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A limping leaf waiting for rain

At first the sun rose in her eyes
she was a nymph in fairyland
the sun has been plucked out of her eyes
to her, beauty is dirt and pain mixed together
why can’t alkaline and water make her clean
or a bottle of aspirin would exorcise her pain?
maybe if she drank Holy water
or prayed in tongues, eyes would be opened
to see how messed up she is and redeemed
she might as well be a modern day female version of Isaac
who followed Abraham to the mountains for a sacrifice
with no knowledge of being the sacrifice, holy or unholy
she wants to feel loved and love
know and understand love for what it is and should be
but her horns are trapped in the bushes of her past
so she can’t ram down this wall of low self esteem
at 5 she loved the choruses of laughter he drew
from her soul as his fingers strummed her body with tickles
at 26 she quivers at the imaginations of how many times her innocence
was stolen with those same 10 fingers between 8 and 12
he told her, she brings him sunshine
but what sun casts dark clouds and sheds rains when it shines
now she is a living grave,
with no window or door to escape this entrapment of unworthiness
she fears the darkness but has no courage to turn on her light
she is a limp leaf waiting for rain

To love is to live
to love and be loved is to live fully
he is a star with his twinkle fading
his notion of love and trust is constipated
he believes being indifferent to love shown him is the norm
he is a sheep in wolf’s clothing
they say it is a phase
but the demons he faces are buried deep
in the marrows of his bones of his soul
that bleeds out his buried pain
calm on the outside
but broken like the walls of Jericho on the inside
every man must carry his cross they say
but how many crosses can one man bear?
he looks whole but is torn in pieces
like the garment of the savior shredded at Golgotha
is not the new creation he must be?
does what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
apply to a living dead?
at 6, her arms was the fortress he ran to
when nightmares came seeping into his pleasant dreams
at 29, he repels love from any woman as though it is a plague
because at 8 he was trapped by a living monster he thought was his refuge
she told him he was a man
her man under the cover of the night or when they were alone
but he was just a boy
now he is a living grave,
with no window or door to escape this entrapment of unworthiness
he fears the darkness but has no courage to turn on her light
he is a limp leaf waiting for rain

stkg 2018©

 

stkg 2018©14da03c180f34f31947c4ff4902d0044_18

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in Poems

 

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‘Sofi’- The Uncircumcised Curser

‘Sofi’- The Uncircumcised Curser

When a good man is planted in his grave, he does not germinate into a tree to give shade to his loved ones. Today we stand at this cemetery weeping as we lay to rest one of the realest people I have ever known in my entire life. The choir sings melodious tunes as though they we sent down by God himself as part of his disbelief that my dear friend has passed away. People from far and near have come to pay their homage to this great man. Tributes have been poured forth from mouths like water gashing out of the rock Moses struck in the wilderness. Even the President of the country is right here at the cemetery with us. Cameras are clicking and reporters are scribbling things in their notepads. This is indeed the funeral of a national hero. The priest raises his hand and a dead silence falls on the cemetery. Then with the trowel in his hands, he digs into the earth, pours the dirt on the polished oak wood coffin and says

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust.

Well, I’m sure if wishes were horses, my friend ‘Sofi’ would wish his funeral was what I described above. But alas, just six of us are present to lay him to rest. The priest who I had to pay to perform the burial rites, the four young men who are the pallbearers, me and his one-eyed dog that looks like offspring of a bow-legged crossed-eyed bitch and one of her stray and starved lovers.  I met ‘Sofi’ as he’s popularly called throughout the village when I was in Middle School form 2. We were just being ourselves that day in the classroom when this man walks into the classroom. He looked dark and hard bodied like a copra that had its husk peeled off the shell and rubbed with a little bit of palm oil. When his shadow fell on the doorway, it was like a sculptured dark cloud had just been dropped right there. He walked in, scanned the room and walked to the empty desk at the back of the class and sat down without uttering a word. We looked at each other’s faces puzzlingly as though the answer to the question of who he was would pop out from someone’s face.  Then our class teacher entered the class and introduced him as our classmate. As the term progressed he and I became friends. I was the brains and he was the muscle. However he’s association with me had absolutely no effect on his intellectualism as he exhibited during one of our technical skills lessons.  A shovel was drawn on the blackboard and he was asked to identify what tool if was. Without hesitation, he shouted ‘Sofi’ with the confidence of a politician who was sure he had won an election and a smile that was like a piece of roasted yam that was puffed open by heat. The whole class erupted into a laughing zoo and thus, the name Sofi was conferred on him

The pursuit and the desire to make my life a better one took me out of the village whilst Sofi remained but whenever I was in town I made it a point to visit him at his home. Six months before his death, I heard that Sofi had won the lottery. It was said that, on the day he cashed in his win, he had a big party at home and had three fat Billy goats killed and prepared. Laughing gourds of foaming palmwine were order from Agbeko the famous tapper and the famous Minamiwoe wanyo boborbor troupe came to perform.  It is said that even the coronation party of the village chief was no match for Sofi’s party. It was under this party that my friend Sofi laid eyes on Dzidedi and like the saying goes, Wine comes in at the mouth and love comes in at the eye. On my next visit to the village, I was told Sofi was getting ready to be married. Which Sofi?  is it the Sofi I know who avoided women as a plague because his love advances was rejected by the young national service teacher posted to our school when we were in form four? How could a forty-eight year old man want to marry a twenty-two year old girl? Weren’t there more mature single women around? Truth be told, when I met Dzidedi, I was awed as though I had just seen the best magic trick performed. Her gait was rhythmic, her buttocks jiggled like that maracas during a charismatic praise session with each step she took and her breast looked firm like two freshly dug yam mounds laying side by side in the loose blouse she wore. And I told myself I understood why Sofi had fallen in love.

I watched in amazement how she came to sit of Sofi’s laps, played with his greying hair, tickled his ear lobes and both giggled. Instinctively I felt there was something weird about the relationship and when Sofi was seeing me off, I told him how I thought it was not a good idea to get married to Dzidedi. One could virtually see fumes coming out Sofi’s ears and nostrils like the exhaust pipe of Busy Boy’s bone shaker that traveled from the village to Ho twice every week. He accused me of being jealous of his success and progress in life and that I had just proven to him that I was not worthy of his friendship. I apologized to him for poking my nose into his affairs and went home.  And that was the last time I saw or spoke to my friend until I saw him hanging from a nylon rope on the huge mango tree at the entrance of the path that led to the farms.

