Cardinal Evils

Ɖeka –  Gluttony


Because I have you,

I will use you however I like

I’ll be damned if I must share with anybody else

You are mine

It’s that simple


Eve – lust

I long for you

You who put desire within my loins

swelling with carnal energy

I need not hide my desire

Why should I?

When all I want is you



Etɔ̃ Greed

You are not enough

I must have more of you

I will gather all the parts of you scattered into the wind

Because I need to have you


Ene – Pride

I have you.

Why should I have to settle for anything less?

Why should I give you away for anyone who needs you more?

I am better than them

I am the greater good

I deserve the best



Atɔ̃ Envy


Why do you have the best and not me?

I don’t understand

Am I not good enough to have the best?

When clearly you would fit me better?



Ade – Wrath

I don’t care if someone else has you

I will take you, and I will kill anyone who attempts to try saving you

Even if you are the one trying to save yourself

If I cannot have you no one else will




Who works after having the best?

You are here forever

I have all the time in the world

There is no hurry

There is always tomorrow



Enyi – Condemnation

I am in darkness

Host for the seven evils

Feeding off my sin

My mortal imperfection

Makes me prone to the Cardinal Evil

I should be dead before the day is done

Consumed by nightfall

I will not be forgiven

This I know

 I am in the lowest depths of Tartarus

A slave to my own Inferno

I burn

In the flames that do not purify

All hope is abandoned

And in my hell

A voice whispers to me

“But I AM”


Botticelli’s Map of Dante’s inferno – courtesy google images

© Sena Frost – ‘17


2011: The Back Story

Author’s Note:
This is the back story to the poem 2011. If you haven’t read it, click here
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person or place is purely coincidental.


DAY 90
0500 GMT

My eyes flicked open suddenly. In the semi-darkness I groped for my earphones. Then I lurched towards the table where the extension board lay. The amber lights glowed insidiously. I unplugged my phone and pitched back into bed. I slid the phone up and started my music player. Then I hugged my pillow tight as the hot tears streaked down my cheeks. I bit into it, muffling my sobs.


0800 GMT

I made my way towards my department. Head bowed, listening to music. I passed by Baffour and the gang at the carpark where they usually ogled the girls and catcalled them. I went through the gate and winced. The studio was in a mess again. The lecturer was certainly going to lay into me again. “Why did I even volunteer to be course rep?” I muttered to myself. I went and dumped my bag in my usual spot at the front of the class and grabbed a broom. Quickly I started sweeping. The talkative girls in the class hushed up at the sweeping strokes. I paused briefly to adjust the earphones.

“Hi.” I turned around. It was Mavis again. She flashed her gap-toothed smile at me. I grimaced. “Hey.” I replied. “Need a hand?”  she motioned towards the part of the studio still unswept. I shrugged. “As for you di3.” She came for the broom and punched me playfully. Meanwhile the chatter had gone back up again. I stepped back as Mavis sashayed across the space. For a few minutes I watched her apple bottom going through the motions then I went back into the lecture hall.

A few minutes later she plonked into the seat right beside mine. Looking a bit disheveled but still beaming a wide smile at me. Mavis had big eyes and a snub nose. Her smile was electric though. She wore an orange t shirt with the inscription “Pinch me I’m cute”. I smiled, or tried to.

The lecturer curtly walked into class and I snapped forward, before Mavis could try to make any conversation.

1100 GMT

I milled through the sea of students pouring out of the small department gate. I heard someone call my name. I turned. It was Mavis, all five foot-two of her pear figure swept underfoot in the rush. There was only one lecture on Fridays, so most people usually rushed to the bus station to catch the bus to Accra. I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend though. My immediate concern was brunch. I hadn’t had anything to eat. I went straight to the car park to wait for Mavis. I don’t know why she was calling me.

