Ten Thousand Chant Songs


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Ten Thousand Chant Songs

why have we ruined the chant songs
in the stage of our mother’s breasts?
why have we bought rotten kola nuts
when we had just a night to offer libation?

we have stood behind this river for far too long
and the prayers have not been offered! 
we have watched for our fathers’ apparitions
and not even the priest has an idea of their airs.

i, abeiku,
the son of the thirsty hunter
knock with his teeth
asking why the Gods have left us
to this fate of flies

Nana Arhin Tsiwah
© All Rights Reserved, 2016

WHEN POETRY DEFINES THE SOUL


A MAN OF DREAMS; HIS MEMOIR, HIS SPEECH AND CONSCIENCE OF THE MASSES

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It was a dream that we all shared since our fathers’ spermatozoan fertilised us into foetuses in our mothers’ skins, gestation and breast suckle never left us brains to die— of death that gradually groomed, by the fall of knotted Civilisation. To be better in our umbrella euphoria, we sold with every minature of measure— our pride and accentuated auras.

With one hand tucked into the rat-holes of our pockets, this our dream has rained grilled ice-corn. From this fantasy-filled calabash, of renovated polythene-bags; our story as “admirers-of-palm wine” shall linger in the memories of our beloved nations. Death has eventually remaind an insignificant reminder inside our mindset of coffins.

Confined by illusory aggressiveness, echoes and poisoned ironies, we hold in peace this tale; from love and death, in death-pikes and salvation outbreaks.

‘Brother Alfred’, our Holiest-of-Men, did you know that water inspires the soul more than alcohol when it settles at bottom without laced log?

Listen fellow countrymen, let your armoured altruism tongues bring home from those masqueraded political canvases— framed anathema— a certain calculated symphonious naked-peace.
I have seen death thrash us apart. It occured in a dream (though it was teleported).
Like metamorphosed historics, “it is not in the joy of the ladle that the palm nut-soup should jubilate in festivity”. Rather, it’s in…

An innocent childless stomach bemoans not the dead! Call it the coming (virtuous reincarnation), not a dancing fresh lake of fishes and submarines. For they, the dead and the childless, have together become omened aristocratic kola sellers.

After Africa was denied her uncoloured eyelid supplies, eyelids of Divinities; Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors, Ancestresses, Oracles, Spiritualities and Fantasied Heritages: child o’ child of a helpless calling -seated by sadness and softened by tears, be moved not by pains and triangular tribulations. Be moved instead by angular moderation of your ancestors’ footprints.

Timber loggers have sent away the carpenter’s tools. They have denied his family the workmanship of sweat. Sweat that leaked from our Motherland and fell into the bosom of his Fatherland. Yesterday her speech read of sings and wonders of herdsmen. Herdsmen who lived by the joy of guns and pull of bullets. Today her speech from across the Sahara to the Savanna has read mountainous plaques, pains and bitter finger-licks.

….Tomorrow her speech shall read of genetically codified tales. Tales that leave the wise by the roadside. Tales that leaves the believer to die through the annals of the morn. In the morn, mournings of selfishness have given birth to malnourished seeds. Big heads, weaker eyes and impaired visions. If this tomorrow could be lucky, if this day could be of banana peels— without much to be lifted from raining-bows, then we shall incognito affirm this song on the lips of ‘Saints and Dreamers’.

I don’t want to be tested before time comes dancing to the very songs Chris Okigbo sung of. I don’t want to write ahead of a bruised fate before this memoir lands me on a traveler’s bequeathed gift like Kofi Awoonor. But until another tomorrow comes in a seductive pronouncement, let my Africa avenge this catapulted quest of our man, a young cocoyam leaf, that sits by the ripened sun of the East and of the budding moon in our Hearts.

© Nana Arhin Tsiwah

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