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The Songs of The Nature Student
Matthew Adjei

 

THE SONGS OF THE NATURE STUDENT

This is the title poem of my collection of poems written during my schooldays (1982 - 1984) at Techiman Secondary School in Ghana.

 

He that will learn but has no teacher

Let him employ the lessons of Nature,

And his fields of studies shall have no end.

He shall find wisdom in lectures beyond

The borders of countries and of starry skies;

Transformations of light from day to night;

The future of mankind from what the past planned;

The unrippling motions of current oceans;

The frail wriggling worm bracing the fierce storm;

The amazing whale and the simple snail:

The attentive rat and the sightless bat,

The tender pigeon and the wild lion;

And more philosophy and psychology

From Nature he shall fill his indenture

To reveal his wisdom for pleasure.

 

He that will walk alone but has Nature

For companion never shall lack pleasure;

Nor ever need a more cheerful company.

For he shall find in Nature's society:

Foliage of forests and shrubless deserts;

The float of cloudy scenes on the azure screens;

The scent of flowers and the touch of showers;

Swaying pinnate trees and of the wayside reeds;

The dew on the lawn at the break of dawn;

Talking parakeets and chirping crickets:

The polar patterns of skies with flying terns;

And the strange colours of earth shall give him mirth:

With different sights more which will never bore

From Nature he will gain in adventure

To his ever-memorable pleasure.

 

He that will listen but has no feature,

Let him tune his reception to Nature

And he shall never run out of current;

And no mechanical fault shall prevent.,

The whispering of breeze among the trees;

The roaring of waves and wailing of caves;

The hooting of owls and mating cries of fowls;

The cooing of doves among silent groves;

The croaking of frogs and the baying of dogs;

The cackling of geese and the murmuring of bees;

The crowing of cocks and the quacking of ducks;

The unfading echoes of the minstrels' notes

And the many records on vocal chords

Of Nature shall ever be his pleasure

Free to enjoy to its fullest measure.

 

He that is poor but has enough vision

To switch the video of Nature on,

His choice of pleasures shall have no limit

Of sights he will see and never forget:

Of sandy beaches between narrow creeks:

Of the raging sea and the serene lea;

With the rising sun on the horizon;

Of green vegetation and snowy regions;

Of rocky mountains and cascade fountains;

Of radiant rainbows and the jet black crows;

Of gaudy butterflies and glowing fire-flies;

Of spotted leopards and dusty lizards;

And many thrilling scenes on various screens

Of Nature he shall store as his treasure

Of never-to-forget cherished rapture.

 

He that will eat but has no coin to buy,

Invite him to come and taste Nature's pie;

And his appetite shall never suffer

From the bounties that Nature will offer:

Of the sweet apricot in the sandwich pot;

The flavour of spice and the taste of crystal ice:

The harvest of cherries and of wild berries;

Bunches of mellow fruits and tubers of juicy roots:

Of milky tiger-nuts and refreshing coconuts;

Of soft-textured apples and succulent pineapples;

Of sweet sugar cane and tropical plantain;

Of Mediterranean grapes and of desert dates;

And of the luscious pawpaw; with many more

Varieties of refreshments of pleasure

He shall enjoy on the table of Nature.

 

He that will enjoy but has not yet found

A playmate, invite him to Nature's playground,

And let such entertainment be his share,

To choose from the list of Nature's fun-fair:

Of the playful monkeys or silent donkeys;

Of wise little ants or giant tamed elephants;

Of-the busy termites or of sober cats;

Of the timid hares or of fearless bears;

Of the crafty weavers or the constructing beavers;

Of chattering parrots and hanging sloths;

Of the mysterious myths of the dashing swifts,

In fountains of green parks with twittering larks;

And other such choice as would make him rejoice

With Nature in high spirits of pleasure

In fields where only the brave dare venture.

 

He that will adventure but has no guide

Let him join Nature's trip of fancy ride

And participate freely the memories

And joys of unfathomable mysteries:

To sail the tides of times to ancient climes;

To hunt lost treasures and find strange pleasures;

To visit Heaven with scientific vision;

And feast with the gods and share their discourse;

To tour poetic lands of emotional strands;

And explore Arabian nights with Greek torch-lights;

And search secret booths for universal truths,

From every situation within creation;

With many more fun and thrills under the sun

In the chartered flight of chartless Nature

From the past across the borders of the future.

 

 
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TRAGIC SATURDAY I (To Auntie Mary whose sad death was caused by a student attempting to drive a friend's tipper truck which knocked her in the process. The vehicle was brought to the school by the student's friend to help in that morning's cross-country race.

The accident occurred about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and Auntie Mary died at the Techiman Holy Family Hospital at about  8 o'clock in the evening. Auntie Mary was the wife of Mr. Aduenim, the Scripture Union Master.)