It is said that, Dzidedi and her young lover duped him of his money under the pretense of helping him invest it in some gold business. Then one afternoon, he caught them in bed and when he confronted them, she ridiculed him publicly by calling him a foolish, impotent uncircumcised bed wetter.   Not able to withstand the laughing-stock he had become in the village, Sofi decided to end his life but not before he had walked stark naked from one end of the village to the other with his huge uncircumcised manhood and drooled scrotal sacs dangling left and right as he rained curses on Dzidedi and her lover saying that even the holiest of waters blessed by the Pope and angels would not render the curses impotent.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2017 in Fiction

 

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Our Truth?

Our Truth?

The fragile stray dog is at it again
Licking its lover’s arse and howls to announce it
Now, we are supposed to follow suit
Lies are prostituted as virgin truths
which we foolishly enter a bidding war for
Blind to tongues sharper than bamboo blades slicing reputations
Our hard work is rendered valueless like gecko shit
Every now and then, they set fire to corn husks beneath our pot
And tell us it will cook our food
Then they hum commands at us because
Their mouths are stuffed with praise songs hearts know nothing of
Before our naked eyes, our progress is held by the neck and choked
And told to spit out patriotic songs rather than phlegm
Sadly we have become strangers in our own home
A position we are to gladly accept

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2017 in Poems

 

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Thoughts

Thoughts
Tonight I thought of you
Of how it would feel like
To lay together in the open and let the stars gaze at us
With your head on my chest
Listening to my heart’s soprano
As I run my hand through your hair
Between us, a loud silence that speaks
The language of our untamed love
Tonight I thought of you
Of whether the moon has relayed the message
Of how I miss you
Like a slut misses her period
My mind is pregnant with thoughts of you
This labor of love can be tough at times
So please come deliver me
Come, set my heart at ease
Tomorrow I will think about you
About your beaming smile that the sun carbon copied
I will wonder if you are also thinking about me
If your heart dances and smiles because of me
And whether just like me you drink from our memories’ fountain
I will think of all the things I want to tell you and why
Then conclude that, the best way to do so
Is to love you
s.k.g
 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Poems

 

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War Song

War Song

Chant your war songs

Beat your war drums

Call out your ‘enemies’

Accuse them of the atrocities you committed

When you spilled the blood of your infant dreams

And let it be the precipitate of the war you wage

 

Chant your war songs

Beat your war drums

Draw your weapons and charge

Chase the shadows of your infant dreams that haunt you

Convince yourself that getting blown like debris in the wind

Is so right because everyone seems to follow the wind’s suit

Then, swear to yourself that being different is a luxury you cannot afford

 

Chant your war songs

Beat your war drums

Display your trophy of self-contempt under the disguise of smiles

Call yourself the phantom slayer and have songs composed for this

Brag about how you were a badass on the battlefield

Grasp for air and pause for dramatic effects as you tell the stories

But behind the scenes curse the fright your own shadow gives you.

 

Chant a new song

Change the rhythm of your drum beat

You have life, there is hope

Reunite with your inner self and chase after the elephants of your dreams

Hunt them with patience, for it is a mother of a beautiful child

Let your imaginations travel far and wide

Because traveling is learning

Refuse to plant your dreams by the roadside

And do not let them eat your food and forget your name

Always remember, no one ever succeeded without making a mistake or two.

Selikem T.K Geni 2016 ©

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2016 in Poems

 

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A tot of my Soul

A tot of my Soul

Two days ago I cried for young girl who had spread her wings as she did the fire dance

For very soon she would wish she could suffocate her flames

because too many men want to stick their hands into her stove

Even before she can learn to harness the power of her flames

Yesterday, I wailed for a young boy who did not know the power of his tongue and hands

He did not believe he had to speak life to his dreams as he builds them with his hands

Rather he grasps at the straws of other people’s dreams

Because he does not recognize the keys to unlock his dreams in his hands

This morning, I saw the pride of a man dragged through the market

With his fellow men lined up at both ends of the street

poking sticks at his dying dignity with charred compassion

which was poured into a gutter so it be washed away with the debris

This afternoon, I saw a mother’s compassion turn cold and ugly

She said the child was not her’s so she could not be his fairy godmother

Not even for a second so humanity could have hope

After all everyone for himself, God for us all

This Evening, I sit and mourn for my generation

Our present stares down on us as though we have a bad youthful marriage

Sons and daughters of warrior kings and queens who mark time rather than move forward

So let me pour out a tot of my soul to you so you gulp it down

Let the syncopation of memories’ heart beat draw you closer to the truth

Let the smell of burnt memories remind us of who we were and are supposed to be

For we are a generation of greatness now struck down by the disease of self-centeredness

What happened to our communal spirit that made us sit very close enough that we touched each others’ needs?

What happened to tearing a soft part of yourself and handing it over to others

Watch as they mold it and hand it over to you better than they found it?

What happened to the good life being the smiles we placed on each others’ faces

And the joy we etched deep in souls?

So let me pour you a tot of my soul to gulp down

Let me make it two and maybe, just maybe you’ll get drank enough

for this poem to resound in the ears of your heart

©Selikem Tenu. K Geni

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Poems

 

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Who we are

Who we are

This is for the one whose pride now lives at the refuse dump

And is constantly receiving hair cut advice from the vultures

The one whose dignity has been trampled on so many times

its closest relationship is with the patch ground on which it lies

This is for the one who has been told many times that beauty run

in the opposite direction when they first met

and that her ugliness drives the devil to accept Christ as his Lord and personal Savior

This is for the one whose fears have become visions

tied to the cloth of reality

This is for the one who feels lost in the maze of life

And feels his progress is taking him nowhere

This is for you

This is for me

This is for us

Wait!

Stop!

Breathe in!

Breathe out!

Smile!

Relax!

Take a good look at yourself, you are here for a reason

Let self-love be the wind the glides your sail to the land of self-worth

Gather your tools and make love to the fertile soils of your dreams

Let the refuse dump be compost for the flowers of your dreams

to bloom and pour perfume forth on the pestilence of ill advice.

