Feature Article of Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

A Poem-Love In Toto

Love In Toto

(Love daughter)
I love you basabasa (bad)
Anapa bosuo, anapa wi
(Morning dew)
(Tiny String)
Ma akoma mu tofe
(The sweet in my heart)
Shaped like a guitar
My morning star
Ashanti queen
Your grace is something to behold
I seek attention of your heart
Don’t give me a hurt
Saying no for an answer
Not to me, not to me
I have vomited you
(Grown love sick of you)
Come and vomit my mouth
(Kiss me)

Ahoofe obaasima
(Ideal beautiful lady)
Don’t bewitch me
With your wicked furtive glances
I see love lancing
And dancing on your cherubic cheeks
Black beauty
I love you basabasa
I love your awosowoso (quivering buttocks)
Which tremble like a guy in fits
Or water in a brass tray
Balanced on the head by a black beauty,
On her way from the river,
When I set my sights on you
I see a royal presence
Your comely eyes
Are those of a dove
They are pools hiding ancient love potion
These days, you are rarely seen,
Sometimes you hide behind the Mununkum (clouds)
And for a while,
My world is cast in utter gloom

Then from behind the darkness
You oblige us temporary with your regal radiance
That outshines the effulgence of seven suns,
Oh, edukromu nsuo (holy water)
Free me from love torture
And handcuff me as your prisoner
I shall willingly serve life sentence
In your courts
And be at your beck and call
Ashanti queen
Akonedi komfo (priest of Akonedi)
Come imprison me my jailor
Be my executrix cum executioner
Wont mind dying in your bosom
Then, like your pet opossum
I shall lick your dainty breasts
Before I am put to rest,
Then add me your prize hunter
To your priceless prizes on your counter
Fa me ye (take me do/apply me)
I love you in toto
I love you basabasa

Who am I

Who am I, son of a modest cocoa farmer
To propose love to Philosophy
Mother of high leanings and learning,
Eminent philosophers,
Likes of Socrates, Aristotle and Plato,
Even in their best intents and gorgeous garbs
Woefully failed in their entreaties
To espy a glimpse of your fairly form,
Oh, who then am I
To fathom the beauty of this Venusian Conundrum,
Philosophy, the quest of ages,
Nay, the zest of Sages,
Again, the confuser of nitwits and pages,
Oh, Father Confucius, come to my aid

Philosophy, your fair form
Frustrates and bemuses your Valentines
They surmise you a mother of controversies,
They conclude you were conceived
In contradistinctions and contradictions,
How then not to confuse your admirers
Who queue up to worship and proselyte
At your altar of sophistry
At the Eleunisian heights
Where initiates baptize
And dabble in the deep bellies
Of Aristotelian eudaemonism
And Socratic syncretism –
Neophytes evince glimpses of
Philosophical constructions,
Abstruse abstractions in intricate worded
Semantic complexities
There they imbibe Platonian absolute universals
And succumb to suckling Einstonian
Relativity at low velocity,
Oh, Philosophy, your tutorials
Too convoluted for a farmer’s son to unwrangle,
I’d rather die an unlettered classical folk
Then suffer morbid torture of eclectic elusives
Syllogisms and semantic elocutions,
Perhaps, Philosophy’s megawatts electrocutes
Poor souls like me,
What tortuous and amorous homilies and argumentation
Proselyting under your tutelage,
In the lofty courts of your majesty,
Queen of all the Olympian tripos –
Philosophy, political economy and mega mathematics

A poem

The shortest verse is the best
Put the rest to the test
They ramble on
Till they come to nest

A poem, a telegram-
Compact in its detail
It’s self-contained
It addresses the issue
Without wasting tissue
Sport on, its language is terse
Oh, how I love verses short in text
Apt they are
No contest

Sometimes, it depends
The theme and mood of the bard
May bud,
Out the window
Goes the words –
Concise, curt, succinct and terse,
In comes copious superfluity
A celebration of words
Till the issue is laid to rest
In no small unrest

