow humans are the agents of another good number of these (inherently goodly) gifts: The experiences. The sweet. The indifferences. The unsavoury. The differences. The sour. The words. The silences. The deeds. The stale. The inactions. The tasteless. All the passions. The plain. And yes, the pains.

I like to tell myself that I cannot be surprised by anything that any human becomes and or does (to me). For I have seen and experienced things, which despite the gravity of their immediate and long-term impact on me, they would have been more tolerable if they had not come from some of the people who should have been the last people or should have never even been the very people through whom such soul-botching things should have come, should have happened. To me.

For one thing, there must be a good reason why the proverbial bird called afi in Ga is said to have said that the matter of the one who dealt it the death blow does not pain it as much as the case of the one who plucked its feather does. Why? The hunter could have as well killed afi from afar. With a gun. And the hunter is no family and never will be (expected to be family) to afi: the one who plucked afi’s feather is, could have been and or once upon a time, was family. Or something like it. Family.

Again, it must be about the same reason why another bird called ɔkɔkɔsɛkyi in Akan is said to have told itself not grow too familiar and sooner, get swooned by the deliciousness and potent character of the home-cooked soup.31KARMAcafe For alas, the barrel of a gun – the hunter’s – will forever remain narrow and dark – narrow and dark in more ways than one. So before, and while ɔkɔkɔsɛkyi goes pecking at the sweet soup in the twice harmless bowl in man’s homestead, it will set its eyes and ears more than just opened ajar. For the danger lies not so much in the soup as it is lies in the proximity of the hunter, and the possibility of his having a gun…

Both afi and ɔkɔkɔsɛkyi teach us to be wary of not the one who has explicitly made it known in both deed and word that there also exists such a person who is or can be called Foe or Enemy. Both afi and ɔkɔkɔsɛkyi teach us to be wary of the one who has explicitly made it known in both deed and word that there is such a person who is can be called Friend. And Family. And sometimes, even Lover. Both afi and ɔkɔkɔsɛkyi teach us to be wary because the sheer closeness and familiarity of the latter (set) is both an advantage for the day they do us and or do us in. And oh it is because of this same relationship we have with the latter set that makes the pain of the doing their doing graver, deeper…

This is not paranoia: this is the wisdom that life teaches all those who take care upon caution to learn, and to live by. This may not look like courage, but it definitely cannot be called cowardice, too. If you like, ask another kind of bird, the dɔkɔdɔkɔ, the duck, who says, ‘It is not that I cannot keep up in the race, but it is because I know of the gaping holes that the smooth surface of the waters belie.’

Through all these, I have grown better, not bitter; I have become wiser (including worldly-wise), not withered and I have waxed stronger and more matured and more in ways I can only be grateful to God for.

Through all these, I have come to learn the hard way that blame is not only cheap and pathetic, but also, is lame and grossly irresponsible. I have come to find that no-thing, and no-one can wield any influence – whether productive, effective or otherwise – without my allowing, giving and or even contributing to that ‘power’, in the first place.

karma, how people treat..
Closely related to these life lessons is the firsthand insight – practical and profound, at once – into what it means to say that to forgive others is almost – if not entirely – a selfish act on the part of the forgiver.

All this is not at all to say that I am necessarily, always the recipient of the gift: I make no claim of having wronged no one. Not now. Not ever. Never. I have had to forgive and I will have to forgive as much as I can expect to have forgiven and to be forgiven.

All this is not at all to say that I am necessarily perfect myself. I can explain the necessarily bit.

“No one is perfect,” we have all heard it said once and too many a time and again. This is one gospel I question.

I question its sibling gospel, the gospel making the rounds about the superiority and super-ness of the human mind over matter and happenstance. This other gospel about the invincibility of the determined human spirit would rather have (wo)man glory in the boundless, brightness of his/her potential, than for him/her to take a hard look at his/her weakness and, to work hard on and at them.

Per this gospel, the weaknesses and the mistakes are not touched by the invincibility and super-ness. The mistakes and the imperfections are merely obstacles to be shoved out of the way, on the way to unending glories. The imperfections are no diamonds-in-the-rough waiting to be polished and probably, to add to the said blindingly bright glories. The imperfections. They are not even rocks or stone or pebbles or grit of any value. No. The imperfections are merely nameless, useless clumps of pure dirt.

And the invincibility neither implies any amount of control over the content and weight of these ‘rather valueless’ obstacles of imperfections, nor does it promise to give any form of attention to them. Hence, even though this imperfection thing is essentially non-existent and of no consequence, as far as (wo)man’s super-ness is concerned, (wo)man is reduced to a poor victim of the same imperfection , and (wo)man is all too glad and quick to call on this already-made, ever-ready “No one is perfect” of an excuse…

Another way of looking at this is by asking if “No one is perfect” necessarily means or translates into its opposite, “Everyone is imperfect”.

