Nibii Bibii*…

ask me of my love for her
and I will tell you about
the smallest of things in the smallest of moments – things of and about her:

*


the neat fold of her lithe limbs and the coil of her frame, when
the tides began to shed
their quiet leaps and bright tenors for one loud void and ashen shrill.

Picture mine – Around Legon, Accra: Monday 8th Feb. 2021.

the blank and wet on her face as she
gazed into nothingness, when I told her it can’t possibly
rain and pour, roar and pain without end – and not without her will to up and on still.

the sharp arching of her left brow,
once when I had asked her what she thought of
hopes and dreams going stale, then sour, with one wait after more waste…

Picture mine – Legon, Accra: Thursday, 24th Feb. 2020.

the knotting of her smile on one tip of her tiny thick lips,
when I told her that Sun showed up and sweet – and generously so –
after what, until now, tasted like forever.

the sudden coming of her pointless mischiefs,
the unpredictable turn of her next funny thing – in the middle of
what should be, what has been anything but play, anything but a joke.

Picture mine – North Kaneshie, Accra: Wednesday, 23rd Dec. 2020.

the easy, lucid recklessness of her waist, as
she danced away to that silly song she knew was silly but
she loved like mad and silly and all – all the same, and with no shame at all.

the sweep and setting of her hips in a gait
which defies name, which transcends walk, which dances
to its own song – when I make way, as I’m wont to, for her to go before me…

Picture mine – Gallery 1957, Accra: Tuesday, 9th Jun. 2020.

the lush and soul of the life and presence in her eyes when
she begins and soon gets happily lost in
a World where Words and Water and Wonder and such and similar live and thrive…

*

ask me about
the smallest of things in the smallest of moments – things of and about her
and I will only begin tracing the form and frame of Love – my Love for and of her.

               

– Morning of Monday, 21st June 2021: Legon, Accra.

* Niibii Bibii‘ is Ga for ‘Little Things’, as in, the not-exactly little things because of which we love, we laugh – we live…

Masquerade Adowa Dancers – by Agnes Gyening-Asiedu. (Part 2)

This is the second in a three-part series of this story. Read the first part. 

*

The master drummer beat the drums with frenzy, and as she danced, she became a wild cat.

“Where did this wild thing come from?” he wondered, as she wriggled her waist in front of him. This stirred up the hunter in him. This was even more exciting than he had thought, and he was more resolved now, more than before, to conquer this one–damn the consequences!

“Oh God!” she thought to herself. “How good it feels to be wanted. Once again”.

In these past three years, she had felt aged, unloved and unattractive. Looking after two young sons–a four year old and a two year old–with no help could sap every energy out of any woman, anyone. Coupled with this was the old mother-in-law who lived with them, who never appreciated anything she did, who never said thank you. God! How difficult it was to please that woman! Over the years she had felt as dry as a branch stick long fallen off its mother tree in harmattan.

So this new feeling of being wanted was good. It felt very very good…but wait…she must not give in too easily. Besides, she would not be crazy to do anything to hurt her marriage–but a little flirting was not going to harm anyone. Was it?

So she pretended she was no longer interested in the dance, and she began to slacken her dance steps.

The male dancer was surprised. It looked like the woman had lost interest in the dance. He spun towards her until he was within hearing distance. Then he shouted out to her,

“Don’t you like me?”

She had no response.

“Do you want me to stop dancing with you?” he asked, disappointment seeping into his voice.

His voice was so deliciously familiar, like the sound of the wind. This was a voice she has heard before, a voice she has loved before. It was a voice from many years back. Where had she first heard it?

“I don’t force women,” he said, and with that, he began to dance away from her, towards the exit of the dance arena.

“Oh no!” she thought. “I can’t lose him now!”

She took a quick step forward with her right foot and danced towards the exit, until she by passed him and was soon dancing in front of him. She began to twirl around him in a wondrous pattern–a wondrous adowa pattern.

He stopped dancing and smiled. She stopped in front of him and squatted before him. The spectators were euphoric, as they shouted:

Dance!

Dance! Dance!

Dance! Dance! Dance! 

The drummers got the cue–they began to beat a faster and sweeter rhythm. And the two dancers resumed their battle, the battle to see who was the better dancer.

“Whew!” he thought. “That was close!”