Afcon 2010 – Ode to Togo

African Confederation Cup Competition in Angola,
Soccer glitch outside the playing pitch
Media hype, football fever in FIFA fiefdom
CAF raised it to fever pitch,
It ran the Togolese into a ditch,
Assassination of two delegates in a nasty glitch

Dark history year for Togo and African football,
To go or not to go,
Dilemma for Togo’s team,
After dastardly ambush and ambuscade
In Cabinda,
Oh what a tragedy to the Togo Team,
They lost their steam

Rebels rained bullets on their convoy
Dirty politics crossed the path of
Innocent soccer enthusiasts outside the playing pitch

A bloodbath in cold blood
Nasty Cabinda rebels
Acted cowardly to type,
Like castrated bulls,
They acted savagely like menstruating goons
Leaving blood behind their trail
They must in shame lick their tail
Adieu, Togo soccer delegates
Africa and the football world mourn your loss
May heaven’s dew moisten your grave with moss

The Mouth

An idle mouth will say things
Things need to be said
Talk the talk and free yourself
An idle mind, idle talk
The mouth has no reins

Where I come from,
They talk their talk
They talk the small gossip
An idle mouth will say things

They mind other people’s businesses,
Yes, your business is everyone’s business
People talk and talk
From morning till evening
From dawn to dusk
They chatter and jabber
Idling away the time,
Where there are few jobs
The mouth will not sleep hungry
It will talk and feed on gossip

In Ghana, where I hail from,
There are professional chatterboxes
Go to Makola Market in Accra,
It’s a big talking shop
They churn the rumours
To feed the grapevine,
Tune to the milieu FM stations,
There is chatter galore,
You’ll go deaf with the deafening din,
Info overload,
Accusations and counter accusations
There is no economy of words
They stretch the truth
To chat all day
It’s convivial and gay
Welcome to Ghana

Our Elders

Damirifa due!
Our elders
They came to do some
Not the whole lot
They climbed mountains
They descended vales
All for our sake
They made us dwelling places
They gave us education
And fought for our freedom
Our elders
They came to do some
Not the whole lot
They did what it takes
And left us much in the stakes

You and I can see their legacy
Not in mansions nor treasures
But in the upright life
The ideals they imparted
The wisdom they guarded
The path they charted,
Yes, they came to do some
Not the whole lot but they did a lot
Our elders,
Damirifa due (rest in peace)

Oil Curse

In hunger Ghanaians hankered for oil find
No sooner was oil found
It turned an albatross of a kind
Our national character was in a bind
Greedy gluttons spoil to fill their purses
Onlookers rave and rant with curses
The oil looters range themselves for a brutal brawl
On which side will be nurse spouses,
Seeing it is the politicians and their
Thieving ilk in a tangle
They raise hullabaloo and politicize
Every wee issue
Issues better left to bud in their pregnancy
How I wish in my anguish
There was no oil find
To raise this media excitation
And incommodious commotion
Threatening like a fiendish incubus
Waiting to copulate over national corporeal
What an oddity of an odious
Odium –
Oil commodity –


Prosaic poems
Endorsed for your reading pleasure
Do so
At your relaxing leisure
Pieces you will enjoy beyond measure
In them lie
Generous gems and a treasure
Let yourself go
Without a seizure

The thrills will entice you without frills
Some pieces will sound shrill
But not to worry
Ride on and read on
Though some poignant points will prove peppery,
What is the point in agreeing with all the points?
After all, we all have different viewpoints

Essence of writing, to raise a kerfuffle
Continuous writers will raise controversy
So far as poets, essayists and novelists (PEN) abound
They’ll deliberately muddy waters and ruffle feathers

Some writing may prove supine and deemed
Gutterly vulgar

Yet, exactly what they want to opine,
You may raise the bar
But they think they’re above par,
Truth be told
Writers are gleeful to spar,
For the feedback to them is mind fodder
To chew on the cud
They enjoy titillating the udder
To maintain their own equilibrium and order
A copious flow of ink
To them is cherished milk
They care less
About those who are not their ilk
Smoothly as silk
They ride on and write on
Never outdone by the big guns,
Not even the Sunday Suns