Again, what difference is there in the number and arrangement of letters in the word ‘Imperfect’ and the clause, “I’m perfect”?

leaking

Even better, what is the essence of life on this side of eternity, if it is not to build character; if it is not for each one of us to outgrow our own baser selves; if it is not to become nobler versions of our selves, with the breaking of every dawn? Whoever said change is the only constant there is (in this life) must have either forgotten or have never known what growth is and means. Change consists of growth – or at least, change implies and or promises it. Good old Growth, that is. Change is not that constant, after all.

So yes, just as one would be careful in calling oneself perfect, one should not be too quick to call oneself imperfect. Yes, not being perfect (yet) should never be an excuse for not willing to, and actually journeying towards that perfection. That this journey called life is fraught with many a fall and rise et al is as expected as it is true. In fact, that is why it is (called) a journey in the first place.

Giving up on the journey is therefore, not merely in the convenience of playing the blame game nor of being quick to quit. The giving up is in the unwillingness or indifference to taste of what growth – personal, rooted growth – means, in all the glories of its big-picture and of course, in its sometimes gory details and messy beginnings.

Giving up very much means cheating one’s own self out a life that is overly generous with the potential – the same unending glories, remember? – to be one’s best self.

Giving up on the journey means shortchanging one’s own self of the possibility of becoming and or being one’s fullest. (Now those are two different things. Obviously.)

Enough said of gifts and forgiveness, wariness and wisdom, and of (im)perfection and invincibility…

It should never be a fault to trust and truly care and be loyal to another – all these for a reason that is close to nothing. No reason, actually. True, real love need not be begotten from another; it is its own cause and source. It is not its own reward and condition. It is a decision, a commitment, a real hands-on hard work, sometimes to its own hurt. Love. It is its own self-sufficient reason. washroom

Nor should it be a fault for one to retreat, to recoil when it is obvious that one’s company – may be friendship or relationship of any kind, which is blessed with goodwill – is neither wanted nor expected. Or neither wanted and expected.

Sometimes, just sometimes, people need air, space to be, a little more room to operate and to live, a small time to get that needed retreat, that needed refreshing. After all.

This need not be a fault, but if someone really, badly needs to take offence at this, well…

I long learnt somewhere that for every bad deed anyone does to one, whether with or without cause, it is either one of two things:

a) One is only reaping from seeds one had previously sown. The person who does one the wrong deed is therefore, only an agent through whom one’s reaping should come. This person MAY never have to reap the wrong deed done, since s/he is just a medium…

32KARMAcoffee

b) If one can rest assured that the bad deed experienced is not as a result of any seed (s/he has) sown some time in the past, the wrong doer can only expect to reap this new seed of a bad deed, some other time, in the future.

So when the Bible says that one only reaps what one has first sown, it is not to be taken as a watered-down curse nor as the unleash of doom – which need not have a cause.

It should be taken as a matter of fact.

It should be taken as a truism, a statement of the one law which is at once, supreme and boil-down of every contention or pact between every force and anti-force in, of and transcending the universe…

To merely think of doing evil to another is not good. To calculate and scheme and plan how this evil is meted out is worse than not-good.

To think of roping others in in this busy-ness ought to be bad enough. To deliberately gang up with others to plot and execute wickedness against another is more than a shade up worse.

To do this wickedness against someone, who has been good in any way and in any capacity to one, is just evil – dire and dirty.

To carry out this evil to the very end, knowing full well the desperate, irrevocable consequences on the ‘victim’ is evil – gross and grave.

And to keep up one grande pretence of smiles and chit-chats and doubly feigned ignorance of even the mere existence of such backstabbing wickedness is evil – hideous and horrendous.

In as much as it all could have been worse, it still remains that it all need not have started. Not at all.

22useSOOThandsThe Ga-s have it that the one who has not gone burning wood for charcoal cannot have soot-blackened hands.

Yes, soot and sh*t do happen in life, but not necessarily, always, out of nothing…

So again, it is not called curse. The Buddhists. They call it karma. I have severally heard it get described as a b*tch. This karma thing – or law?

A few times too, I have heard it said that one does not have to worry about getting the b*tch treatment from karma, if and only if one has not gone a-b*tch-ing, to begin with.

Karma. Its b*tch-y part. Just like the words of afi, ɔkɔkɔsɛkyi, and dɔkɔdɔkɔ, there must be a good reason for…the name – description-cum-label and all.

Life. And Love.
To one and all…

Joy. And Peace.
More such…