Now that he has won her over–or so he thought–he began to feel overconfident. He began to dance as if the whole world belonged to him.

adowa-dance-at-the-AAI-25th-Annual-Awards-Gala

Image not mine. Image may be protected by copyright.

You know that thing that men do when they have wooed a woman, and won her, and married her? Then they think that there is no need to fight for her again, and the excitement of hunting leaves them, so they go out seeking after more exciting things like wealth or power or fame, and even for new love adventures? She did not like that. Was that not what she now has at home? Was that not what she had come here to escape from, albeit temporarily?

His new dance steps put her off, so when she saw some other male adowa dancers around the edge of the dancing ring, she danced fluidly towards them. She took her competition to them, teasing them, taunting them, urging them. The male dancers tried to match her with the best of their dance steps, but they were no match for her. For she twisted and twirled and bent and hopped, and they looked like puppets before her.

Eventually, she got tired of them and rejected them, one after the other. And they all left the ring, until it was left with the male masquerade dancer, the one she has been dancing with.

“Did she not see red? How dare her do that to him? Just when he thought that she had fallen for his charms? How could she have dared go to dance with other male dancers?” he fumed, even though to himself, inwardly.

He was a jealous man. Everyone knew that. And even though the spark had gone out of his marriage, although he wanted some adventure, although he was out here dancing with this nymph, his wife would never leave him to go dancing with any other man, or even dare take a second look at another man. Why would she do that? What guts would she have to do that?

Seeing this woman dare to do this to him not only annoyed him, but also excited him exceedingly, made the blood pump right into his brain. He was not the kind of man to let go of his woman so easily, so he focused on his dance with new energy, and his steps became more complex. He was going to dance out his anger. He would dance off his jealousy. He would win back this wild woman with the best of his adowa steps.

Then suddenly, he did a surprising whirl to the delight and cheering uproar of the crowd.

He danced towards the female masquerade dancer and spun around her, seductively. He stood in front of her, lifted both hands, clenched his fists, crossed his arms at the elbows, then in that same pose, he hit his chest powerfully, as if to say “I own the whole world,” but she was not impressed.

She stood her ground and then she spun and wove like the great Ananse the Spider, swaying her head proudly to the right and to the left and back and again and again…

The master drummer drummed:

Obaa yi

Obaa yi

Obaa yi bε ku wo, wai!

Obaa yi bε ku wo, wai!

This woman

This woman

This woman will kill you, you will see!

This woman will kill you, you will see!

The male dancer nodded at the drummer, softened his stance, bent at his knees and squatted before the woman in surrender.

The crowd went berserk.

“Good!” she whispered to herself. “Now he is behaving properly. She would have showed him where power truly lies.” she thought.

She was going to give him some more delicate steps to show him who truly held the power, but he danced closer, close enough to hear him whisper, “Are you married?”

The question made her hot, suddenly.

“Was that thing she was in even a marriage?” she wondered.

She could not remember the last time she really saw Kwabena. As a woman. It was as if he was always away at work, and they spent the few times he was home quarrelling, quarrelling over everything, over the kids, over chop money, over household chores, over his mother–especially over his mother. His mother did not appreciate her and it hurt so much. Take for instance, today. His mother had complained to him.

The woman had said to her son, “That your Ajua has not fed me today. She has kept me hungry for several days now.” She was surprised to hear that because she had fed the woman, and with her own hand, taken half spoonfull-s of εtɔ from the plate to the woman’s mouth, about twelve half spoonfull-s, until the woman had refused to eat again, she herself had said she was full.

But at ninety-two, the woman was senile, so she did not understand why Kwabena had been so angry at her. She had not understood why he had taken his mother’s side. She did not understand why he had so brazenly called her a liar, when she had tried to explain that his mother had forgotten that she had already eaten. Was it because she had no mother of her own? Had she not taken his mother as her own?

In her anger, she had rushed into the bedroom, pulled her two rings–the engagement ring with the big diamond stone in the middle, and the round wedding ring–from her finger and threw them on the bed she shared with Kwabena. Then with tears in her eyes, she had gone into the children’s room, dressed them up and taken them to her sister’s. Then she had gone to her best friend Sena’s to have a good cry.

Sena had said to her, “Ajua Akyeampomaa Akyeampon, put all your troubles aside and let us go to the festival. Let us lose ourselves in some fun today. Later, we can decide what to do about all this.”