Great Disappointment Story

And he came
Hoping she was a dame
And good enough to be tame
Alas, he went away lame
Low and lame in spirit
In the love game,
Yes, it was a great disappointment
He walked away worse than he came
Crestfallen, he concealed his shame
And reminisced,
‘What is in a name?
After all, dames are all the same
They’ll disappoint and guys will not be the same,
Even if they are calm and sane,
They can grow insane

Swollen and sullen-eyed,
He looked dour and sore
His spirits flagged
They could not soar
Every nectar and fruit tasted sour
Drenched by his tears and in sudden shock
He had experienced firsthand the rape of the lock
The boar had been gored by a silly sow

A billy goat had been bearded by a silly bitch
Both were headed for a hitch
And were dangerously careering into a ditch
Oh, what a love game full of glitch

And disarmed by the rude shock
He walked away empty handed
The love he had nursed and nurtured
Was a sham and a mock
To him, the dame deserved a sjambok
For making him drink hemlock,
Before the midday sun
His love evaporated like mist,
Soon, he was on the run
Hunted and haunted by his own amorous failure;
She in turn, regretted and wished to be a nun,
None the worse for the fun,
In atonement, she fasted and will not touch a bun
The riddle of their love fiasco graduated into a pun
Till this day, unrivalled and unraveled by none

Only in years bygone,
It was Sophocles Antigone
Then, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet,
All love duels in contralto duet

Yoruba Beauty

My yawo
Yawo dudu
Yawo okorii
Yawo gidi gonn ni
Oremi Pataki
You are my enamorata
Yoruba beauty exempli gratias
Come to me, my valentine
My own, come to me
The love inheritance of my elders
My love, one love, undivided love
Come to me
Yawo alagba
You vend to put food on the table
You are big market madam
I vote you President of all women
You are my President
Oh, yawo dudu
No love surpasses yours

Dance kokoro dance to me
To fire up my insatiable love
I want to gourmand you,
Everyday, I take communion from your altar
Yes, everyday at your love altar
Oh, administer to me the holy waters
To douse the mighty conflagration
Coursing like flaming petrol in my veins
Yawo dudu,
What have you done to me,
I cannot have enough of your love,
Come to me, my yawo
Dance to me, yawo dudu

I have not boarded

Citizens, I bring a case
Nothing to pacify my intestines
My abdomen is burning
My intestines are grinding
My intestines are rattling and melting
My hand has not knocked my mouth
Yes, yesterday I boarded up and slept
I woke up on an empty shell
I have not bitten into the baby of a corn grain
I have not bitten into pepper
I have not taken my hand from it
I have not grinded dough
I have not made dough
My hand has not reached my mouth
My stomach has ebbed
I have not pinched fish
I have not done myself well
I have not put my hand down
Water has not touched my mouth
I have not ground pepper

I have fed on air
In short,
I am hungry
That is how we Akans say it in Ghana

An Ideal

What is man but a fleeting breath
Our duty, to give the world our all
To muster our lot for upper call
Service first to our Creator
Then to all mankind
No objective ever so sublime –
Check all religious ideals
They do converge despite their clime
‘Do unto others what you would they do unto you’
This golden thread runs the gamut
Across the religious divide
It invites Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist,
Christian, Zoroastrian and all
To the great invite
Duty to the Supreme Deity
Duty to all
A universal constant
It applies to all sages
In time and space

Rather than wallow in the abyss of ignorance,
I will freely a Christian gladiator be,
Or gleefully gravitate to the Holy See
To don on a garb of a gated monk
Than sinfully sink and grovel in the quagmire
As an unrepentant punk
Dancing erotically to junky funk,
The latter’s upward soar they will flunk
And nosedive perilously into the broiling sea
And get sunk when drunk
In their sated intoxicant life
When they are bored, gored and their sins rife

No sin ever sinful
Than self-centred conceit
Only the sick in spirit
Kowtow at the altar of self love
And worship erroneously as they self destruct

