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Thread: POEMS By African POETS

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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Default POEMS By African POETS

    Here are excerpts from one of Ghana's greats- Atukwei Okai's Kperteple Serenade.

    Kperteple Serenade

    ...make room in your inn for me –

    I know:


    when karl marx grabbed his bibliography
    and ballpen and pocketed his toothbrush
    and his shaving stick


    he went and bought a ticket to london


    when ghandi girded his loin cloth, it
    was london he had in mind.
    when lenin fled his beloved motherland
    his final haven-crashpad was london.

    but america

    your address book too has memories that yield

    the names

    of von braun and charles dickens and
    marcus garvey and amerigo vespucci and
    christopher columbus who boarded the wrong bus
    and maxim gorky and mayakovsky and uncle
    einstein and mr. carnegie and rockefeller

    even your ports

    recalling



    report how
    the mayflower moved in to deflower at night
    the virgin land
    of the red indians –


    jesus christ it seems and judas did not make it


    america


    you are a funny girl…
    everybody dreams of kissing you
    Last edited by Pope Bitterz D'Alomo; 8th March 2011 at 03:11 PM.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Kwesi Brew

    Ancestral Voices

    They sneaked into the limbo of time
    But could not muffle the gay jingling
    Brass bells on the frothy necks
    Of the sacrificial sheep that limped and nodded after them;
    They could not hide the moss on the bald pate
    Of their reverent heads;
    And the gnarled backs of the wawa tree;
    Nor the rust on the ancient state-swords;
    Nor the skulls studded with grinning cowries;
    They could not silence the drums,
    The fibre of their souls and ours -
    The drums that whisper to us behind black sinewy hands.
    They gazed
    And sweeping like white locusts through the forests
    Saw the same men, slightly wizened,
    Shuffle their sandalled feet to the same rhythms,
    They heard the same words of wisdom uttered
    Between puffs of pale blue smoke:
    They saw us,
    And said: They have not changed!
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  3. #3
    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Kofi Anyidoho

    My Song

    Here
    on
    this
    Public
    Square
    I
    Stand

    I sell My Song for those with ears to buy
    It is to a tree that a bull is tied
    You do not bypass the palm’s branches
    to tap its wine

    The things I have to say

    I say them now
    I shall stand aside
    from those who care
    to clear their throat and
    dress their shame in lies

    When you meet a poorly-dressed neighbour
    at a great durbar
    you do not spit on the ground
    and roll your eyes to the skies

    The umbrella I bought
    You stole from my rooms at dawn
    Now I walk in the early morning rain

    You point at me to our young maidens
    And they join you in laughter

    Think
    My People
    Think
    Think well before you laugh at those who walk in the rain.

    The gifts that bestows at birth
    Some had some splendid things
    What was mine?
    I sing. They laugh.
    Still I sell My Song
    for those with ears to buy

    My cloth is torn, I know
    But I shall learn to wear it well

    My voice is hoarse, I know
    But I shall learn to wear it well.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    Kwesi Brew:

    The Slums of Nima

    When I passed the windows yesterday
    I passed into a night buttered
    With stars like the yellow petals
    Of the acacia on the black soil
    On which it stands.
    I plunged into a treachery of winding lanes
    Into an eclipse of the sun.
    I heard murmurs and groans of childbirth
    And could not tell
    From which unhinged door they came:
    The doors were too close together.

    Three neighbours met,
    And after a hurried, “I give you rest”
    The two young men stood aside for the old man
    To pass and then picked their way
    In the opposite direction towards the alley
    On the left.
    They were thieves who robbed with violence
    But still they stood aside for the old man
    And he thanked them.

    In a bereaved world questions and comments
    Fall on unhearing ears.
    Only silence, understanding and
    Belonging can put
    A blind man’s stick in the hands
    Of a searcher in that night.

    The crumbling walls have leaned
    On their chests for decades!
    The toll of breathing has shredded
    Their lungs, and their eyes are sore
    With the smoke of the wicker lamps.
    And now we all stand at the edge
    Of an abyss
    Afraid to plunge headlong, or
    Return to the dark of the night with them!
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Kojo Gyinaye Kyei: Time


    Time
    an accomplice of waste
    is an image of expense

    it is always spilling
    its angry hands
    wheeling

    its consummate skill
    pounding
    like a drill in the brain

    never to be stopped
    retrieved
    or
    replenished

    forever whittling
    whittling
    whittling
    away
    away
    away
    away
    away
    all the vast stores
    of
    being!
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    Default Kperteple Serenade

    Kperteple Serenade.

