I Do Not Want To Be Here

image courtesy twitter.com

 

I was a king

I lived a life of gold

I was a servant

Living a life of servitude

An eternal gratitude to men who still saw me as king,

I am a son of the sun

Who the gods saw fit to give skin to drink in and not be sick

Of

Its glory

My life was meaningful

See?

It bettered my people

So I really do not want to be here.

 

We saw you

At the edge of the world

As pale as beaten tree bark

And hands so soft

We wondered whether you ever worked a day in your life

The mosquito belittled your divine status

Even as you frothed at the lips clasping  a thing with leaves

And a god

You said was the only one.

My people rescued you from death

But you take their names from them

And give them yours

And you expect me to follow you wherever you go.

No,

I do not want to be here.

 

You came

With your tricks

I never knew I could see my own face

Unless I was at the stream

I did not know I could kill a man with lightning

Just as powerful as the gods

But I had the rich soil

And the beautiful gold was my cloth

I could still do what I wanted

So trust me when I say

I really do not want to be here.

 

You came in the dark night

With fire and smoke

And you took me from my people

You took the symbol of my origin from my neck

And replaced it with your mark of bondage

Me!

A king!

Walking the ground

Towards the big water no one bothered to cross.

Why would you still take me?

When I really do not want to be here.

 

You took me on your cursed ships

And packed my people and I like mats to be sold at the market!

You made us babies in the forge of new life

Unable to hold our waste in

Humiliating and staining us with every roll of the ocean,

Serving pap not fit for even dogs to eat

Ha!

I really do not want to be here.

 

You took my wife and child from me

Washed them clean

Like precious pearls

Just so you could relieve the fire in your loins,

I can still hear them screaming

The blood curdling in my heart

Beating itself into an incensed pulp

As I learned to sit up

But words escaped me.

I heard her last words

As she gave herself to the gray fish with the sharp teeth

And the ocean swallowed my child whole.

I wept

And I made sounds for the first time

As the timbers shivered.

Please

I do not want to be here.

 

Cattle!

Sold like livestock!

They are putting their dirty fingers in my mouth!

Am I chattel?

I look up to the sky

Surely the God they talk of does not like this?

I stood for the first time

And looked at the land from which the pale men spoke so proudly of
Filthy!

Unwashed bodies

Stinking breath and rotten teeth

This was the ship all over again.
I was sold off

Like a cheap trinket!

And now I walk for the first time in my new life

In my blood shoes

In a land which is not mine.

Take me back!

I do not want to be here.

 

They put a machete in my hand

I am too strong to be put into the cotton fields

So they put me to work like a bull breaking up land.

I wield my machete like the warrior I was raised to be

Alarmed

They dragged me to the stocks

And whipped me like leather hung out to cure

They gave me stripes

I! a king

Flogged like an errant child!

I healed slowly

Even as flies laid their eggs in my flesh
bloated and putrefying

Why would anyone think something else?

When I clearly do not want to be here

 

I am called an animal
dumb

Unintelligent

The lowliest of God’s creation

But

My master sleeps with my wife every time

Even when she is covered with the sweat of the day’s picking

He feeds his children off her breasts

Even dedicating a single one to them.

If a man can sleep with animals,

Then what is he?

You know this,

I do not want to be here.

 

You call me coloured

A kaffir

Cursed to serve you because you are smarter,

While you build your empires on the fields watered by my sweat and blood

You call me nigger

From the romantic negra

Even though in my land I am negus,

I am rich like the dark night

The soil which you value so much for your cash crops

And yet you see me as fodder,

Food for your dogs and quarry for the hunt

You make me sit in the back

And use different restrooms

Even though your wives fancy this brooding virile Mandingo

And you lust after my thick daughters.

I am powerless for now

But I do not want to be here.

 

You took my necklace

Replaced it with your chains

Yet you swapped them with a noose

When you pretended to give me liberty

Suffocating my rights

And now you do not say it

But in your eyes

I am just

Entertainment.

I want to escape this damnation,

From people who claim to be blessed

And preach the Good News.

From this

I do not want to be here.

 

 

 

I am long gone

And my son no longer wears the shame of my chains

But he is in a minority

The irony of being the majority

He is the son of the sun

Who gave him his midnight skin to drink in its glory,

But

They take his life away

Riddling him with potholes

Just so they can see if he bleeds the same stuff they bleed

Because they are

Still living in the past

Do you seriously think he wants to be here?