“Who you de chok, ma guy?” queried Baffour. He was seated on the short wall with his cronies. I looked him in the eye and shrugged. Baffour scratched his aquiline nose and glared back. He had a hawkish feel about him. His gold necklace glinted in the sunlight as he bobbed his head to some hip-hop music one of his friends was playing. “I sure say he de chok Mavis.” Frosty, one of his buds replied.  I gave him the once over.
“That girl de feel you charle. If you no like a, tell me make I handle am cos the dull things you de do di3. The way she de bee san so get body, everybody en eye dey top.” I sighed. Not this again. “I no know what I go tell you sef.” I looked at him again. I towered over him. Presently I felt an arm wrap round my waist. I knew who it was without even looking. “Let’s go.” She whispered.
“Mavis.” Baffour called out. “Yes, Baffour. How can I help you.” Her shrill voice pitched almost musically. “You for come visit me sometime o. This jon boy you de follow no go help you. The way I de feel you, you for come make I show you some one-two bi like that.” Baffour made to hold her free hand. Mavis giggled, and side stepped. “No thank you Baffour. Besides aren’t you dating Mawusi? You know she’s my friend.” “Oh, abi you too you be ma friend. If you come visit me what go happen? You de do like I be some distin. You di3 e chill.”
“Mavis let’s go. I’m hungry.” I pulled her away from the car park and walked away. “Aww.” She rubbed my stomach. “Let’s go to my hostel. I cooked some food.” I nodded and let her lead me away.

As we made through the path to her hostel behind campus, we spoke. Mavis is my best friend’s girlfriend. He happened to be in another school. So I was kinda in charge of her wellbeing here. You’d never know, from the way she looked out for me. Not that I cared. Nothing really moved me.

I absentmindedly flicked my phone up. The love of my life beamed back at me. Penny. It had been ninety days since the incident. I reached for my earphones from my pocket almost immediately. Mavis smacked my hand. “I told you. When you’re walking with me no earphones.” She punched me in the shoulder again.

We reached the ruins of a wall which corralled her hostel. I reached across. “Help me over.” Mavis beckoned. Don’t look at me funny. It was either the wall or the main gate. The hostel manager didn’t like boys coming to the hostel for any reason. Everyone avoided him by using the ruined wall route. I picked her up like a child. There are advantages to being six foot-six. She snuggled right on my shoulder and I carried her to her room. It was an unspoken rule we had. I caught a whiff of her perfume. She smelled like frangipani blossoms.

Wordlessly we went right into the meal. Rice and gravy. Not like I was going to eat anything better if I had gone to my room. Mavis had no roommate. Who would? If their room was a cramped cubicle only twice as big as I was tall. Somehow though it seemed spacious. Maybe it was the way she arranged her stuff in the room. There was one window with twin shutters which filtered in rays of light. We never bother to turn the lights on. I went to her porch to do the dishes while she went to take a shower. I took the plates back inside. The curtain separating her bathroom from the rest of the room rustled. I looked up and saw Mavis.

Mavis had her towel wrapped around her. The ceiling fan creaked noisily in the silence that followed. A bead of sweat trickled down my temple. It was steamy all of a sudden. “Come here.” I croaked. Wordlessly she waltzed to me and unbuckled my trousers none too gently as I sat on her cot. She straddled me and I felt the hairy warmth between her legs. Her lips were slightly parted. We kissed furiously as her towel fell to the floor.


1500 GMT

I picked up my clothes from the floor and put them on. Mavis was still sleeping. In the half light, she looked childlike. Her small breasts heaved rhythmically. I touched her cheek and she murmured her boyfriend’s name. I grabbed my bag and stole out of the room. I went to the bus stop and hailed a taxi headed to the shore. I needed to get my mind off this.

About half a kilometre from the beach, I got out and trekked. The sea gleamed turquoise today. The sea spray was cooling as it buffeted my clothes. I walked out to the waves. There was a cluster of rocks which showed at low tide. I perched atop it and looked into the great expanse. I pulled out my phone and flicked it open. I went to messages and immediately dialed in a familiar number. Message one hundred and seventy-eight. “I slept with Mavis again today. I don’t think its her fault. Maybe she misses her boyfriend that’s why she gets with me. She’s a good girl though. She’s funny and has a beautiful smile. But she got nothing on you. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. She’s my best friend’s girl. I miss you. I miss talking to you. Hearing your voice going loco over some stuff you really like. Please text me back.” My finger hovered over the send button. I pressed the “save as draft” button and pushed my phone back into my pocket. The breakers swirled at the bottom of the rock. It was a quiet beach day though. No one else was here. I grabbed my phone in my pocket and squeezed. I felt the plastic splinter a little. I wanted to throw something. I looked at the horizon and screamed.


2348 GMT

The music blared across the hall floor. My vision swam, as I cradled a cup full of punch in my hand. Cup number twenty-six. The room was humid with the sweaty bodies of boys and girls dancing and groping. I withdrew into the inner room. It was dark. I reached out of support as I tottered in. I touched flesh and a girl squealed. “Charle you for make steady o.” a gruff voice intoned. “Boss sorry wai.” I apologized and sat on the floor.