Let your dignity’s domineering shadow be the only thing the patch ground sees

Fuel that light in your heart and let your beauty shine

For you are beautiful than you imagine

And please remember, you are the child of the centipede

Losing a limb will never cripple you.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Poems

 

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Hush

Hush

Dedicated to all the Women who are QUIET about their ABUSE
Hush, woman don’t you cry
I am the last person to whom you will say goodbye.
So she cocoons herself in pain she tells no one about

 

Hush Woman don’t cry.
I love you that is why I beat you when you go wrong
I did not pay so much bride price for you to make such flimsy mistakes
So she accepts pain as love and believes she deserves it all.

 

Hush Woman don’t cry
I am the Lord of this house and so my word is final
Any action that contradicts mine deserves punishment
I am your god and you must bow to me
So she worships him out of fear and calls it love

 

Hush Woman don’t cry
You deserve all these, you stupid slut
Don’t even think of leaving me
If you do, I will hunt you down like the rat you are and kill you
This is not a threat, it is an assurance.
So she locks herself up in this doorless jail, believing she is unworthy of true love

 

Do not hush woman, please cry out.
Do not let your silence be where you bury your pain
Good times are not meant to be seasonal
Unlock that shackles in your mind because you deserve every bit of happiness
Break out of that cocoon of pain and fly out spreading those beautiful wings
There is nothing to be ashamed of, so speak out
Before your hush and hidden tears, leads you to the grave

Selikem Tenu K. Geni 2016 ©

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2016 in Poems

 

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Happiness

Happiness

Your gait is a prelude to seduction
Your presence the cause of riots in my emotions
Burning down all the fragments of the walls i have built
You let out the devil in me through the door
And the angel in me sneaks in through the windows
You leave me bare like a naked flame
Burning in the pureness of the moments I confess
Things hitherto I was so oblivious to
Yes I am guilty of the things I now feel
Like a sinner seeking salvation I come to thee
You have become my ministry of Love
And I willingly let you lead me on

Your grace is a prelude to hunger
Your gentleness the cause of a thirst
That makes me long for a deep satisfaction
You make the imp in me repent to a jolly good fellow
And bring me to my knees like Muslims salaaming at sunset
With my unstable countenance protruding like their buttocks
Then i begin to speak in tongues like a priest in trance
I can swear I have seen heaven
Seen the golden streets and paced upon them
I can swear I have walked beyond cloud nine
Swear my foot prints are now etched on the clouds
And experienced real madness in sanity

All my life I have felt you but only for as long as I wanted to
I have been too busy chasing the elusive bird of unknown dreams
Yet each time you find me when all seem like a mirage
You sooth my pains even when I’m stuck in the gallows of self pity
But now the self placed specks have been taken off my eyes
So now I choose you
I choose to strive for the best
I choose to standout and make my mark
I choose to fight for what is right and do what is right
I choose to look beyond obstacles and see success
I choose to live life to it’s fullest
I choose you HAPPINESS

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Poems

 

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The Ugly Duckling

The Ugly Duckling

Aside the new building that had sprang up in place of the mud house that housed his family, the old neighborhood had not experienced any significant changes. The road was still as dusty as always and Castle du Assiam as they called back in the days still sat on top of the hill casting a menacing shadow on the other houses at the foot of the hill. The new paint work made it stand out like the clean shaven head of a big headed child. Memories began to trickle down Kuuku’s mind and all he could let out was a chuckle. As the taxi wiggled itself up the hill like a pepper worm, it’s body began to vibrate due to the bass from the music blurring out of the house. He remembered how he and his seven other siblings in their old but new dresses will line up at the gate of the Assiams during festive seasons to receive gifts of sweets, biscuits and squash from Mrs. Assiam. He had always admired that woman and it was going to be great seeing her again. He just was not sure if she was going to make him out. As kids he remembered always being the bone of contention between Sika and her friends. There were times he even got ganged up on and beaten by her elder brother Jones and his friends just for being around her. One time it got so bad that, his Mother made him promise to stay away from any of the Assiams after he got home with a torn uniform and had two missing front teeth. Up till date he still remembered what she said that night as she nursed his wounds. ‘Kuu, when the lizard and its cousin the gecko decided to have a party a butterfly must avoid attending it no matter how enticing the invite is.’ Secretly he still maintained the friendship with Sika till she left for the UK after primary six and that was eighteen years ago. When he received a friend request from her two years ago on Facebook, he was not sure whether it was actually her. Even after accepting her friend request it would take him another two months to respond to messages she had sent and that was when their friendship rekindled. Over the next year they skyped almost every day with each other, and exchanged tons of messages via whatsapp. It was as though they were trying to cover lost grounds. Gradually his emotions began to gravitate towards love and so he told her how he felt about her. When she told him she couldn’t be with him, he felt sad but grateful that they were still very good friends. Deep in his heart he wished that things would change between them and was willing to be patient for this to happen. Two days ago, he received a phone call from an unknown local number and it was Sika. She said she had just arrived in Ghana and was inviting him for a party at her father’s house that weekend.

*************************************************************************************

Truth be told Kuuku was not sure whether he was doing the right thing or not. Going to this party meant opening closets he was not ready to open yet but as fate would have it Sika had insisted that he come at all cost because she had something important to tell him. Just as he got out of the taxi a saloon car speed towards him and nearly rammed him into the gate. Then a head pops out from the driver’s side and hauls cusses at him ‘idiot do you think this is your bedroom’. As the car drove past him into the house, Kuuku realized it was Max, the guy who was madly in love with Sika when they were kids. Indeed nothing had changed about his attitude. Smiling coyly to himself Kuuku entered the house and after scanning through the crowd walked to an empty table and sat down. A waiter walked up to him and asked what he cared for. Then a sweet voice gave a response from behind him

‘A mixture of Orange juice and pineapple juice spiced with a shot of vodka will do’ replied Sika to the waiter who was taking Kuuku’s order.