To all intents
These kindred stand more naked
Even when lavishly clothed
In fine feathered satins and silks
Than the simple-at-heart
And penurious peasants
Who live in constant peril of material poverty,
Yet spiritually they are saints,
They sleep rough, half naked in the streets
These have their kind hearts clothed
By their good deeds and selfless acts
Check the facts, they have no fat
To suffer BP,
They fart freely in open air
They have a pact with nature,
Living tough in a compact, they are
Self contained,
Naturally, they live as they wish
Till they expire past their sell-by date
Upstairs, they go to queue at St Peter’s gate

Only Yesterday

Only yesterday,
Boys and girls were we,
We horse played and did hide and seek
Teenage girls’ boobs bobbed and weaved
Pandemonium reigned in the pants of teenage
Yes, only yesterday
Adulthood a dim and distant prospect
Oh, how time flies
It’s already today
It arrives too soon

Only yesterday,
We pooh-poohed growing old
Old people, we deemed skeptical and stupid
We could run, climb and do antics,
Only yesterday, we were lads and lasses
Brimming with youthful impetuosity and exuberance
Our utterances were brash
Our actions were rash

Impatience written all over us,
But today, only a day after,
Suddenly, abruptly,
Old age creeps in like a thief
Grey hair sprouts like silvery mushroom
In unlikely places
The young view us with suspicion

Too soon,
We are in the
Afternoon of our journey
Soon, the evening shadows arrive unannounced
Oh, only yesterday
The sun was at noon
But today, it casts
Its rays from a low angle

Today, too soon
We are elders
At centre stage
The limelight glows on our twilight
Like a sex thief
We are caught red handed pants down

A Poet’s Motto

A poem a day
Will keep you awake
In spirit and intellect
No need to surf the internet
Unless it’s poemhunter.com,
You cannot go astray
If you engage intellect
In liberal poetic pursuits

A poem a day
Will keep you out of mischief
You engage in self-cleansing
As you write and ride on,
Mental cogitation sends you to purgatory
To wean self from dross
And flush your mind of gloss
Of self aggrandizement,
Then like stained teeth,
You receive a floss

Bad things

Don’t say me bad things,
Where I come from,
Saying bad things is a taboo
Such things are better said in the public loo
It is believed the loo stench
From the pit latrine trench
Cleanses the spirit of bad sayings

Don’t say me bad things
The mouth that eats pepper and salt
Has power to curse,
Where I come from,
You will pay a goat fine
To the village Odikro (chief)
If you badmouth me
Odikro will call witnesses
As if to prove a thief
If found guilty
You will pay a fine
Of a goat, a chicken, a small fee
And a bottle of Akpeteshie (local gin)
Badmouths pay many fines
That’s why many are refined

In my village where I come from
They don’t say me bad things
If per chance I fall ill,
To the jujuman we shall go
The oracle will fish out a curse
Fixed on me by a badmouth,
To reverse the curse,
Sacrifices will be made to the gods
To expiate the malevolent badmouths
My brother, my sister
Badmouths are loudmouths
They can devour human flesh
My brother, my sister
That is our tradition,
Don’t say me bad things

Unlike me

On a sad note
I choose to write not
This is but a note
I don’t want to write a lot
Please take note
Don’t on me dote
I will put a dot
When the pot is hot
I will put a dot
When the pot is full
And I’m no fool
I mean what I say
I say what I mean
I am what I mean
I am not mean
That’s the worst part of me
I try to balance
To arrive at the mean

Let me sit my somewhere

I see people go
I see people come
Is there anything happening hereabouts or thereabouts?
Oh, let me sit my somewhere,
It’s no business of mine
To nosepoke into fires in the hearth
In other people’s homes,
That’s bad manners, bad manners
So we’ve been told,
They could be roasting a toad
Or they could be smoking a roach
But then, none of my business to encroach
Oh, let me sit my somewhere
Let me sit my somewhere
But the scent from a burning toad
Wafting the air just across the road
Could be sickening,
Oh, my belly bottom is retching
And ready to implode
I fear my belly will cave in if I throw

So nobody can tell me something?
Here I am, sitting my somewhere
I see them go to the Airport
To and fro
They go
To and fro
They come
Just like visitations to the hospital
Yet, there is no dokita (doctor) around
Nor do norses (nurses) abound