So here she was, having the best time of her life and it felt wonderful…so-o-o-o wonderful.

Now what response was she going to give to this man who has asked if she was married? If she said she was married, the fun stopped here, but she was not unmarried.

So to be fair to herself and to be fair to Kwabena, she replied “Separated. I am separated from my husband.”

And as she spoke, he thought her sultry voice very familiar, but it was a voice from long ago. He tried all he could to remember but he could not. Meanwhile, she twirled, turned her wrists sensuously in front of her waist and he thought he would die, for was she not the most beautiful woman he has ever seen? Just look at that waist, as she swung it from side to side. And those hips. What could he say? And those legs. Why were they so shapely? What a woman?

Oh! She could kill him!

Richard-Dwomoh-and-Gloria-Nyame-2-1-375x500

Image not mine. Image may be protected by copyright.

She did remind him of someone from long ago, but he could not place where he knew this someone from. If he did not stop dancing now, he knew that he would never let her go, could never let her go.

As if she could read his mind, she took the most remarkable dance step he has ever seen. She spun until she was facing him, directly. She stood so close to him that the cloth with which she had tied her breast grazed half his bare chest and half his kente cloth. Then her eyes met his, wet and eager.

She looked into his eyes. Something about about her look, something about her eyes, something he could not find words to describe, threw him a little off balance. He lost focus on the dance, on his thoughts–even his life. How she managed to do that through the holes in her mask, he would never know, but it was the kind of look that could break a person’s defences, a man’s defences–any man’s defences.

Before he could recover, she shook herself like a tree and heaved her breasts up and down. And even though her breasts were tightly tied with a cloth, they were so full and so round that he could see the firm roundness of their base as they moved up and down, for the weight of her breasts almost defied the tightly tied cloth. And now that she had him hooked, she caught his gaze, again, and gave him a look of pure seduction, before turning her back to him while still holding his eyes with hers.

Then she began to dance away. He followed her, mesmerized, hypnotized, like a lost and dazed sheep. She began to wriggle her waist gently, gracefully. This was her trump card, it seemed. And poor male masquerade dancer–he was a willing captive.

The crowd went wilder than before, and they danced with their voices. Did you ever hear of such a thing as dancing with one’s voice?

The master drummer went at it again:

Dance!

Dance! Dance!

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Dance, female masquerade dancer!

Wriggle your waist downward when you dance!

For Odomankoma has given you a shapely waist!

Shake and heave your breast when you dance!

For Odomankoma has given you beautiful breasts!

Twist and spin when you dance!

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Dance! Dance!

Dance! 

(To be continued)

*

IMG_20200608_014635_489

Agnes Gyening-Asiedu, the writer of Masquerade Adowa Dancers.

Agnes Gyening-Asiedu loves to write.

Her story for children, Aku and Her Ice Cream, was published by African Storybook and facilitated by the British Council in Abuja, Nigeria.

Her first storybook for young adults, My Nightmare, won the 2017 CODE’s Burt Award for Ghanaian Young Adult Literature.

Agnes also loves traveling, cooking, sewing and reading.

She currently runs her own business, and lives in Accra, Ghana with her husband.

 

 

*

Love,

AishaIs.

– North Kaneshie; Early hours of Saturday, 8th June 2020.

*

Disclaimer:

Featured Image and all other images in this blog post are not mine; images may be protected by copyright.

Masquerade Adowa Dancers – by Agnes Gyening-Asiedu. (Part 1)

The two atumpan drums were hungry for the competition to start. They had to start drumming or else their tight skins would burst from all the excitement.

The master drummer called for the dawuru, “Dawuru Kofi, ma wo ho mbre so”. The man holding the two bells began the adowa beat:

Ke nke ke nke

Ke nke ke nke

The talking drums began in earnest:

Kudum Kudum

Kudum Kudum

Ku dan dan kudu

Ku dan dan kudu

Kudu

Kudu

Ku dan dan kudum

Ku dan dan kudum

The apetemma, the petia, the brenko and the donno, all of which formed part of the adowa instrument ensemble joined in the thrill. As soon as the full ensemble began to play, and the singers began to clap and sing, two masked adowa dancers stepped into the arena. One of them, male; the other, a female.