Smiling, Kuuku got up from his chair and hugged her knocking a few glasses off the table. He pulls away from the hug, looks at her from head to toe, signals her to do a three sixty turn and hugs her passionately again

‘God you look so stunning girl. Now I’ve realize how much I have missed you’ he whispered into her ears

Sika was lost in her own world in his arms. He smelled really nice and looked more handsome than she had imagined. Indeed this was the right time to be in his arms. Just then the music went off cutting and blurring out of the speakers was Max’s voice.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, Can we now have a speech from the lady of the moment my lovely wife Sika. Sika where are you? We are waiting.’

Wife? Wow! Reality has a way of handing rude awakening to the dreamy ones Kuuku thought to himself. Now everything was making sense. Embarrassed by Max’s attitude, Sika wished the ground would open its mouth and swallow her. What would Kuuku think of her now? As the crowd turned towards her and started clapping, Max rushed to her side and virtually dragged her to the microphone stand. With the microphone now in her hand she looked towards where Kuuku was standing, but he was no longer there. Her heart sunk and her feet began to wobble.

‘Errrm, Ladies and Gentlemen thanks for honoring my invitation. To set the records straight Max is my ex-husband who I think has had a little too much to drink. With that out of the way, Let’s have fun. DJ let the music play.’

Sika dropped the microphone and dashed towards the gate screaming

‘Kuuku! Kuu! Kuuku! Wait! Don’t goooooo…’

Just as she got to the gate she saw a taxi speed off. Overwhelmed by what had happened she broke down in tears. Now she has lost the one true love of her life thanks to Max. Just then she felt a tap on her shoulder she turned and it was Max. She felt like tearing him into pieces and scattering it at the four corners of the earth so that no one could piece him together. There are indeed some devils in one’s life that stick like a shadow.

‘Gosh, please get out of my life. Dear Lord, let this divine representative of stupidity vanish’ she yelled tearfully.

As she walked past him, Max grabbed her arm violently and she flinched in pain, then out of nowhere appeared Kuuku.

‘Charley, let go of her, you are creating a scene’ Kuuku retorted

Sika broke free from Max’s grip and rushed into Kuuku’s arms. Her tears rolled off her beautiful cheeks and hit his chest like pellets from a gun. He could feel a mixture of contradicting emotions emanating from them and somehow felt glad that she indeed had feelings for him that she was no longer willing to hide. Then from nowhere a punch landed squarely on his face from Max. Instinctively he Kuuku also threw a punch in Max’s direction but with Sika stuck in between them, he could not hit the target the way he wanted to. He rushed to Sika’s rescue and virtually picked her from the floor. A small crowd had gathered in front of the house during the scuffle and among them was Mr. Assiam. He signaled Kuuku to bring Sika into the home. As the two love birds walked past him, he smiled. Just then Max made a move towards the house but was stopped by Mr. Assiam.

‘Max, go home! You’ve caused enough mayhem for a night.’ With this said he turned and entered his house.

 
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Posted by on October 30, 2015 in Fiction

 

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HOPE

HOPE

Today I sat a few meters away from the door
And saw night birth day out of dawn’s amniotic fluid
Like the naked flamed buttocks of the early rising sun
Emerging from the bedsheets of clouds
Something lit up inside me
Then the beats of my heart and the rhythm of my thoughts
Caused the hands of my emotions to fondle my heart
Finally, I can feel it within my reach
My thoughts blush as it walks down their street
Anticipation drools from the mouth of my woken expectation
Hope has just found another victim and has wrapped its beautiful arms around me
images

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Poems

 

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Tell Her

Tell Her

 

When you see her, tell her I am tired

Tired of her running through the paths of my mind

Tell her, her charm’s gait has left indelible prints

That have stained the wings of the birds of my imagination

Etching their wing marks on the clouds as they soar higher than eagles

And glide to places far beyond

One thread for the needle, one love for the heart

We shall sew one fine garment

For the union of our hearts

Tell her that though the body is weak, the spirit is willing

Willing to tame the wild cravings of the body for a greater glory

Of owning the crown of her heart

And making her heart a castle fit for a king, Me.

images 1

When you see her, tell her I await her

On the corner of the street of my heart

Tell her she has knocked me down like a domino

And I’m drowning in her beauty

A beauty that sparks a light in my darkest moments

Like the ripe full moon’s reflection

Caught on the river with the skies lighted with patches

Of the bright bottoms of fireflies that dance to

The heavenly choruses of the toads and crickets

Tell her that though our elders say only a wise person can solve a difficult problem

I need no saving from the this problem

For she is the problem and the answer to the problem

Couple at park.

 

When you see her, tell her I love her

The canoe of my soul was lost on the sea of loneliness

But her virtuousness is the current that gently glides me home

Away from these deep waters of hopelessness

Into the Eden of her grace

Where her gentleness will lock me in a warm embrace

As she revives my soul with the taste of her lips

Tell that she is the only song my heart knows

The only song it will sing

The only food my heart craves for

The gourmet of love I feast on

Oooh Yes! Tell her I’m hers.

Tell her

Tell her I will always love her

imag

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Poems

 

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OLD SOLDEIR,THE PUNISHER

OLD SOLDEIR,THE PUNISHER

There was a loud hush across the court room as I stepped into the docket to defend myself. I do not remember that last time I smiled, for life had not given me too many chances to do so but here I was smiling sheepishly to the judge as he asked me whether there was anything I had to say before my sentencing since I had opted for no lawyer to defend me during this trail. Aside politicians, lawyers were the next people I loathed with a passion. How they can insist something is white when we all see is as black and still get away with this baffles me. Moreover the more money you have the more convincing your lawyer is and so someone will steal five fingers of plantain and get sentenced to 5 years in prison whilst our politicians steal our monies and go scot free. And so with a little shivery but firm voice these were my words before the sentencing.

‘Your Honor, I can still feel my hand still vibrating from the slap I gave the Member of Parliament on his face that floored him. For some awkward reason the accompanying pain in my knuckles feels sensational. All the anger that has built up within me over the years found an outlet and indeed it was unfortunate that it had to be his face. I can sense the surprise look on your faces but I think it was just the right time to put him in his place. I am old and may not understand your modern ways of life but I will not sit down any longer and see a small boy in the name of politics literally hang the under pants of his mother on a pole, fly it at full mast at the market place with pride, call his father impotent and expect people like me to clap for him. Nonsensical nonsense!! Your honor, pardon my French expression.