 

© Sena Frost 2k16

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And They Go…

And They Go…

Here she comes,

Stealing the breaths away,

That of the tobacco stained giggles of the young men and the palm wine flavoured tang of the grey haired draught kings alike.

Here she comes,

Drawing hisses,

(or is it kissing the teeth?)

Of the market women and the homely maidens.

So jealous yet powerless in front of her,

Like fire flickering at the sun.

We hear her before we see her.

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with each step.

Her breasts,

Succulent and ripe like the mangoes in da Atsufui’s backyard.

Heaving in their cloaked majesty,

Oh what a bosom.

But no that’s not what I’m talking about.

Listen closely,

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with each step.

Her backside,

Rumbling like the gourds strung out to dry at fo Favour’s bar.

Drawing her cloth taut,

And raising the front of any man’s lower garments.

But no that’s not what I’m talking about.

Listen closely,

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with every step.

Here she comes,

Stealing the breaths away,

The tobacco stained giggles of the young men and the palm wine flavoured tang of the grey haired draught kings.

Here she comes,

Drawing hisses,

(or is it kissing the teeth?)

Of the market women and the homely maidens.

We hear her before we see her.

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with each step.

Juggling her pan on her head,

The firewood bobbing and weaving,

She dances with it,

Moving at her own tempo.

Graceful and supple.

Like her braids fluttering in the wind.

We hear her before we see her,

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with each step.

Here she comes,

Stealing the breaths away,

The tobacco stained giggles of the young men and the palm wine flavoured tang of the grey haired draught kings.

Here she comes,

Drawing hisses,

(or is it kissing the teeth?)

Of the market women and the homely maidens.

We hear her before we see her.

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with each step.

“Daavi”

The children prance around her,

Capricious little kids.

She smiles,

Dimples,

See dimples la.

“Aaaaah”

Sigh the young men waiting their turn at the barbershop.

She bobs and weaves,

Dancing to her own tune.

Listen!

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with every step.

We hear her long after she’s gone.

They say she be a witch.

For me I don’t mind at all,

Because she’s bewitching.

Her cloth slips when she baths,

The water runs down her,

Watering her matted jungles,

Fondling her ripe mangoed breasts,

Sluicing down valleys,

Then bouncing gaily off her backside.

Yes the one which rumbles like the gourds at fo Favour’s bar.

Tip tap,

Tip tap,

Chi chi chi.

The tambourine sounds coming from her bath time,

Tip tap,

Tip tap,

Chi chi chi.

She’s beaded,

With water drops.

Shimmering,

She be a witch,

See,

I am bewitched.

From the crack in the wall,

Perched like harmattan mango,

Ready to fall.

Then I hear her,

They go chi chi chi.

Daavi Akpene’s waistbeads,

Luminescent like a moon bow over Wli,

Crisscrossing and arching,

Embracing her slender pelvis with glee.

Ochre and rust,

Blue and green,

Chattering merrily away,

Chi chi chi they go.

Rows of ritual sensuality,

Robbing men of their hindbrains,

Sending them into echelons of palm wine induced spirituality,

“Oh dadavi,

Mide kuku na wo sia”.

I would gladly die,

To hear them sing their song,

Everyday that she passes through the market square,

Swaying the men with each dip of her hips,

They go like a rutting agama lizard,

Nod nod nod.

Leaving the homely maidens hissing,

(or is it kissing their teeth?)

Ss ss ss.

The children prancing,

As she heads home.

Listen closely,

They go chi chi chi,

Jiggling with each step.

© Sena Frost 2015

 

La Semaine

French is a romantic and poetic language I appreciate. While my French is rudimentary the power of the translator cannot be understated. Please enjoy.

Je suis Kosi,
Je m’appelle sage et doux,
Le serviteur des anciens.

Je m’appelle Adzo,
Je suis entraînee et zéléé,
La bête noire des femmes paresseuse.

Ils m’appellent Komla,
La vie du festival,
Assistant du conteur.

Mon nom est Aku,
Amoureux de la bonne nourriture,
Et l’écouteur des ragots de bonne.

Yaa est mon nom,
Le secret des dieux,
Servante de la terre.

Je m’appelle Kofi,
Tous les cultivateurs me connaissant,
Et leurs poules ne sont pas sûrs de mon pot.

Je suis Ami,
Timide et la fierté de la terre,
Le chef a lex yeux car moi seul.

Nous sommes les fils du soleil,
Les filles de la lune,
Et dan nos coeurs et nous esprits se trouve le berceaude la pensée,
L’element vital de la culture.