The female masquerade dancer moved her right foot forward, her left foot following on the next beat, each step corresponding with the rhythm from the dawuru. Wriggling her waist downwards, gently, like a true daughter of the Asante Kingdom (for which true female Adowa dancer did not wriggle their waist downwards when they danced?) and with her legs slightly bent, she shuffled elegantly, moved her hips gracefully, first to the right, then to the left, then up and then down.

With a flick of her forefinger, she beckoned seductively to the male masquerade dancer  to come and compete with her if he dared, after which she moved her shoulder smoothly, turned her hands beautifully in front of her body, twisted her neck like a doe and swung around. Then she did the most complex of dance moves – indescribable moves – with her legs, her hands and her head, and finally ended the first lap of the dance on her right foot.

114996ae89e2a0ba8d6b1bd6d9e855f5

Image not mine. Image may be protected by copyright.

As the male dancer swayed gently to the rhythm of the drums, he could not help but admire this charming adowa dancer who was as supple as a branch of neem tree. What exotic steps! How well she carried herself! She looked as vulnerable as a kitten and yet as arrogant as a peacock. And that appealed to him. A lot! Her wrists, which were adorned with gold ornaments were fleshy but not plump. Her skin colour was as golden as ripe pawpaw, exactly like his wife’s.

He looked at her ring finger and he was relieved to see that she did not wear one. He thanked his destiny that he had removed his own ring before setting off from home. He was going to win this one! After all, that thing he was in at the moment could no longer be called a marriage.

He had not intended to enter the competition but when he got to the dance grounds, his friends, who knew that he was an excellent dancer, had encouraged him to enter the contest. The moves of the female adowa dancer excited him, tickled his senses. He had to talk with her.

He shuffled smoothly towards her, then strutted like a cock, pulled out some brilliant adowa steps – solid, intricate and powerful legwork. Then he strode to the middle of the dance arena, swaggered briskly towards the crowd, turned his head, twisting his wrists one above the other, in the same direction as his head.

He spread his arms wide apart, proudly, and made as if he was pulling the entire kingdom to himself. Then he opened up his kente cloth to show off his broad hairy chest. He threw a corner of the kente on his left shoulder, leaving the other muscular, lean shoulder deliciously bare. He rushed towards the spectators, who broke into a sudden frenzied cheer. The male adowa dancer turned in his stride, sharply, and squatted in front of his dance partner. The the crowd went wild:

Dance! Dance! Dance!

The female dancer was awed at the show of strength by the male dancer. He was as agile as a deer and as regal as a monarch. She has never seen a man who carried himself this gracefully. Where was he six years ago when she was at her prime? She admired him silently from behind her mask, wishing that what she had at home was a man like this.

He danced towards her as soon as the drummers lowered the tempo of the drums, and he whispered in her ears, “You are beautiful. Are you from around here?”

What was she to say? She was in a mask anyway, and who would know that she was the one? It has been so long since she had such fun. She has forgotten what it felt like to be wooed, to be wanted. She was exhilarated.

She began to spin around him dreamily, sweetly, and did she spin so delightfully. She hopped rhythmically around him, first to the left and then to the right and then rocked her waist, softly. She spun around him again, closed her eyes and began her beautiful but complicated adowa pattern.

At first, she was as gentle as a baby breeze. Then she began to dance feverishly, as the drums heated up, daring the male dancer to compete with her.

adowa-2013

Image not mine. Image may be protected by copyright.

And then just when he began to spin back, to match her step for step, to jump into the air, she stopped dancing, looked straight at his mask as soon as his feet touched the ground again, and taking advantage of the lowered drum beats, she whispered:

“Dompease. I come from Dompease.”

“Nobody told me there was such a lovely dancer here in Dompease,” he whispered back.

The master drummer had noticed the chemistry between the two dancers, and so he began to communicate love messages through the drums:

Onua bεεma, wo pε obaa no anaa?

Brother, do you like the woman?

Kudum Kudum

The male dancer lifted his hand towards the drummer and hit his fist in his palms, to show that he was enjoying the drumming. The dancers began a more powerful pattern and the crowd went hysteric, for they have never seen such dance steps before, and they thought the dancers were spectacular, so they shouted:

Sa! Sa! Sa!

Dance! Dance! Dance!

Then the drummers beat their drums gently, once more, and she asked him where he was from. Was he from anywhere around? He wondered whether he should say yes but he knew he must be careful.