I was holding Marvin’s room phone. He had a landline in the room. Perks of being an SRC rep. I dialed in the familiar number using my backlit phone as illumination. The dial tone buzzed in my ears.

“Hello?” her voice came through on the other end. “Penny.” I breathed, my tongue slurred. “Russell?” she sounded panicky. “Penny. I- I – I messed up again.” I spoke again. I heard her breathing at the other end. “I slept with my best friend’s girlfriend. I don’t even feel bad about it.”

Penny said nothing. “Penny!” I bawled into the phone. “I miss you. Talk to me. Say something please.” Penny’s breath quickened. “Please. I still love you. I need you. My life is empty without you.”

The couple making out in the room said something. I ignored them. “Russell. You can’t keep doing this to yourself.” Penny’s voice cracked. “I know. I’m lucky you picked up. I’m lucky we’re still talking. Please don’t go.” My voice suddenly pitched. I took a swig of the punch. “You had two Russells and you chose the wrong one, Penny. Can’t you see that I love you?”

“I have never had any feelings for you. I’m happy with Russ. I don’t understand why you can’t be happy for me. I just can’t” her voice broke. “Penny was sobbing. “Does it matter? I know he treats you like crap. Sleeping with other girls and other things. You know I’d never do that to you.”

Penny fell silent. “Penny? PENNY!” I screamed. “I gotta go. I’m sorry. I can’t keep talking to you if you’re just going to be like this.” She sounded hushed. “Penny. Please don’t go. I’m sorry. I’m- “the line clicked, and the phone went dead in my sweat slicked hand. I let the receiver go. It clacked to the floor.

I started laughing. It rose in crescendo, a raucous guffaw that unsettled the couple and they finally left the room; raining curses at me.

I laughed harder.


Drake – Marvin’s Room

image courtesy google images

© Sena Frost ‘17


We are hedonists all the time
Indulging in the pleasures we have not worked for
We spend long hours in a drunken state of self
But we don’t want the sickly hangover that comes after
We revel in the joy of youth
Bathing in its elixir
But we don’t want the pain that comes with growing up
Freedom is orgasmic
But the toll it exacts is your life
It’s not Never-land
Where Peter Pan never grew up
It’s pregnant with babies we never bargained for while we were messing around
Whether we like it or not we have sole custody
We can’t be contraceptive
Relishing only the sweet fruit and throwing out the bitter seed
Living in an idyllic pasture
On this plane of existence
You’re either all in or out
Ain’t no half measures
Or harvesting what you haven’t sown
So next time you catcall the sweet things
Be ready to birth blood, sweat and tears

© Sena Frost ’17

image courtesy google images

How to Survive the Adulthood Thing



I have a few things on my mind about the whole adulting thing I’d like to share. As with the few articles I write, I’ll break them down into categories as much as possible.

Adulthood comes as a shock for us millennials. From having everything provided for us from childhood till undergraduate studies, it is a rude awakening some of us experience from national service and afterwards.

There’s an expectation that we should have figured everything out for our lives as soon as possible. If you have cool parents, you hear the question “So what are your plans?”. If your folks are not cool too, they just cut you off. No funding, nothing. You’re expected to move out and figure out life.

This brings an immense pressure to be successful right off the bat. I personally cursed myself for not starting an entrepreneurial service while in university. Finding jobs is hard enough and then becoming painfully aware of some expenses one never had to think about poses another problem.

We lose and make friends and some old relationships die out. Loss is a necessary part of growth unfortunately. We need to figure out how to discover ourselves and remain true to the philosophies we develop.

I am still figuring everything out, but I will share the nuggets of wisdom I have found along the journey of coming of age.

Okay. Here we go!






  1. Let’s face it. You are not going to land your dream job immediately after coming out of school. The few who do are the exception and not the rule. You’d most likely spend the bulk of your 20s in jobs you don’t like. Rather than just sulking and hating your job (believe me I know how that feels) take it as an opportunity to learn. There are new skills and ethics to learn anywhere you find yourself. It doesn’t matter what you did in school and what class of degree you were honored with. Your talents could take you elsewhere. There is no friendly fire in the field of work. Get all the experience you can from your current employment. This would prove invaluable in your future endeavors. Never pass up on an opportunity to learn and improve because you “don’t like” your job.