© Sena Kodjokuma 2015

I Am Looking For A Wife

Papa I have come to you this morning,
With my cloth around my waist and ash in my hair,
Hands clasped in mourning.
Papa I dreamed a dream and it was a night-mare!
I dreamed that my manhood was ripped from my loins as I watched,
The long tendrils of my babymaker watering the ground,
And the cruel jibe of my maimers as the pain latched.
“He who fetches firewood for his hearth needs not the strength of his loins.”
I woke doused in a lagoon of sweat,
And touched my self tentatively down there,
At the place where the branches of my legs meet my meat,
And calmed I come to you,
Papa I am looking for a wife.
I am two and forty harvests old,
The erstwhile pride of the clan,
Now the butt of all jokes told.
I stare at the maidens deadpan,
For the songs in my mouth go mouldy and cold,
And the seed in them is not fit to be chicken feed,
While my heart labours and strains with the ache of my loins’ need.
I am looking for a wife,
She need not be tall and waiflike,
Graceful and mysterious like the women of the fire tribe,
Their stories hidden in the scars on their cheeks,
Or petite and full of curve,
The ovals of their necks carrying the royalty of the forest tribe,
Trinkets jingling
Enhancing the wobble of their assets,
For these are the first daughters of the gods,
The ones to whom only the chosen have a claim to assert.
She need only catch the eye of this mortal man,
And choose me as I choose her.
I am looking for a wife,
One who will light up my hut,
While I crack logs open,
For my sons to fetch and keep the night cold shut.
One who bakes pots in her own oven,
And draws my morning water,
With the dainty steps of a deer.
I am looking for a wife.
One to be my dear,
Who will chide me in the darkness of my hut,
Hold me to her breast when my eye threatens to spill a tear.
She needs not be chosen by the gods,
And though my songs may be mouldy and cold,
She will ignite them with her passion,
For as I choose her she chooses me.
I am looking for a wife,
A woman who never fails to remind me that morning has broken,
And when Asaase Yaa offers her gifts,
She whispers in my ear,
“Agya I have changed the beads on my waist.”
And when we fumble and wrestle in the dark,
She shows me that you don’t need light to see their beauty.
A wife who will take me into her,
And not judge from the strength of my loins,
When the flower of my youth withers,
For the fruit slowly ripening.
Then we will eat it together.
So Papa I have come to you this morning,
With my cloth around my waist and ash in my hair,
Hands clasped in mourning.
Papa I dreamed a dream and it was a night-mare!
I dreamed that my manhood was ripped from my loins as I watched,
The long tendrils of my babymaker watering the ground,
And the cruel jibe of my maimers as the pain latched.
“He who fetches firewood for his hearth needs not the strength of his loins.”
I woke doused in a lagoon of sweat,
And touched my self tentatively down there,
At the place where the branches of my legs meet my meat,
And calmed I come to you,
Papa I am looking for a wife.

© Sena Kodjokuma 2015

DRY SEASON CHILD

DRY SEASON CHILD

Dry season child,

Of the clime not mild,

When winds whip up mini sandstorms,

Rattling trees with glee.

Their leaves dancing to the ground

Stripped of their verdant gloss.

Dry season child,

Why do you arm yourself with poles and
slings?

Pockets bulging with rocks

Shooting down every living thing that
moves,

From the nodding agama lizard

To the lordly kites which soar overhead.

Dry season child,

The mango and citrus trees are not safe
from you,

The mercenary red armies and pikes are no
match for the artillery and siege weapons you have

All the ripe fruits lay at your feet

Why then do you insist on plucking the
unripe ones at the crown of the tree?

Greed is often the victor of wars.

Dry season child,

Mama was here

In her hands were her slain fowls

Innocent victims of your target practice.

Oh the sitting ducks were too large to
kill.

Why then do you insist on maiming half-grown
chicks?

Dry season child

Christmas will be here soon

If you behave yourself I will get you a new
toy gun,

New clothes and a lot of fun.

Don’t let me catch you running after
Togbe’s goats

Or you’ll be wearing rags of your coats.

Dry season child

You were born in a time of hardship renewal.

Ananse’s kin,

You must not shed this skin.

For the concrete jungle that is the city.

You must be a wily gentleman.

 

Dry season child,

What will I do with you?

When you lay cloths at my feet,

You have braved the city,

That is no mean feat.

I am proud of you.

©Sena Kodjokuma, 2013

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