“No,” he replied, huskily. “I am from Kuntunase.”

“Oh, that far? You mean you have come all the way from Kuntunase just to partake in this dance?”

“I was invited by my friends. To watch the festival.”

Kudum Kudum

Kudum Kudum

Ku dan dan kudu

Ku dan dan kudu

Kudu

Kudu

Ku dan dan kudum

Ku dan dan kudum

(To be continued)

*

IMG_20200608_014635_489

Agnes Gyening-Asiedu, the writer of Masquerade Adowa Dancers.

Agnes Gyening-Asiedu loves to write.

Her story for children, Aku and Her Ice Cream, was published by African Storybook and facilitated by the British Council in Abuja, Nigeria.

Her first storybook for young adults, My Nightmare, won the 2017 CODE’s Burt Award for Ghanaian Young Adult Literature.

Agnes also loves traveling, cooking, sewing and reading.

She currently runs her own business, and lives in Accra, Ghana with her husband.

 

 

*

Love,

AishaIs.

– North Kaneshie; Early hours of Saturday, 8th June 2020.

*

Disclaimer:

Featured Image and all other images in this blog post are not mine; images may be protected by copyright.

For Naa Amanua Ankrah, Mother Mine.

There is only one person who can tell me “I love you” and “Leave there” in one breath, in one word.

Saah 1

I know only one person who can call me “Sheilla” and it does not feel foreign…

There is only one person who can remind me that my waist beads need changing, and at that same instant, this person has more than enough new strings of beads and thread and all, ready, to do the new beading.

For me.

I know only one person who can play and laugh, cry and worry, pray and work, all with full and earnest zeal, all at the same time.

There is only one person (alive) who can call me “Ishe”, easy and free, with nothing seeming forced or stolen, without any shadow of anything seeming out of place,  with nothing at all feeling like a fraud or camouflage.

Just like that.

I know only one person who sees a bra or some fancy dress – anything to the tune of an article of clothing – and immediately imagines and knows beyond any telling and instinct that I am the only person who the designer and maker of that piece of clothing had in mind…

There is only one person who, once upon an instance, chased me for almost forever and finally when she got hold of me, she remembered too late, she remembered all over again that she just cannot spank me, that she just cannot bring herself to spank me.

That she cannot even bring herself to pretend to spank me.

Saah5

I know one person who will remember that the ripe plantain portion of the cooking is for Aisha, and in the midst of every dish exotic and embellished, she will know beyond knowledge itself that Aisha will (always) choose the corn and fish end of it all.

There is only one person who will do or undo my hair, who will see and help me get fitted in a dress or similar, and she will not be afraid to forget that I am no child – no small child, I mean.

No doll, in fact.

I know only one person who would visit me too frequently (while I’m away from home) that I would need to beg and give her reasons upon promises why she needed not come visiting me that often, that she really needed not come checking on me far too often.

There is only one person who can get herself worked up in worries about me, worries because anything as nothing as as ants and dust are ‘worrying’ me.

Worked up with worry that is just not her own.

Saah 3

I know one person that (my sisters and) I bypassed all her names and invented a name unique to her and peculiar to all others, a name for her and only her, a name she did not, does not, does not look like she ever will mind.

There is only one person who will call me “Aisha” and I never need to turn and look to be sure who called and why – with never any need to be sure of anything at all.

Only one living person.

I know only one person who would mindlessly sacrifice her youth and sweat, who would pour all of her stubborn love and unflinching presence for me, even if it means setting aside (her) other loves, even if it means breaking and looting into her stores for the future, even if it is to her own hurt and lack and shame and worse.

There is only one person who I will never be able to return – to even, ever, begin to pay back – the milk and pillar, the honey and rock, such kindnesses and all over again, more of these and all others like them that she has been, and continues to be.

To me.

I know only one person who can call me on phone and by (her) asking only “Aisha, what have you eaten today?”, she would have asked her “How-are-you-s?” and a thirty and thousand and more other questions.

There is only one person who when I sit to count my lot of blessings, I have to pause, ponder and count and count again and one more time and another.

One more time and again and never too many.

Saah 2

There is only one Naa Amanua Ankrah.

And she is not only *The Eyes (That See) For The Nation/ People, she is not only **The One Who Fights To Redeem The Nation/People.