Your honor, I have served this country with my sweat and blood. At age 18 I was drafted into the army to go to fight in the world war. My testicles were pinched hard every week for a month to make sure I had no hernia and I was fit for battle before we were shipped of like a tin of sardines. Lives were lost on our way to India by ship and I saw friends’ dead bodies tossed overboard into the sea without paying them homage.

When we got to India, rumours went round among the Indians that we are cannibals, chop people and have tails So when we went to bathe in the streams, people asked us not to take our pants off in case they would be frightened by our tails. I survived all the derogatory names that came as a result of these rumours. In the Burmese jungle there was something we called tiger leech. It’s very small, very thin. If it gets to your body it sucks your blood and get bigger and bigger. So we used a cigarette end or a match on the under of that thing to take its fangs out. But if you don’t do that, but just pull it off, the fangs will stay within your body, rot in your skin and go bad – very bad.’

If you are in a war you forget everything. There was no time to pray. This jungle war was not a child’s play – it was something very dangerous, I have seen friends and acquaintances die with their intestines gushing out as though we are at an abattoir. I have choked on and somehow lost my sense of smell because of my exposure to the stench of burnt decomposing human flesh and lead that tore ones nose away from the freedom of fresh air. Experiencing war makes you a different person. You leave behind every civilian attitude, every gentle attitude that you ever had. You forgot … everything. After the war, they did not let us come home straight away. They gave us two good months, with money, to go to any part of India. It was something to refresh us, to let us come back to a human being. An action I still up till now do not understand.

Your Honor, when I came back, all the remunerations that were to be paid us were never paid. To make matters worse my wife whom I had married before my enlistment left me for Efo Dzidefo the corn mill operator behind the cathedral because she could not stand my screaming at night due to the nightmares. To make myself employable, I worked as a laborer on farms and paid for numerous private teachers to teach me

I have been called hideous names and hear rumours about myself that I knew nothing of and surprises me like a mouse caught in a trap just because of a bait of roasted fish head yet I have never for once reacted violently towards anyone in this community. But alas, your honor, the actions of the MP over the years has become the blisters on the soles of my feet that had dragged patience off my bed. I have seen governments come and go, I have met minister and MPs from different regimes but honestly speaking, the disrespect of this young man who can be my great grandson not only towards me but towards this entire community stinks like the flatulence of a pregnant woman who has had her fair share of boiled beings with egg and washed it down with a snack of ‘wagashi’ and ‘di na ta’ milkshake. Last election he promised to make sure the local LA school was fixed and stocked with the relevant textbook, he promised to make sure the was a scholarship for brilliant students from this village, he promised to fix the road for us and make sure we had good drinking water if we voted him as our MP. Me I do not trust him oooh because aside all the empty promises all he brought to us solicit for our votes was four bars of key soap. Your honor, four bars of keysoap for a community of four hundred people. After he won the elections, ask him when the last time he came here was or whether we have seen the shadows of his promise?

Now that it is time for another election he rides in his big car into this community that breastfed him into who he is, choking us with clouds of dust and comes blinking like a malfunctioning disco watch to solicit for votes.

Your honor if you are working very hard to look after a lean man who says he is a sickling and this man begins to win snoring contests against the plump you at night, then something is wrong somewhere. I do not regret slapping him. At age 88 there are quite a number of thing I regret in life but not slapping the idiot. In fact, If I get the chance again I will slap him or any other politician that takes the citizenry for granted. I am tired of all this nonsense and so your honor If you will sentence me make sure it is to death because at least there I will have my piece of mind.’

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Fiction

 

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We Have Lost a Song (Tribute to Kofi Awoonor)

We Have Lost a Song (Tribute to Kofi Awoonor)

We find ourselves at the confluence of tears and pride

Our feet and arms too weak to paddle us across the river of sorrow we drown in

The songbird that chirps the songs of our ancestral beauty has been shot down

And the wind echoes the deep silence it has left behind

The warmth in our songs has been stolen

Now the cold cloth of pain and loss embraces us

As though we share a common lineage

They have indeed poured bile on our tongues

But we are the sons and daughters of singing hunter

The great warrior whose potent weapon was his tongue

Which unfolded many leaflets of life’s songs

Hidden from every day’s eye

The hunter whose tongue was the anvil of on which

the rebirth of our songs was forged

The warmth of your voice that lingers in the ears of our hearts

Gives us hope as we carve your name in the hearts of our history

 

The feet of our emotions wobble like cassava leaves in the dry winds

We lift our calabashes of our ears and hearts to have them filled but

you are not here to serve us

And so we burn  of thirst

The sun has pulled a dark blanket over its face

so Agbenorxevi hums it’s song rather than sing it

and the  morning dew perspires as our tears water the grounds on which we stand

So the river bird sings of you not returning

For you had crossed the boundary to the other side of no return

We do not believe you are gone away

But alas, the river bird never lies about crossings

 

 

‘Wobɛ ahloɛ medoa nyi fɔkpa ooo

Yata Nyidevu amekea nebe ne do woa afɔkpa?’

Hmmm ati ga ade mu,

Nɔfe adeke mega li na xeviwo woa dze

Adzi ha viviwo nami o.

 

Today we long to hear your voice echo in the valley of

The blooming cornfields of life

Ready once again for you to set our spirits

on journeys of real identity discovery

With our mouths metamorphosing in to beautiful butterflies of smile of gratitude

That developed from the cocoons of our hearts

 

Yet the hunter, whose greatest weapon was to songs of his tongue, is mute to our calling.

 

Mute to the sounds of these same hollow pipe that spat metal pillets

That stole the breath of your song

The elders say there is nothing the eye will see that will make it shed blood

But they lied for the eyes of our hearts shed tear of blood etched on scrolls for you

Though your silence is deafening

And the distance between us undefined

We know Kitikata will wipe our tears with the gentleness

Of your undefined memories that are as soothing as a bed of detifufu

As we are assured that you still live on in our hearts.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Poems

 

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LOVERS’ MUSING

LOVERS’ MUSING

Accusation

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Yes! I have mad love for this guy

Rumor has it that he has been lying to me

The wise girls have advised me to stay off

But my heart loves the lies because the truth hurts

So I hear he has another lady and I am just a side chick

if so, then I am the perfect missing rib!