    This poem is very tongue and cheek, cool spin on events of history.
    Last edited by Fashion Yaa; 15th November 2010 at 05:42 AM. Reason: the poem Kperteple Serenade


    all go to the same place ;all come from dust and to the dust all return. who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
    ecclesiastes 3:20-21 :-x

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    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Kperteple Serenade is an interesting piece. i appreciate the historical anecdotes.

    report how
    the mayflower moved in to deflower at night
    the virgin land
    of the red indians



    jesus christ it seems and judas did not make it


    america


    you are a funny girl…
    everybody dreams of kissing you
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


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    Frank Kobina Parkes:

    African Heaven

    Give me black souls,
    Let them be black
    Or chocolate brown
    Or make them the
    Color of dust —
    Dustlike,
    Browner than sand.
    But if you can
    Please keep them black,
    Black.

    Give me some drums;
    Let them be three
    Or maybe four
    And make them black —
    Dirty and black:
    Of wood,
    And dried sheepskin,
    But if you will
    Just make them peal,
    Peal.
    Peal loud,
    Mutter.
    Loud,
    Louder yet;
    Then soft,
    Softer still
    Let the drums peal.
    Let the calabash
    Entwined with beads
    With blue Aggrey beads
    Resound, wildly
    Discordant,
    Calmly
    Melodious.
    Let the calabash resound
    In tune with the drums.

    Mingle with these sounds
    The clang
    Of wood on tin:
    Kententsekenken
    Ken-tse ken ken ken:
    Do give me voices
    Ordinary
    Ghost voices
    Voices of women
    And the bass
    Of men.
    (And screaming babes?)

    Let there be dancers,
    Broad-shouldered Negroes
    Stamping the ground
    With naked feet
    And half-covered
    Women
    Swaying, to and fro,
    In perfect
    Rhythm
    To “Tom shikishiki”
    And “ken,”
    And voices of ghosts
    Singing,
    Singing!
    Let there be
    A setting sun above,
    Green palms
    Around,
    A slaughtered fowl
    And plenty of
    Yams.

    And dear Lord,
    If the place be
    Not too full,
    Please
    Admit spectators.
    They may be
    White or
    Black.

    Admit spectators
    That they may
    See:
    The bleeding fowl,
    And yams,
    And palms
    And dancing ghosts.

    Odomankoma,
    Do admit spectators
    That they may
    Hear:
    Our native songs,
    The clang of wood on tin
    The tune of beads
    And the pealing drums.

    Twerampon, please, please
    Admit
    Spectators!
    That they may
    Bask
    In the balmy rays
    Of the
    Evening Sun,
    In our lovely
    African heaven!
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  9. #9
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    Author-Peter Kofi Ennin, Ghana


    HONESTY

    Wealth that you get, dishonesty do you no good
    But honesty can save your life.
    The one who holds back the truth causes trouble
    But the one who openly criticizes works for peace.
    God protects honest people
    But destroys those who do wrong.
    Storms come, and the wicked are blown away
    But honest people are safe
    God hates people who use dishonest scales
    But happy with the honest weight.
    Riches will do no good on the day you face death
    But honesty can save your life.
    Honesy makes a good man's life easier
    But a wicked man cause his own downfall.
    A city is happy when honest people have good fortune
    honesty the wise man's pride.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  10. #10
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    Author-Wole Soyinka (Nigeria)

    Abiku

    In vain your bangles cast

    Charmed circles at my feet;

    I am Abiku, calling for the first

    And the repeated time.



    Must I weep for goats and cowries

    For palm oil and the sprinkled ash?

    Yams do not sprout in amulets

    To earth Abiku's limbs.



    So when the snail is burnt in his shell

    Whet the heated fragments, brand me

    Deeply on the breast. You must know him

    When Abiku calls again.



    I am the squirrel teeth, cracked

    The riddle of the palm. Remember

    This, and dig me deeper still into

    The god's swollen foot.



    Once and the repeated time, ageless

    Though I puke. And when you pour

    Libations, each finger points me near

    The way I came, where



    The ground is wet with mourning

    White dew suckles flesh-birds

    Evening befriends the spider, trapping

    Flies in wind-froth;



    Night, and Abiku sucks the oil

    From lamps. Mother! I'll be the

    Supplicant snake coiled on the doorstep

    Yours the killing cry.



    The ripes fruit was saddest;

    Where I crept, the warmth was cloying.