This Naa Amanua Ankrah, she also is the Queen and Mother, the immense and great Good, the ever-giving and never-ending Love that God gave and did and showed me.

That Queen and Mother, that Good and Love that is called Naa Amanua Ankrah, today is the day she first happened – on this side of life and eternity, at least.

And I choose to bless her ***today (too) with the boundless Person of Father God Himself.

 

Love,

AishaLovesToo.

– Monday, 3rd September 2018; Dansoman, Accra.

 

*

*The name Amanua is derived from the Akan (Akwamu) expression ‘ɔman (no) aniwa‘, which can be translated as the ‘the seer of / the eyes of the nation‘.

**For the Otublohum clan of the Ga people in Ga Mashi, where my Mother hails from, the appellation (known as ‘sabla‘ in Ga, and ‘mmrane‘ in Akan) for the name Amanua is ɔko(m)afo ajeman‘, which loosely means ‘the one who fights for/to redeem the nation’. Ajeman may also be spelled Agyeman(g).

***An earlier version of this post first appeared as a Facebook post on my wall, on Saturday 1st September 2018, my Mother’s birthday.

 

 

 

 

A Cocktail of Loves in Poems, Prose and Some.//…alL ‘thrObs deserVe onE…!

They say it is the month of Love: February. Today: the exact day in said month.

Among other things, I like to think of, to call myself a Lover of Love. And, so, Love has always been in generous doses, been a healthy deal here at Nu kɛ Hulu (Water and Sun).

And because there should be no such thing as too much Love, because too much true Love should never hurt anyone, I bring you, Reader Dear, a cocktail of Love pieces…

A cocktail – poetry, prose, prose-fiction, creative non-fiction:

*       *       *

*

What for?

For what Thing have oaths been broken, laws come to no use, paradises been lost, selves ceased to be, wars raged and been waged, worlds toppled over and feuds fueled or even, been started?

What same Thing will humankind – with alL their possessions and statuses – never tire of hearing,of experiencing, of giving and if granted, never tire of receiving in portions and folds, once and again and over and all again?

LoveCokctail 3

Picture mine: After a Sunday church service –  in front of my home door, somewhere in Accra.Ghana; Sunday, September 16, 2018

For what one Thing have yokes been broken, wounds been bound, hearts known healing, shores been recovered, worlds bloomed anew, and collective tongues found or even, been first formed?

What single Thing have poem upon story and many a song been made and continue to be made for and about – all of which are – and will never grow stale and silent in the ears and very often, in the very soul of humankind?

For what?

 

II  *

Consummation by Aisha Nelson

the barrier
falls flat
still and stale

the wall
grinds into clots
of grit and water
just by a drizzle
not rain

the bud
flaunts its secrets
of spikes and flesh
due to a tickle
of dew

LoveCokctail 4

Picture mine: At a night ceremony, an anniversary –  Dansoman, Accra.Ghana; Saturday, November 17, 2018

blood-frothed thrObs of passion
scent-strung beads of sweat

And behold
you are not ashamed
not impregnable

But stand naked
vulnerable
in love

 

 

III  *

…But some Love can be like that.

Some Love can cry and work Itself into a kind of death, and yet, and yet when It gets all that It has been longing and dying for, all on platter after forever a platter and with every necessary accessory, what will this Love do?

It will go cold or comatose or worse at the sudden getting and having of all these Its heart-shredding, soul-gorging desires.

LoveCokctail 5

Picture mine: At a beach to reflect, write and such –  around Labadi, Accra.Ghana; Sunday, December 2, 2018.

It will go mute and numb with the wonder of prayers that get answered with such jarring humour and dramatic flourish; with the fear of how It came to deserVe this wondrous giving; with stubborn hesitation of how-in-God’s-universe It could have been worthy of such giving, such generous return of a meager love It even barely gave.

And when this Love, some Love does get over Its mute and numb, It plays too shy or too afraid or too careful or too careful and too afraid and too shy to let the first words gather form in Its mind, put on soul in Its heart, roll down Its tongue, slip out of Its mouth…

Is some Love not like that?