The darkness told me the reason why I only see him late at night is because he spends his day with his perfect chick

I heard her once as she passed by my window

She speaks impeccable English!

The scent of her perfume filled my room for about 30 minutes

I knew it was her because I always smell the perfume on him anytime he sneaks into my blanket after she leaves

The click of her heels proves without a doubt that she is strong

But as long as my baby has never mentioned her,

I choose to be pampered with his lies

He once promised to marry me

But since then, he has not mentioned it

Just last week, I heard the birds singing about the 1000 carat diamond ring he proposed with,

But he didn’t fail to touch my body the very night he got engaged

That night he kissed me hard like never before

So I don’t care if he buys her the whole world

I love that fear that stops him from telling me the truth

I know I am irresistible!

I don’t blame him!

That is why he can’t hurt me with the truth.

Keep whispering the lies deep inside my ears…

Let me feel your lying tongue

Let me see your desperate eyes fixed on my body

I want to feel the heat from your body burn mine with your lies!

Never speak the truth… don’t hurt me!

 

RESPONSE

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I’m no cheat, so I wonder why her mind would journey that far?

My heartbeat speaks the truth of what she means to me

So why will I pour bile on this delicacy of true love?

Truth be told, her inner beauty and strength makes it impossible

To find solace in another’s arms

Her physical beauty the song to which day and night dance to

The taste of my name on her lips each time she mutters it under her gentle breath

When we kiss is like fresh unleavened bread dipped in virgin honey on the lips of a hungry soul

It’s true I do have a friend who speaks impeccable English

And I do know her perfume is strong that it resurrects my asthma

But that is nothing compared to Nana Yaa’s lips that make speech blush

And eloquence lose its footing.

Does she for a second know how missing her feels like?

Water becomes tastelessly tasteless and my thoughts refuse to bloom

My heart beats squeal, squeak and the waters from my eyes’ fountains gash out

Yet orchid blossom of my love for her blossoms

So tell me what sort of man will pamper his soul with lies

And still make his heart feel the way I feel about her?

How can I buy her supposed rival the whole world when she, Nana Yaa is my whole world?

So now I fear she wouldn’t see the real essence of what we have.

How can she see past all these lies of the ‘wise’ when she allows her heart to be ruled by an irrelevant cacophony of questions she has the true answers to?

I wish I could quiet all her doubts created by rumors that are nothing but rumors

Gag all the anxiety she feels and let the silence of our love sing

Time is the cloth that binds us to the back of fate

And loyalty is the walking stick that makes our love walk steady.

Tell her she is the rhythm and melody to my music

The only mosquito in my net (please continue biting)

And without her I’m as useless as ‘eue’ without que in spelling QUEUE

 

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Written by Rita Nana Yaa Agyakwa & Selikem Kweku Tenu Geni. (c)

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Poems

 

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MY BEARD

MY BEARD

My Uncle said, he didn’t want to see my beard the next morning

She said someone said I look like a butcher from Zongo because of my beard and it hurt her

Please shave it off, trim it shortly, make the sideburns thinner, people are talking too much about it

They said I was no longer handsome because I grew a beard

I have become an undignified being like the carcass of the poisoned Christmas goat left by the big gutter

because I have cultivated a beard

So to them, the depth of my human dignity depreciates with the length of my beard.

And so I said to him

If tell you I do not like the way you smile, because it scares daylight to darkness

Would you cease to smile forever?

And to her I said

If I tell you people do not like your gait in shoes would you walk barefooted for the rest of your life?

Go tell them my beard does not make me a sinner, neither does it make me a saint

Tell them my beard does not make me a social misfit or a philosopher

Tell them It does not make a retard or prophet

Tell them if they cannot look beyond my beard and see me for who I am

Then they should close their eyes anytime they sense me near

Tell them my beard is here to stay as long as I want it to.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Poems

 

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WORDS

WORDS

Let us get drunk today

Drunk on the words of our fathers’ echoing silence

Words that were spoken to them under the baobab tree by the fireside

Words that were sang by the warriors that that returned

Bruised and defiled by war of hearts

Words as sacred as the cries of a corpse

Words as priceless as the tears of our mothers when we were born

Words that glorify the beauty in ugliness of our fight for survival

Yes open your mouth and let them out

Like thousands of bees homing to a hive

Let our thoughts and emotions ferment

and let us brew these words within our beings

And speak them into being

For we are children of mother’s only husband

And we do not search for the dark fowl in darkness

PowerofWords

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Poems

 

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Agbenorxevi, ‘The Cat’ With Nine Lives

Agbenorxevi, ‘The Cat’ With Nine Lives

As the bus left the terminal in Accra, Agbenorxevi, could not help but wonder whether this trip was going to be his very last one or not. All through the journey he avoided eye contact with any of the other occupants of the eighteen seater bus by hiding his eyes behind his two inches thick tad dark tinted spectacles. Secretly in his heart, he blessed the man who invented them because he could see the eyes of the others when they looked at him yet they couldn’t tell whether he was looking back at them or not. To avoid the temptation of being drawn into any form of conversation, he turned up the full volume of his Walkman, that the lady seated beside him turned twice with an expression that asked whether he wanted to go deaf or was just plainly mad without even speaking those words which he thought was very diplomatic on her side. Somehow he caught her nodding and tapping to the Kojo Antwi tune blurring out of his headphones and this made him smile.

After almost eight years of self-imposed exile, it felt a little bit awkward heading back to Ho, the town in which he had grown up. His history in that town were as huge as the spear heads of giants poking out of the dead bodies of those decayed years that it was impossible for anyone who was new in town not to hear or know a little bit about the exploits of Agbenorxevi. When the bus got to ‘Kponvie’ police barrier, Agbenorxevi’s heart began to beat like the tick tocking of a 1956 malfunctioning omega engine wrist watch and his life in Ho began to roll on the wheel of his thoughts that it felt as though he was reliving it. He could feel his body stiffen as the policeman scanned through the vehicle and stared at him for more seconds than he had stared at the other occupants. He could feel a sting in his conscience that made him nearly surrender himself to the emotions swelling up within him. He knew his goatee and the glasses he wore somehow made him look suspicious but these policemen were used to seeing people dressed like him come from Togo and Niger in search of a better life in Ghana and so felt a little bit secured. Moreover his appearance had changed over the years.