I see strange strangers
I see weird ladies in fine laces
Crime is writ 3D
On their faces
I smell a rat cooking in a cauldron,
Or could it be a python simmering
In a gargantuan African cooking pot
Strange scents evoke fanciful imaginings
Of the goings-on and the goings-under

So, nobody will say me something,
Anything juicy to quench my thirsty curiosity,
But I get Krokro eyes oh,
And I get pin-pricked ears oh,
Only my mouth fit shut like a clam
To and fro
Fro and to,
They play seesaw with their entrée
And exit;

Like the tides at the shore
Ebb and flow,
They reap but do not sow;
To the Airport they go to and fro
But these don’t work at Airport
Neither do they work anywhere,
Yet they drive German posh cars,
Eat Russian caviar, smoke Havana cigar
Drink French cognac, Scotch Whisky
And Italian wine
They eat Hungarian sausage
They strut about with lazy bone girls,
Girls who dunno how to get a life
They fit no sane man’s criteria for a wife
He-men adorn their bodies
With satanic tattoos
They wear expensive garb and habiliments
Fit for kings and queens
Yet, their dressing taste is a distaste –
Chains, rings, jewellery of sorts
Adorn their ears, noses, necks, fingers,
Perhaps, toes, navels and genitalia,
Above this riot,
The never missing high society perfumes
Suffuse and gag the air

They shit expensive shit oh, Oga
Yet they jealous my simpleton style
My brother, my sister,
Nowhere cool oh,
I bet, they envy my unsung stool!

Today is party day
They blare funky rap music at the loudest
The way it happens all over the city
When there are funerals

So, are they partying or holding
Their own funereal funerals
Before d-day when the storm breaks?
They dance the dance of the uneasy rich
They fake fake happiness
Oh, my brother, my sister
Their inside no cool at all, at all oh
They drive on the suicidal fast lane of life
Abi, but me, I dey my corner oh,
Let me sit my somewhere

One day, yes it took only a day
Their secret leapt out of the gate
A kid brought from up country
Spilt the beans
It was like a bird’s whisper
‘You know, they cook magic powder
Day and night
They sell to throwers and couriers
At Kotoka Airport perimeter in Accra
We count dollars in wads and rolls,
Oh, you can smell the dough in
Our house …….
Blah, blah, black sheep …..
Oh, so magic powder is their secret
Cocaine they call it?
My brother, my sister
Let me sit my somewhere
No where cool oh

Cocaine is cooking and brewing a storm
When cooled,
They will eat and shit,
The scent will create a stench
Soon, they will swoon and ‘quench’
With BNI and FBI on their trail
They will shrink and desist from drinks,
Tails will shrink between their legs
They will gnaw at their fingernails
But me, they think I’m a snail,
Yet we all go reach our destinations oh
Oga, let me sit my somewhere oh
Where I see them go and come
To and fro, to and fro
With my own krokro eyes oh,
Oga, no where cool,
Let me sit my somewhere
I don’t like myself trouble oh
I’m no son of a gun oh’
Nna them be! (It is they who are)

Speed Limits

Reach late
Don’t be the late
It’s better to be late
Than the late to be
Put less joy
On accelerator plate
Pump less your right foot
You won’t be late
Better late an appointment
Than an appointment with death,
Speed kills
But it thrills
Careless driving can rill

Don’t hesitate
Observe speed limits
Don’t a road menace be
Save some savvy sense on the road
Save yourself a messy load
Other road users may accuse
Be in your road sense
The road will be less tense
Good sense, drive safe and pense

Fear Man

Fear you man’s guile
He is vile
His every move interpret a wile
Be on your guard all the while
Life’s journey, a long mile
Never despair, conquer with smile
Thereon, you will triumph over the pile

False Accusers

False liars
They lie standing up
They lie lying down
In falsehood they lay the charge
It looms large
They seem to be in charge
You stand small, heavily accused
Your innocence, no one believes

False liars
False accusers
Sons and daughters of Satan
They are the guilty
You are their guilt
They better quit
Or they’ll wilt
Before the shining throne of wit
False accusers will tumble into their own pit
Then they will have no bit
To bite into
In the dense den of their damnable desecration,
Then, only then,
I will seek my own consecration