 

IV  *

CloudYou! – #TheSeedling

water
has curious personality

sun
is filtered-fine goodness

corn
needs no kneading

fish
sates at mere sight

LoveCokctail 6

Picture mine: On my way to go meet up and dine with the L.O.V.E. called Mother –  the high and clear blue skies somewhere in Accra.Ghana; Sunday, September 30, 2018

and
you should have been

the fun, the
blue hue
in that cloud

the onE right
there, yes

the One…

 

V  *

…Yoofi had been praying about Ewurasi since since. Perhaps, Prayer was all he did. Either he always failed at Watching or he would not even know what it is.

And when he thought about it all, he realized Ewurasi had meant something by all those little, sometimes silly, gestures:

Yoofi always saw Ewurasi off after each church service, right to her house gate. Many times, he turned around and found her still standing, watching his back as he went. Yoofi only smiled and waved Ewurasi another goodbye. Always.

Yoofi and Ewurasi did hold hands, sometimes. But thrice their hands accidentally brushed each other’s. Something not-exactly-odd about this made Ewurasi tremble with a curious quiver in her breathing. The carnal hung thick and fat in the air between them. Ewurasi’s face fell with a shame that did not seem to belong to her. Yoofi cleared his throat, with careful, measured intent. His lips flattened and widened until they lost every semblance of a curve. His cheeks thinned over the beautiful roundness of his jaw bones. Yoofi cleared his throat again, relaxed the flesh on his face and soon, said carnality, the block of tension, sublimed.

Yoofi and Ewurasi shared many things – sometimes, very personal things. Twice, he gave Ewurasi his handkerchief. Ewurasi washed, ironed, perfumed and returned it to him. Yoofi only raised his brows at what he probably thought was a doubly lame surprise. A contrived smile and a blunt ‘Thank you’, and Yoofi walked away.

LoveCokctail 7

Picture mine: After a Sunday church service –  in front of my home door, somewhere in Accra.Ghana; Sunday, September 16, 2018

Yoofi and Ewurasi talked a lot together. Once she told a joke about how some Christian brother tried proposing to a sister:

‘Sister, I really really want to be there with you’, said the brother, a little too boldly.

‘Where is there?’

‘There. I mean there…’ he simply reiterated.

The sister, she feared that the brother would think her un-spiritual to have forgotten all about it. Nervous, she quickened her pace, but not without redeeming her reputation – saving the face of her spirituality.

‘Oh, sorry! You mean the upcoming revival. Sure, it will be powerful. It will be mega. I will see you there, right? So yes, I will see you. There.’

In the end, Ewurasi was hurt, more than for just sharing this joke. She had her reasons. And Yoofi did not find the joke funny. He could not find its crust. He too had his reasons. Ewurasi felt the joke was out of place. She felt like the sister in the joke. And she could not tell if Yoofi thought her – too – un-spiritual after all or very silly or slyly suggestive. Or all of these. Or more and worse.

As for Yoofi, the joke scratched a delicate part of him about his inaction – or was it silence? For he called Ewurasi many sweet names and walked and talked with her many times over. Yoofi told Ewurasi his dreams – his wishes and revelations and everything in between – but Yoofi never said to Ewurasi the three magic words, together, and in the correct order:

Ilove and you.

*

L.O.V.E!,
As always,
Aisha.

Thursday, 14th February, 2019; Dansoman, Accra Ghana.

 

LoveCokctail 8

Picture mine: At a beach to reflect, write and such –  around Labadi, Accra.Ghana; Sunday, December 2, 2018.

CloudYOU! – #TheHarvest (Part 9:End)

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

***

 …and for *Ehanom…

the
day before
today, I watched One
Day, perhaps, another
time too many. I don’t
remember much of
today’s corn and fish but I
still have the taste of the
millet and milk in my mouth,
perhaps, again, because
it’s the last…They say

cloudyou ehanom canoe and gh flag

Photo mine. For the First and Best in the Detail; For this Love and Place, called Ghana – and Beyond…: fishing nets on a sea bridge at the beach somewhere around the Lighthouse, Sempe , and the Brazil House of the Tabom People, all of Ga Mashi, (British) Accra. Circa September 2017.

the
day after today
is the last of one bundle of a
time and season – a Year, they
call it. I can’t tell
much of what that should
mean because I’ve survived, thrived
many times – much seasons,
much years; thrived many times of
many famines – such fates,
such lots – of You in many of

the
days of this dying year, this yet
another ending of a season…The list of
famines – the lots and fates – of You: the
generous and folds of your smile, the
beauty-s and butts of our jokes and oh!
the hues and blues of

cloudyou ehanom fishing nets and canoes on coast line

Photo mine. Harvest (and) After Harvest: fishing nets on a sea bridge at the beach somewhere around the Lighthouse, Sempe , and the Brazil House of the Tabom People, all of Ga Mashi, (British) Accra. Circa September 2017.