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He was not born with a wooden spoon in my mouth for if that were to be the case it would have been a major blessing and the undoing of all the . He was told his mother was a mentally retarded woman who got impregnated by Mr. Nobody. Not wanting to sound blasphemous though, he could count the number of times as a child he had bragged that aside Jesus Christ, he was the only miracle baby conceived by a virgin mother. The only difference between Jesus and I was that, instead of an angel visiting and informing his mother about conceiving him, it was a shameless and ruthless he-goat of a man who decided to rape her, hence my coming into this world. As he grew older, he realized that his mother gave birth to him in the huge gutter along the market like a goat and died shortly afterwards since she had no one, What even sank Agbenorxevi into the base of self-pity and disillusionment was the fact that his mother’s family wanted nothing to do with a bastard conceived by a lunatic. He was also told that initially he was left in the gutter unattended to so he could die because he was considered an abomination but after six hours of starvation and his defiance to live, some of the youth around the market decided to stone him to death with his crime being that he was conceived by a mad woman. It took the intervention of some catholic nuns who run an orphanage to save him from them.

Growing up at the orphanage was hell on earth, not that he had been to hell before but based on the passion with which the nuns described it to them, a bigger proportion was synonymous to hell. Agbenorxevi experienced at first-hand what real bullying was. His first encounter was when he chanced upon Maxwell the oldest boys at the orphanage smoking ‘sigliku’. At age four he was already the bottom of all jokes and name calling and so catching Maxwell was a plus for him. He tried to blackmail Maxwell by threating to report him to Sister Maria, the no nonsense nun that even the Brother who was the head of the orphanage stutter like the sound of a chain of flatulence let out from a man with severe running stomach. Instead, his threat earned him a bloody mouth and Maxwell accusing him of smoking ‘sigliku’. That evening, Sister Maria made sure extra pepper was added to Agbenorxevi’s soup and one could hear ‘usuuuuuush husssuuuuh’ like the last loud coughs of the engine of the converts corn mill before it comes to a halt. From then onwards every little thing was blamed on him especially by Sister Marie. Sister Marie was very petty in structure but what she lacked in the physical seemed to have multiplied in her character. Among the kids of the orphanage, there was a joke about how Sister Marie could crack open a palm kernel with her buttocks and this translated to her nickname “Bum Nut Cracker”. When she finally got to know guess who she blamed as the orchestrator, Agbenorxevi. It was not as though he was not the culprit some of the things he was accused of, but it just got to a point that trying to prove his innocence was as useless as a gift of chewing stick to a toothless old lady. And so, just as Christians attribute everything evil to the devil, everything that went wrong in the orphanage was attributed to Agbenorxevi and Sister Marie was always there to do justice with her punishment.

At age sixteen he was booted out of the orphanage because he was considered a bad influence on the younger ones and based on the fact that he was standing his grounds. Armed with 7000 cedis that he was given by the other Sisters, he dragged himself with his back pack that contained a pair of Khaki shorts and an over-sized Lacoste he had received the previous year as Christmas present out of the opharnage into an unknown world. And so his life of crime and double crossing began after he was robbed off his personal belongings and was forced to join the notorious ‘Kpetonku’ gang and it was based on his exploits the he was named ‘The Cat’ . A name revered the people in the ghettos within Ho. As the vehicle got closer to the sign post that read ‘Welcome to HO’, Agbenorxevi became conscious of his surroundings, let out a heavy sigh and made the sign of the cross as the vehicle veered into the town. In his heart and mind, he knew only God would save him from what lay before him…

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Fiction

 

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Open Letter to President Mahama.

Open Letter to President Mahama.

Dear Mr. President,

Well for formality sake, let me just ask how you are doing before I proceed. I hope Lordina is keeping her promise of serving you a sumptuous bowl of Tuo Zafi and dawadawa soup every Wednesday evening as she promised to when you became President. To be honest with you I won’t say we’ve not met before and for your information, I have always admired you from afar as a celebrity. Oooh yes, a Politician celebrity. It even got to a time I was thinking of asking you to represent Ghana at the big brother house but decided against it knowing the temptations that abound in that house. I really hope you do not mind me calling you John or any other pet name I deem very necessary to keep the conversation flowing. I know by now you are beginning to wonder why at all I decided to write you this letter but don’t worry, I’m not one of you detractors. I’m writing this letter to actually say thank you for being yourself and for doing what you are doing.

Jonny boy, I get very livid when I hear people say you are not a good leader. What do they expect? This is actually what they get for not learning from their mistakes. After all, by now they should know that, the fact that the Zongo he- goat has a beard does not make it a contender for the chief Mallam position. If the people willingly make the He –goat the Mallam because of its beard then they must be ready to chew cassava leaves. Today, they say electricity, tomorrow they’ll say water, yesterday it was fuel. What at all do they want you to do before they realize that you lead a listening government? I know that as for the listening you are really doing that, it is just that you are not sure of what to do so you end up doing nothing at all.

Jonny just this week, some friends of mine were annoyed that you did not fire Elvis and Yamin for the Black Stars fiasco in Brazil. Me I just laughed ooh. If they know what you see especially when you put those your spectacles on, they wouldn’t even bother. Fine boy things no be ‘gidigidi’ ooh. Have they forgotten so soon that you are the only president in the history of our country that has an individual who is an institution on her own working for you? Do they know the value of one ‘tsoboe’ by Elvis during your campaign period? Were we not all here when Samini was charging GHC 2000 for shooting one ‘kpoe’ at musical events? Now to the issue of Yamin, after Rawlings, how often have we seen what the NDC World Bank calls ‘Yevu du agba’ say things on National Television that draws intense national discourse and goes international? As a concerned big brother, I know you didn’t want Yamin to look bad that is why you released the jet and the money to ‘Bryzil’. This is a simple boys boys move that I feel everyone should understand. Errrhm my only worry is that I hear there is an unaccounted for 1.2 million. Abeg I be your boy so make I know something when the time to share comes.