  1. You don’t have to be rude with everybody you don’t like at work. You must attempt to be polite and well-mannered even to the most inconsiderate clients and colleagues at work. That way you earn respect even among rivals and potential enemies you make. In the event you leave your workplace it can earn you good recommendations from whoever you worked with and for before.


  1. Work is work. You don’t have to like your job to be good at it. It is important to know that your workplace isn’t always a place to have fun. It is where solutions to problems are solved. Keep your head down and put in your best output. A haphazard approach to your job jeopardizes your referrals in the future. You never know when you need a good word from your employer even if you do not intend to work for someone in the future. When you are at work, be professional.


  1. Look out for internships. This is a great way to get a potential employer to build trust in you as well as hone your skills and improve yourself.


  1. If you are going to start your own business, then you need to have a well thought out business plan. Make enquiries about starting a business and its obligations and ramifications. Befriend people who are already in the industry. Learn from them as much as possible. If you are looking for sponsorship make sure to write a business proposal you can present to potential investors. No one is going to put their hard-earned money into pipe dreams. They only invest in works in progress. It is not enough to talk about your ideas. Put them to action. Start something. Only then will the bank rollers take you seriously.


  1. Entrepreneurship is no boat ride. It is hard even financing yourself. There are many pitfalls which come up on a daily basis. Forget the illusion of working for yourself motivational speakers sell to you. You must be prepared to shed blood and tears for it. Ideally work a couple of years and cultivate the level of professionalism you need to successfully run your own gig. WORK BEFORE YOU START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.


  1. Do not be afraid to fail. It is an unpleasant experience. Most Ghanaian businesses are never heard of again because they failed and never got back up. Failure provides an opportunity for evaluation. It is only a fool who never learns from his mistakes. I am yet to see a baby who has never walked simply because it stopped trying after falling many times. When you fail, do not give up. It is that indomitable nature which will keep you and your business up in trying times. You must temper this with pragmatism though. Some ideas are bound to fail from the get go. Be practical in whatever you do, and your windows of failure would be reduced somewhat.


  1. Passion is overrated. It is no longer good enough to simply just love what you do. Do not make pointless sacrifices if you are not prepared to plan and learn and relearn and unlearn. Nobody is in your corner except you. You must work hard and alone, and it could take years, even decades to be fully successful. If you understand all of this, then remember; The only competition you have is with yourself.


  1. Creatives wake up! The real world of creativity does not wait for you to come up with ideas in the comfort of your own home. The beautiful work you spend months leisurely doing in school now needs hours to do from concept to execution in the real world. Do not be lazy! Learn to think on your feet and cut out “trendy” designs for clean and practical ones. You need to temper your flair with a didactic approach when you are doing work for a client. You are commissioned to solve a need not show off your creative skills. A job well-done is where the client tells you and pays you off, not the opinion of a fellow creative on how “unreasonable or clueless” the client might be. Remember, be professional even if they are not.


  1. Keep an open mind. You are not the repository of knowledge in your field. Do not argue out mistakes or unduly criticize any motive unless you understand it. Accept corrections and ask for a second opinion on assignments you are tasked with.


  1. When working for a client, assume they do not know what they want. Most of the time that is the case. Use your expertise to make the best suggestions as to what they need. Don’t be too focused on how much money you are going to make off them. Focus on excellence and success will chase you pants down.


  1. Reputation is everything. As I have already mentioned in bits and pieces, be known for professionally good traits. Be on time for work. Have a cordial rapport with everybody. Be polite, except in extreme cases. The way you approach your employed job is the same way you would approach your own pet project. So take care of your reputation.






Money. It slips between your fingers like water through a basket. We like spending a lot, especially on things we do not need. Clothing, airtime, chilling, miscellaneous needs. When the parental bank closes and we have to rely on ourselves then we realize that money is necessary for a lot of things.


  1. Everything you need should fall within a budget. Work around your income sources and know what you need so you can plan for it. Always leave room in your budget for unexpected expenses.


  1. Cut down on spending. If something you buy is not going to impact you positively then you do not need it. Cut down on unnecessary calls and social media you do not need. You do not need to go out every weekend or be at the top of the trend market.


  1. SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! Once again SAVE! The truth is your first salary is so meagre you basically have to live paycheck to paycheck. There is an unspoken rule however that if you don’t have at least twice the amount of money you have in your account to buy something, then you can’t afford it. Make ends meet. Eat from home, cook. Remind yourself “there is rice at home” if you are tempted to spend money you are saving. Saving for rainy days will help you when they hit.