    In the silence of webs, Abiku moans, shaping

    Mounds from the yolk.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  11. #11
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    Cool poems. Cheers for sharing

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    Author- David Diop(Senegal)

    The Renegade

    My brother you flash your teeth in response to every
    hyprocrisy
    My brother with gold-rimmed glasses
    You give your master a blue-eyed faithful look
    My poor brother in immaculate evening dress
    Screaming and whispering and pleading in the parlours
    of condescension
    We pity you
    Your country's burning sun is nothing but a shadow
    On your serene ‘civilized’ brow
    And the thought of your grandmother's hut
    Brings blushes to your face that is bleached
    By years of humiliation and bad conscience
    And while you trample on the bitter red soil of Africa
    Let these words of anguish keep time with your restless
    Step -
    Oh I am lonely so lonely here.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  13. #13
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    The Arc of an Independence Story

    Such was one fell swoop of negritude
    Such was one sweep of history’s moment
    Of freedom the eloquent yearner spoke
    In native trait as in borrowed tongue
    A storied people in unison a demand made:
    Freedom! Uhuru! Aluta! Hedzole! Amandla!

    Such were stirring voices to a folk agitate
    Such were incessant drumbeat to a movement
    Of whirlwinds a possessed people aroused
    In epic headwinds an Old Order bowed
    A power regnant now history’s remnant:
    None the anthem to a monarch save
    Battle hymns of a republic to sate
    An empire’s standard unfurled;
    At mast freedom’s banner!
    On history’s cusp a serenade to the free

    Yet was self-rule’s merriment a mere moment’s long
    Into a ruler’s lair the ruled to lure; ruler’s bidding to do
    A braver, broader people in turns a fumbling, fractious folk
    Soon to fade; freedom’s glamorous armour
    Sooner still, freedom’s glorious story a memory afar!

    Such were the forbidding times:
    Distant realms enthralled a new African royalty
    Such as to abdicate its throne of verdant estate and heritage
    And oh, hope depressed, need lent life to a sympathy enterprise
    Such was a decade upon decade of depths of despair
    Did a sombre meandering march of a half-century
    Presage a grim inventory of African tales?

    Alas! Aroused, Adam’s race raced to reclaim its Eden
    To a harrowing African narrative a hallowed halt
    A progeny at self-rescue:
    It summoned strength to see the tyrant’s back
    It found melody in the song of a voice restored
    It laboured at deeds uncommon;
    Such as to redeem a vanishing century
    All this to the applause from afar


    Such whiffs of courage keep a folk at enterprise
    Such strains at craft keep a folk steady
    Such as to the doctrine of the doer of deeds hold:
    (“Genius is talent persevered at!”)
    Such as to the cheery charge of the town crier heed:
    (“Spirits of the future the world is your oyster!”)
    Such shall a people triumph!
    Such shall a race soar!
    Such shall a nation become; be!


    Author-Roland Akosah,Ghana
    Fellow, African Leadership Initiative/West Africa
    Totum Bonum Class
    December 1, 2009/Revised March 3, 2011
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  14. #14

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    Wole Soyinka is one of my favorite African poets. I remember studying his poems way back when. Abiku is a heck of a deep poem when dissected,it is pregnant with imagery and literary devices.

    Abiku means "owned by death".

    Abiku

    In vain your bangles cast

    Charmed circles at my feet;

    I am Abiku, calling for the first

    And the repeated time.



    Must I weep for goats and cowries

    For palm oil and the sprinkled ash?

    Yams do not sprout in amulets

    To earth Abiku's limbs.



    So when the snail is burnt in his shell

    Whet the heated fragments, brand me

    Deeply on the breast. You must know him

    When Abiku calls again.



    I am the squirrel teeth, cracked

    The riddle of the palm. Remember

    This, and dig me deeper still into

    The god's swollen foot.



    Once and the repeated time, ageless

    Though I puke. And when you pour

    Libations, each finger points me near

    The way I came, where



    The ground is wet with mourning

    White dew suckles flesh-birds

    Evening befriends the spider, trapping

    Flies in wind-froth;



    Night, and Abiku sucks the oil

    From lamps. Mother! I'll be the

    Supplicant snake coiled on the doorstep

    Yours the killing cry.



    The ripes fruit was saddest;

    Where I crept, the warmth was cloying.

    In the silence of webs, Abiku moans, shaping

    Mounds from the yolk.
    Last edited by MegaMeister; 13th March 2011 at 05:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Oscarrtson
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    I like this poem very much, and believe me I can't create this type of a thinking. really nice and cool poem...

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