 

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Yesterday I realized that Ghanaians are very wicked people. Why are they crying foul on this issue of part of a loan being used for sanitary pads? Look Jonny boy, I agree with you, we must give sanitary pads to school girls! It’s a matter of life and death! Their futures depend on it! Mind you the pads will be imported and the GFA boss Kwasi Nyantakyi will be in charge of airlifting it with support from Elvis and Yamin! If they like they should go and burn the korle lagoon. Have they not realized that up until now our young girls in SHS have been using ‘amonsin’? They need to use pads, no, they will use pads. Now this is QUALITY GIRL CHILD EDUCATION. But Jonny Boy, kindly make sure that in the next loan, allocation is made for free champion condoms distribution for University boys or you go do boxer shorts instead? Our Better Ghana Agenda is on the right path and I encourage you not to mind our detractors. . By the way, are we importing Yazz or Always sanitary pads? Please let’s make sure they come with free pantie liners too and deodorants. I will only charge three percent commission for this advise.

 

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Jonny my guy, be for I end this letter, there is one huge favor I need to ask you. In fact you’ll make me the happiest Ghanaian if you do this for me and I won’t mind if you tax everything including my flatulence. Please and please can you please give ministerial appointments to Allotey Jacob, Sam George, Richard Quarshigah and Nii Lantey Vanderpujey. These are individuals who speak and I know that what they say is not revealed to them by flesh and blood but by a ‘higher force’ I cannot and indeed most Ghanaians cannot contend with. I believe once they become an integral part of your ministerial appointees, you are sorted. The likes of Ablakwa and Fifii Kwetey are backsliding but I believe buy the time we get into the election mood their ‘spirituality’ will be revived. By the way say hi to Vicky for me the next time you meet. I will really love to get a reply from you but I know you’ll be too busy to reply so kindly just acknowledge receipt of this letter.

Your own Concerned Countryman.

Efo Koku Gator.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in ARTICLES

 

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When The Cockerel Begins To Crow

When The Cockerel Begins To Crow

We can call our fathers whatever we want to, say whatever we want to say about them but trust me despite everything we love them to the core. Look there is no formula to parenting and most of them have made some mistakes but hey no one is perfect, not even Efo’s daughter who is called perfect. As Father’s day approaches I can’t help but share my story with you.

As boy growing up, there was nothing I dreaded more than my father’s angry voice or him clearing his throat whilst my charges for the day were being recapped by the Inspector general of the house, my Mum. I swear, you can hear my heat beat ‘kpo’ like the sound of lizards hitting the floor in a falling off a tree contest at regular intervals. Most of you would agree that, a one on one chat with our Dads was not a part of our wildest imaginations. The only conversations we had with them were question and answer sessions with our heads bowed down and our feet drawing abstract imaginary images on the floor. With my Dad for instance, whenever he was looking for something, we had to make sure the thing was where any of us saw it before we offer to help him find it. Woe betides you, when you say you saw the thing somewhere and he asks that you bring it to him and then you come back to say it is no longer there.

One of the things that baffled me and still baffles me is when my Dad would insist I stopped crying whilst he was beating me. Am I supposed to laugh in pain? What kind of impossible request too was that? Even Tom Cruise would give up on this mission for it is truly impossible. The funny thing is that my beatings always increased when I wanted to prove that I could take a beating by not crying despite the immense pain. I know most of you will say ‘ooh but we were all beaten when we were young’. Well for your information there is beating and there is BEATING. And in most cases I received the BEATING for my mischief because my Dad was an ‘Eweman’. Now, let me take my time to explain this. You see in Ghana, the best disciplinarians are fathers from the Volta region who are teachers, Military men or carpenters. The unfortunate thing however is that all ‘Ewemen’ are carpenters and so it becomes worse when he is a teacher or military personnel in addition to his born-with profession of a carpenter. And with my Dad being a teacher you can begin to sympathize with me now. Reminiscing about these I’m beginning to suspect that our parents were in a sort of competition. For a minute, just close your eyes and imagine the sounds you would hear from a cluster of semi-detached teacher bungalows that had boys within the same age group on Saturday evenings. Yeah, that was us. An emotional ensemble of beatings and cries that could compete with the Israelites’ cry to Moses in the wilderness from the various households on OLA campus.

But aside all these I can say with all authority and certainty that my Dad loved me to bits and was just trying his best to keep me on the right track. Did he overdo it at times? I will say YES, but if he were here, he will disagree but hey in such a contentious debate would you agree that you are wrong? My main problem however was how like most parents he felt I was the five or seven year old kid who he must help tie his shoe lace when I entered the university. For me it was an interesting experience. Even in the University my Dad always referred to me as a boy. Well I’m sure if he were to know some of the things I was doing and capable of doing he wouldn’t have but his perception fully changed about me one Sunday when I did the unthinkable.

Now, my Dad’s trademark insults when he was really mad at me for something I had done or said were to first say ‘Are you silly?’ and then comes the real insults that come in two folds, “stupid boy and foolish boy’. And so on this particular Sunday, my Dad discovered that I had not moved some roofing sheets on which we dried some maize to where he had asked me to. So he shouts from across the compound asking where the roofing sheets were still where they were and my response was that I felt where they were, was ideal. Wrong answer kroa.!

“Where are you?” he fumed

Immediately I emerged out of the room, I was greeted with the trademark question and insults of

“Are you silly? You feel you are now wiser than I who gave birth to you because you are in your final year in the University? Stupid boy! Fooolish boy!”.

My next action surprised everyone including myself. I burst out into a hysterical laugh that confused him and made him look white as though he had seen a ghost. My big sister came rushing out of the room and looked at me as though I had committed the unholiest of all unholy sacrileges. Their reaction made it even worse because my laughter intensified. Then my Dad found his voice and with a sterner look that could crack a palm kernel, he said,

“What are you laughing at?’

Not wanting to choke on my laughter, I covered my mouth and took in a deep breath and said

“I’m laughing because even at this age you are still referring to me as a boy”

He looks at me, shakes his head, and said

“I’m sorry but you are a Foolish and stupid young man’ and bursts into laughter himself and signals me to come over so we pack the roofing sheet together.

I’m sure my sister did not understand the effect of that moment as my Dad and I did. For it was one of those rare moments when a father realizes that his son is a man and needs to be treated as such.

 

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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in ARTICLES

 

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