  1. Aside from your savings, invest in treasury bills and fixed deposits as a way to grow your finances. This is very helpful if you are saving towards an objective.


  1. Learn about pension schemes and insurance. Insurance companies will be more than happy to provide you with information on their schemes. Your parents are also an invaluable source of knowledge when it comes to finances. Speak to them and older people. They would give you a personal story of their experiences.






We get into university and tertiary institutions with very idealistic approaches. When the reality hits however we lose certain parts of ourselves and the people connected to them. Self-discovery and growth is like that. Change is constant. We must embrace it. We tend to underrate the value of personal relationships as young adults a lot. We are not discerning with our choice of friends and partner so most of the time we are left clutching straws.

  1. Take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise your body. Challenge your mental faculties. It is necessary to be healthy and be in shape. This impacts positively on the rest of your life. A healthy and fit person has pretty good self-esteem. Watching and reading educational material also exercises your mind. Go for a spoken word show. Read a book. Have a healthy debate on a topic. You are responsible for yourself. Go for regular medical checkups. Seek professional help if you feel mentally unstable or depressed. A healthy mind and body reduces the likelihood of ill health. Learn to cook. When you cook you have an intimate understanding of the processes you go through to nourish yourself. It also has the added benefit of cutting down on expenses.


  1. Keep your faith. If your religious faith is very important to you, then be sure to abide by all its tenets. You can’t choose what you like about your religion and leave some parts out. Read your religious books and have a personal understanding for yourself. Spiritual enlightenment will always keep you out of the hands of charlatans looking to prey on vulnerable people. If you are not a religious person, you need to stick to your personal philosophy nonetheless. An amoral person is not a lawless person.


  1. Groom yourself. Keep your appearance neat. You never know who you might meet. From your clothing to your hair and breath, always look tidy as much as possible when you are in public. A slovenly appearance means people wouldn’t take you seriously.


  1. Be responsible sexually. Use protection and try to keep as few sexual partners as possible. AIDS is still very real. Antibiotic resistant strains of usually curable sexual infections are also cropping up. Hepatitis and HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infections as well as Herpes are other non-curable sexually transmitted infections most people do not know about. Use the morning after pill or go get the regular contraceptive pill if you want to hit it raw but don’t want to have a baby.


  1. Talk to your parents. They are also human beings like you, not monsters. When we become adolescents we often get off on the wrong end of our parents’ challenges and arguments. When we become adults, they give us more leeway than we usually think we do. You won’t find out until you have had a conversation with them. Parents are surprisingly warmer than we give them credit for. After all they were once like us.


  1. There are NO fake friends. There are different levels of friendship. We tend to have very few friends close to us. Most of the times we are just acquainted with a lot of people we share specific interests with. Sometimes we invest so much time and resources with people who honestly don’t see us in the same way. In male relationship circles, trust is small and only earned after shared experiences and recommendations. This does not mean you should cut people off. Even rogues have their uses. It is necessary to remain cordial even if distant. Keep your circle of friends small and your acquaintances big.


  1. Be responsible on social media. Do not unnecessarily antagonize people online. As much as possible keep your social media footprint as low as possible. Have fun and do not take everything too seriously. Be cordial and do not post anything you wouldn’t want your employees and close friends and family to see online.


  1. You are entitled to an INFORMED Don’t talk about what you don’t know. You will only look like a fool. If you don’t know, keep quiet and observe. Google is your friend. A quick search will make you look like the wisest person on planet earth.


  1. Be polite. Even when people come across as jerks and silly, remain in control and polite. Some people suck at first impressions. I know. I am one of them. Do not use unfamiliarity as an excuse to be rude. Unless you are hard pressed to get out of a situation just be firm but polite about your refusal. It is not polite to air people as well.


  1. Keep an open mind. In a confusing age of gender fluidity and sexual orientation, it is important to keep an open mind and respect other people. The fact that someone might be gay does not mean he or she is an abominable creature. It is not your place to question their motives or “convert” them. Just avoid unsavory topics you would rather not broach with them.


  1. You are not entitled to anything. You are not going to get the best of everything. People will be rude to you and ignore you. You would feel left out of things. You would feel alone sometimes. This is when you need to understand your nature and believe in yourself. This sounds contradictory to the first few points I may have made earlier. Your faith is not a guarantee of anything. Do not go shoving it down other people’s throats. People will love you more for your personality than your faith.


