Poetry by Fareed Agyakwah


THE WORLD IS NOT A STAGE
                                             The world
                                                      (This world)
                                is not                                 a stage;
     WE ARE                                 not actors.
 It only becomes                                   a stage
       The moment we choose                                to act
     Never have I acted-                                     daily I live
   You can choose YES YOU CAN to act          several ages
   But not when                                               death attacks,
   Sharing                                                             not with us.
    That moment you forget                                     to please
      You care less                                              for applause.
        For death acts                  without                  pleasing,
          Care less                                          for applause-
            “Steep in lassitude”
        HELP stop winding wars, famine…
             SAVE for peace
             (Like never before)
 THE WORLD!
                                                                                     
THERE SHALL BE DROUGHT

1.
There shall be drought.
The lumber man unleashes an angry chainsaw
That pounces on righteous trees.

Eggs weep for the straws the straws for the branches
The branches for the bird the bird for man.

Man’s good at caring less. Between him and gold
Everything  is useless. He bursts forth the head of rocks
Leaching cyanide-washed blood into spotless streams.
Tomorrow there shall be drought green.

2.
There shall be drought.
The five fingers are suddenly sinful.
The poisonous metal reigns from mouth to mouth.

Snow paints the throat posing threat to the eyes.
Chicken sounds like mortuary to the ears of honest taste.
Rice sounds like rubber. Daily poison is rubber
In the life of the living dead. No wonder-
No wonder clay feet go in glass eyes.
Tomorrow there shall be drought grey.


THE MIND IS DUMSOR

The mind is dumsor
As we giraffe for the mother’s milk.

In the spirit-Akosombo
The deep is below the limits.
The moon leaves returns by night.

In this University of Constant Confusion,
If one thing is not dangling,
Another thing is glaring as the sun.

O the mind is dumsor.
I can trace the line perpendicular to the diameter-
How winsomely it charms the sight!

And how the eye’s Adjunct Lecturer
Complains bitterly,
For the waters demand a cow
As the land asks for an ask.


These cash cattle who chose cook for a calling
As the anthill the buttress for a fortress
Now ride astride on the pride of Beijing
Bridle the incisors of our concentration

With their heads above and their end behind,
Amid the gathering clouds shooting our goal
As an assegai above the highest star
Of the goal of their father who roars in hell.

Dumsor, the national anthem
Of our purest impurity in a pure garden.
When the dark sky thunders, amid the searching
Spirit, I shall blame the woman!



POURING MY THOUGHTS TO YOU
(for Nana Aba)
I don’t want to do anything today
I want to pour my thoughts to you.
May grass cutters have a field day.

My trap may have caught a bird-
May usurpers unleash the bird,
Looters loot my corn.

I want to spend the whole day
Pouring my thoughts to you.

May grass cutters have a field day.
May they garner my groundnut,
Plunder my palm nut.

The sky like a masquerade
May not furrow for long.
For long lingers the spring rain.

I want to spend the whole day
Pouring my thoughts to you.
Blesssed be the lion the lion
Who signed a Parthian scar
On the doe’s slight skin-

The deer is dutifully dainty.
But how would you have known
In the absence of Iscariot log?

I want to spend the whole day
Pouring my thoughts to you.

Ours is not the tortoise’s path where no gun growls
Here gage gazes
From the firing chambers of the mind.

Thoughts-trigger actuates.
Fingers foul the heart’s move.
Conscience converts penalties.

I want to spend the whole day
Pouring my thoughts to you.


I want to energize the fingers
To uncock the tub tap;
I want to water my flowers,

And turn to a butterfly-
I need to bless the nectar
With peaceful intimations.

I want to spend the whole day
Pouring my thoughts to you.

Blessed be the sun flower that to the sun says
Yours is the sky and mine the sand
But fate conjoins our comet path.

Along our comet path, Nana Aba,
I seek to find where the log fell in your eyes
That I may blow, blow, blow give me blow.

I want to spend the whole day
Pouring my thoughts to you.



WOULDN’T YOU RATHER BE A GOD?

A serpent in skirt gives me its sword
Can it imagine what it’s done to me?

I fancy myself as a god of poetry
Holding the power of thunder in my five plus point;

I have it in my power to cast this stone
Still in my power to stone this throw

Open the eyes of the sky to tears of joy
Of sorrow, spit, sneeze or piss

Tears red as the blood of the Lamb
Tears as turquoise as *Tuesday briny

Green as the leaves of the field
Black as peat as nim tree charcoal

Signing signatures of woven words
Reshuffling the stars stirring the clouds

Painting the sun on white clouds
Calving the wickedness of the moon

Favoring the sun failing the moon
With your rainbow in the tummy of your hand

Or on the livid lips of **abentsia
Or on the touting thumb of  ***afrikyiwa

The chief of letters would gaze the sky
Gaze the sky and wet the earth white

The chief of letters would pray for rain
Pray for rain and salute the thunder

The subjects and slaves would gaze the sky
Gaze the sky and sprinkle their yam

The subject and slaves would chant for rain
Chant for rain minus the thunder

Wouldn’t you rather be a god
Throwing sense all over the place?

*Tuesday briny     n. In Ghana, and most African countries, it is a taboo to go to Sea on Tuesdays. Tuesday briny suggests a turquoise and undisturbed sea.

**abentsia-            n. an elephant tusk horn used to praise a prominent person or    
                               relate the story of his life.

***afrikyiwa-        n. casternet/ metal for sound.


FAREED AGYAKWAH (b.1984):  Kente Agyakwa is the pseudonym of Fareed Agyakwah. He was conventionally educated at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana- the same university whose hospital saw his birth. He has contributed to Ghana’s public life in such organizations as The Statistical Service of Ghana and The Electoral Commission of that country. Agyakwah is an award-winning essayist, columnist and a born PESTEL (Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal) poet with radical lyrical verve. His works have appeared in several magazines, journals and anthologies.

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