the
Cloud that you are
coming to mind,
coming to me, in
times and faces, in
thoughts and twirls, in
turns and shapes, in
things and places I never
could have gone asking for,
could have been prepared for. and see!

the
calculated madness, the
intelligent folly, the
uncomplicated Truth that
I am still at *this place, at
this time of harvest, and still
not sure, not knowing
anything at all about wanting
to be cured
of You
of You
of You
of You
of You

***

Love,

AishaLovesToo.

– Wednesday, 4th July 2018; North Kaneshie, Accra.

*Ehanom means ‘this place’ in Akan, Twi.

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

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.

CloudYOU! – #TheBlossom (Part 7)

This poem is the sixth in my CloudYOU! series. Learn more about the series in the Introduction. Read the first, second, third, fourth and fifth poems from the previous posts.

 

The day before today, the day

I made
talk of the cream and soft crack of corn
with old okra and fine fish,
talk of the grit of grain in the thick of milk,

I slipped
in and out of sleep,
with thoughts of You,
with reads of Lahiri – but mostly
with of thoughts and loves of You –
wafting in and around my head.

I don’t
know why I write today but

I do
know You should know
nothing much has changed,

31235049_1811918348860656_6164188156150153216_n

Picture mine: The sky with a coconut tree close by, a roof and a mango tree behind it, a telecommunication ‘plant’ standing farther and too tall and straight, and iron rods jutting out of a building-in-progress.  –– Wednesday, 11th April, 2018.

nothing that
You or a Cloud
with the scent of water, if not
a cup pouring over with same

nothing that
You or a Cloud
with the break of sun, if not
the shine and gold of same

nothing that
You or a Cloud
with a hue that is blue and
true and just You

nothing that
these three or two
cannot easily solve,
cannot freely give.

 

*

Love,

AishaLovesToo.

– Tuesday, 29 May 2018; North Kaneshie, Accra.

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

CloudYOU! – #TheBud (Part 6)

This poem is the fifth in my CloudYOU! series. Learn more about the series in the Introduction. Read the first, second, third, and fourth poems from the previous posts. 

 

the day before this new one was long and soft with
Water. corn and fish happened, in parts. long and
soft with soup with okra – yes, with okra in the mix.
soft and long with grains – in granules, in milk. soft
and long with greens with flesh, texture and
character thick with salt and age and better

but
I digress: I write today to say
that the long and soft of yesterday
was well met with the plenty of Sun
and enough – just enough, no more
than enough

Blue. this new
day is not spent –
not fully spent –
yet, but

 

30530958_1798411570211334_2764287461906448384_n

Picture mineI, overlooking the part of Assokoro (Abuja, Nigeria) where I was, from my hotel room, during my participation in the West Africa Story Making Workshop, hosted by the British Council and facilitated by African Story Book, an initiative of Saide. – Sunday, 11th March 2018.

I am here, wondering
why the sun is playing
shy with its shine,
wondering when,
wondering whether

You
will come, whether Cloud and Blue
will come colour things up – everything.
Every. Thing. up – today. meanwhile, and

while Sun still lasts, I go
out to drink Its fluid gold
and round warmth – for as for
Water, It always finds Its way…

 

 

*

Love,

AishaLovesToo.

– Thursday, 26 April 2018; North Kaneshie, Accra.

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

 

CloudYOU! – #TheSeedling (Part 4)

This poem is the third in my CloudYOU! series. Learn more about the series in the Introduction. Read the first and second poems from the previous posts. 

water
has curious personality

sun
is filtered-fine goodness

corn
needs no kneading

fish
sates at mere sight

Accra London Market

Photo mine. A scene at the London Market, around the Korle Lagoon, Bukom and James Town, all of Ga Mashi or British Accra.                            Circa May 2017.

and
you should have been

the fun, the
blue hue
in that cloud

the one right
there, yes

the One…

 

*

Love,

AishaLovesToo.

– Monday, 16 April 2018; North Kaneshie, Accra.

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