  1. Learn to be socially pleasant. As an introvert there is nothing I want to do more than flee crowded places most of the time. With time however I have become something of an ambivert. Simply by being pleasant and making conversation rather than speaking only when spoken to, I have been mistaken to be outgoing on a couple of occasions. Social conduct is a skill anyone can learn. Don’t be rude in the name of being introverted.


  1. Your partner must be your friend. I know for us males, sometimes we set out to “hunt” and run girls so they can be our girlfriends. This ends up with having romantic connections to someone who barely knows us and vice versa. In this turbulent decade, it is prudent to get to know your partner and be friends who can talk about any subject other than yourself. Relationships are built on trust. This trust is fueled by friendship and camaraderie.


  1. People will come and go. It is hard to keep positive memories of people after having a falling out. It is important to remain cordial even when you don’t want to. Let the past be the past. There is nothing you can do about it. Look forward to the future and better relationships.


  1. Spend time with yourself and appreciate your own company. Self-evaluation is very important if you are identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Assess yourself. Take note of negative habits. Work on them. When you know yourself, and appreciate and work on your flaws, no one can make you feel inferior ever. You are your best friend and your worst enemy.



Coming of age means that you would be expected to take up certain roles in your religious faith and social circles. They also come with their own pressures and expectations. I would outline a few things from my experience.

  1. Be prepared. DON’T accept a position if you know you can’t make time for it. Organizations require professional commitments which can sometimes clash with other responsibilities. If you know you aren’t prepared to handle the responsibilities which come with the position then please, flee.


  1. Be professional when you are in the position. Even if you later change your mind on why you accepted the position, you need to act responsibly until a replacement is found for you. A lack of commitment can hurt future recommendations which you might require in the future. Help the team in the best of efforts you can contribute.


  1. Do not second-guess the actions of your superiors. They might be facing the same dilemmas mentioned in points 1 and 2. In your criticism be constructive and mindful of what you say or do. If you are not happy about certain decisions, express them in the most appropriate of ways. Organizations move forward better when all contributors are transparent.



Whew! I think I’m done for now. I can’t think of anything more to say for now. Adulthood requires responsibility. Just keep your head down and talk to your parents and you’ll be fine most of the time. Remember. E go bee.


Words I Like To Throw Around These Days


Of being tired
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

That I waste
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

That I feel
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

The life
That is sucked out of me
Because I am
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

That I make
Because I am
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

Because I endure
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

That one day I will get out of
Sitting long hours in
My own cage staring at a blank screen
Doing nothing for hours on end
Waiting for the siren so I can go home

© Sena Frost ’17


365 and a quarter days spent racing round a gigantic fireball

Revolutions made regularly

Spinning in perpetuity

I would say it runs in circles


Elliptical tracks are more our style

A top tilting its way round a familiar course

The yardstick called a year

In years

I am born

You grow

We live

They die

Sometimes we leap

A whole day awarded for you

We waste it

Nonetheless this course holds steady

A little blip in the Milky Way

Twinkling merrily in some alien sky


Bring us together

Tear us apart

That even family becomes strangers

As bonds are loosened by the constant spinning

Yesterday’s trusting child becomes a suspecting adult


Tilt me out of the circumference of your life

That a touch made today is a footprint at the beach;

Washed away

Years we’d rather forget

Filled with places we would rather not be and people we no longer are

Death and darkness in them

Years we remember

Filled with life

Sun and growth and all things nice

Where I remain inceptive

Immortal years stop not once for you

Years take the life

You painstakingly crafted something for yourself

A sudden leap sends you out of the cradle

And pop goes the weasel

We convolute

Wax and wane

Bloom then wither

As our own sense of time culls us

All in

365 and a quarter days spent racing round a gigantic fireball

Revolutions made regularly

Spinning in perpetuity

I would say it runs in circles


Elliptical tracks are more our style

An eternal present

For what exactly?

Who knows,

Go with the flow

Image courtesy google images

© Sena Frost ’17

Dog Days are Shitty Days

Every day is the same. I wake up in the darkness. I debate whether I truly want to be at work today. I then go to the underground tank in the middle of the compound house where I live and draw water. Sometimes it took longer than normal because the rope was too frayed to hold up the bucket we used to draw the water. It meant fetching a big napkin to use as a makeshift rope. Woe betide whoever’s bucket fell inside the underground tank. It would take forever to get it back. When I finally make it to the shared bathhouse I like to take my time, continuing my mental argument. Even in the shower, I am lost in thought as the cold water rains down my belly, puckering up every pore. I’m developing a pot belly. Weird considering how I barely eat these days. I throw on whatever clothes my hands touch first then I sling my bag over my shoulder and head out.

Sometimes I lope to the railway which is a few hundred metres away. When I’m late I take my time to walk to the bus stop, if you can even call it that. The taxis have taken over the place and forced the tro-tro drivers to park in the middle of the road. I like to call them troskies after the parlance of us millennial pidgin speakers. The police who come there sometimes sack them, most other times they just look on; their pallid reflective shirts making them look awkward in the fray. It was a different prospect getting a trosky. I work at Circle, and the troskies going there were regularly irregular. It didn’t matter how early you rose; there is no telling when one would show up or if it was full or not. We’d line up at the roadside, peering expectantly for any sign of a trosky with the swivelling arm of a mate.

I try to keep to myself a lot. Most of the time, I listen to music. Anything to distract me from the gnawing pain in my heart. It’s like an unsettling itch. Like something has moved from its rightful position. Yeah something has. My girlfriend just left me for another guy. A photographer who had promised to make her famous. “You’ve become so distant lately. You don’t even do the stuff you used to anymore.” She had wailed over the phone. The stuff she referred to was “gifts”; little wads of cash every other week for her to do her nails and look pretty and stuff. That was the last time we spoke. I could barely tell her anything at all. If I wasn’t talking about her in our conversations she wasn’t interested. I even wonder how we met. I think it was at a party when we were still in school. It was one of those nights where I had had a little too much to drink. She is a looker though. Five foot two, pear shaped with boobs like wild mangoes and a behind like wobbled like water balloons. She was smart, but wasn’t interested in anything intellectual. She’d rather talk about the latest fashion trends and whatever. After a couple of one night stands we hooked up and that was it.

I love her. Or I think I do. Over time she became more and more about the glam and less about us. I think she saw me as a rich kid who had so much money to blow. That was hard to deny. I mean I did live the good life on campus; always stepping everywhere in style, hitting club after club and sorting out any money issues that came with it. I think I was just scared to let her know it wasn’t like that. In making it all about the money, I suppose I had this coming. The sex barely made up for anything. If anything it became less and less till she finally dumped me. I’d miss her rump though. A memory of me stabbing away as she bounced up and down in my dingy room when she came over flitted through my mind. I switched playlists. I’ve developed a taste for loud electronic music. The more tingly the sound, the better.

I probably have the worst of luck. I hardly ever get a good enough trosky to work. Between being perched on the spare tyre or cramped up in the back seat while a stout old lady or cantankerous man spread themselves in the desired edge seat. In the trains, I’d most often stand throughout the journey to my stop. I shouldn’t complain about that but it gets to me every time. I loathe it when the trosky drivers decide to take the untarred shortcuts in a bid to outrace other troskies for more passengers. They jarred my bones and made my cramped plight even more pitiful. I’d dream of owning a car but I don’t even know how to drive. All the potential driving license money going down one frizzy haired drain. Or used to.

The morning traffic on the ride to work could be interesting. Coupled with the music banging on my ear drums I’d see things and imagine them as pictures or poems in my mind’s eye. Even when my eyes watered from the pain from the metal frames pressing against my shins or kneecaps I’d look out the window. I try to keep as much change as possible because the thieving mates never lost an opportunity to increase the fare or withhold small change any chance they got. Never mind the unwashed bodies and smelly armpits, I needed those coins. Their unpredictability was the one thing predictable about them. Looking out sometimes gave away the newest trends in town. Big shiny billboards with all sorts of nonsense scrawled on them; the religious ones anyway. The new buildings with their colourful alucobond frames looking like something out of a Lego movie were particularly interesting. Most of them had the ubiquitous “Space to let” sign draped over their sides. Space which I’d have to sell my kidney to rent for a couple of months.

The new apartment signs rankle me the most. Shiny building blocks with nice views and astronomical prices. Certainly not worth me busting a spleen. I take careful note to see my favourite hated billboard. Hers. Yeah, she modelled for this herbal toothpaste thingy and they loved her for it. For me it was the beginning of the end. Her dimpled smile winked at me, reminding me of how her overnight popularity and need to look the part took her further away. She wasn’t even paid a dime for the billboard; or so she claimed. I sighed heavily and thought of work. Work was in a cramped office space in downtown Accra. I worked as head of outdoor services. It’s just a fancy name for delivery boy. We delivered sanitary items to hotels and corporate offices all over. I’m only the head because I can’t drive. Too smart to let go and too desperate to demand a higher wage, I feel stuck here often. All I did was stamp and verify, stamp and verify.

My boss is an asshole. She was a portly woman in her late forties. Never married and always had a scowl on her face. She strung insults from her thin lips like toothpaste being squeezed dry. Every conversation with her had a dollop of biblical quotes in them. I suspect she really hopes to get married. We break every Wednesday because she goes to midweek service at one of the churches in the neighbourhood. Every third Friday of the month was a half-day because she had to go to Kasoa for a special deliverance session from some new-fangled pastor there. She would be pretty if she smiled. I don’t remember ever seeing her smile. Her attitude bordered on outright hostility though.  I always wonder how she kept getting clients. News through the grapevine said she got her best clients from gay people and regularly gave them all sorts of jobs if they came around. All I had to do was listen when the godawful music from the radio in her office went very high. Judging by its frequency when we had female clients visiting, I think it’s true.

The pay stinks. I’ve come close to quitting so many time but my mom tells me to stay “because there are no jobs anymore.” The ex-girlfriend used to take up half the amount every month. I remember having to deal with money launderers because she wanted an iPhone 7 for her birthday. I still haven’t been able to pay off that debt. The scars crisscrossing my potbelly remind me every time it gets cold. Rent and food and transportation take up the rest. I don’t remember the last time I saw my friends or went to the movies or had a drink. It’s virtually impossible to. I subsist every single month. Most of the time I look good so my poverty hardly shows on my face. My mom (bless her soul) brings me new clothes every month from when she goes shopping for things for her boutique. I haven’t been to church in forever. I’m just too tired from working six days a week. I need money. Trouble is I need money to make money

I have a dream. My dream is to be a photographer. Not because of her or the fact that her new boyfriend is one. My friends who are into it are making some serious dough I think. I see the posts on Instagram sometimes. Seeing the smiling pretty girls I’m hardly ever going to talk to was nice sometimes.

Going on social media drains whatever credit I manage to buy on my phone so I keep it to a minimum. It’s also a good check so I don’t see the ex’s smiling visage splattered everywhere. I hate those motivational WhatsApp BCs which circulate round. They remind me of a time when I had tried to be very religious and tried the supposed straight and narrow path. I just turn off my data so I hardly ever see all that BS. I think she’s blocked me on WhatsApp. My messages don’t go through anymore. I miss sexting her and the nudes she used to send me in. Those moments were the only true distraction I had. The nudes always preceded her coming over for a booty call. I’d let go as we drummed away, sweaty palms tracing her curves and tickling her back. I remember the taste of her mouth and the way she wound her waist as we congressed on the wall. She rose pale in the light streaming in from the streetlight as we wordlessly made love over and over again. We never used any protection even when she was cheating on me. Forgive me. It’s the only thing I have any appetite for. I would never eat my toffee in its wrapper. I pushed the door to the office open and set my bag down.

Stamp and verify. Stamp and verify. Ten hours later I picked up my bag and stole out of the office. If you don’t leave quietly my boss would make you stay in and pray with her till she was ready to go home. She usually leaves at nine pm.

Travelling back home is my favourite part of my shitty routine. There’s a tranquil beauty that sets in the city after five pm. The orange hues reflected on the fancy buildings and silhouetted others. Mentally I’d frame them in pictures ready to be shot. I remember I used to take pictures with my phone until I was mugged while doing that. It was funny. I felt a knife between my ribs and a hand pulling the phone away. I didn’t bother to resist. I haven’t attempted taking photos since. Sometimes the beauty is lost on me while I’m waiting in a queue at the station. I wonder what keeps the troskies so long. It gets annoying when people try to cut the queue or when the silly station masters break it up on the premise of double queueing. It never fails to throw me back to secondary school. Another negative collection of memories I would rather not recollect. When the trosky comes in though I try my best to get a window seat.

Perched at the window, I’d listen to my heartbreak music while letting my mind drift in the kilometres being eaten away. I would not have that pleasure this evening. My phone buzzed and I lifted it to my face. In the quasi darkness of the trosky a single text message notification illuminated my face. “I think I’m HIV positive.”

I screamed.


© Sena Frost ‘17

image courtesy google images