The day after the accident, my student friends came to find out from me what I had for them on the issue and the following three poems were what they got.

 

Ring aloud the bells of Tess;

With wild echoes let it chime

The mournful tune of this verse

That I sing to brood the time 

Ring aloud the bells of Tess,
And summon all to parley

To share the news of distress -

The message of agony.

Mourn aloud, students of Tess
For the affliction of Tess
Let your empathy express
The vacuum of our loss.

Come, let us together raise
A monument of remorse
To commemorate this place
With these everlasting words 

Epitaph —

Silver and gold have we none

But our love shall never cease

Your memory, oh dear Madam,

With tears we say “Rest in Peace!”

 

TRAGIC SATURDAY  II (TO Auntie Mary).

The sun rises in the east,

And sets in the west;

But the end of man’s path,

Only God knows best.

 

The cross-country may start

With a brightened day;

But how the day may end,

Only God can say

 

Oh bright Saturday morn

Which was hailed with cheers,

How can we part with rue,

And regretful tears?

 

Blue Saturday of stain

Pregnant with sorrow

The secrets you enclosed,

Only God did know. 

 

Oh dreadful Saturday

To steal a lover

From the bosom of Tess,

Forget you? Never!

 

Black and dark Saturday

Filled with ill omen

To blemish Mother Tess,

And spill our concern. 

 

Oh crimson Saturday

Soiled with royal blood,

Oh scarlet Saturday

Full of scorn and brood.

 

The sun rises in the east,

And sets in the west; 

 But the end of man's path,

Only God knows best.

 

SONNET WRITTEN AT THE TECHIMAN CEMETERY DURING THE BURIAL OF AUNTIE MARY:

Oh! give me leave to mourn myself a while

While it lies in the logic of reason

And cause of this multitudinous file,

Before I join the league of oblivion

 Give me chance to consider my poor end

While uncertainties dimly fade the trail

 May 1 with this opportunity amend

That rueful day when my protests shall fail.

 Let me seize this place for a change of tune

 And jeer human vanities with a dirge.

Glory and honour cannot cheer this ruin,

But preach one lesson with a silent nudge

"After the bitter and sweet feasts of time,

A man may content his dessert with grime."

 

 (Immediately we returned from the burial, an announcement concerning the impending General Certificate Examinations was made and the following were my concerns)

OPERATION G.C.E.

Hearing the alarum

I shall march to the field.

Oh Lord! let your wisdom

Be my guide and shield.

And beholding the slain,
I shall not be afraid
For it is not in vain
I pray for my Lord's aid.

The Lord shall keep his own
Where the great have fallen;

To him my hopes have flown,

And he shall guide my pen.

 

ONLY TODAY, PRAY FOR 'PROF'!

Oh 'Prof’! Poor 'Prof'! Proud 'Prof’! most sinful ‘Prof’!

Here I am cornered in a fix at last.

With all my proud vanities I am plucked?

And out of my pretensions I am mocked.

The G.C.E. has got me pegged and perched;

With cables and ropes have tightened me fast.

But please, do not laugh at me with such scoff,

Yesterday, I was the proud 'Prof of  Tess;

Today, of all in Tess I am most wretched,

And I beg all to pardon my haughtiness;

That all may with love remember proud 'Prof.

In penitence, I say with contrition,

That you may remember me only today,

And forgive my past misdeeds; that you may:

Pray for the poor 'Prof'!

Pray my salvation,

That 1 may be free

Pray my redemption

From the G.C.E.,

For now I shiver

Of exam's fever.

Oh, I beg your love,

To pray for poor 'Prof'!

 

While preparing for the examinations, I was also thinking of the departure for home.

 

 

THE FOY (A Sonnet)

I remember that sweet separation

On that fateful Tuesday six years ago,

When as I drowsed on the trip to Heathrow,

Gloria apprehended my repatriation.

I bluffed with an air of expectation,

While some hours later, before I could know,

I did not hear her good-bye, but the echo

Which flashed with me to destination.

Yet to counterweigh my separation from Tess,

Where I have mended my shattered glory,

I am bound the parting rue to confess

With manly tears which must cost me dearly.

"Goodbye! silver and gold have I none to give,

But may God bless Tess, so long my memory thrive."

 

 

THE END (A Sonnet)

Tiny beginnings bloom from greater minds

The grand comedy eventually

Cannot escape the final tragedy

Tight the tie, the best of friendship even finds

Grandeur, when after its fidelity

Having undergone the test of trial

Reaches the golden gates where the vial

Of fate severs our human destiny.

The rising sun with the congenial

Segregation of the best companion,

And the diversity of the union

Exposes the betrayal of the identical.

But beauty shall still be beautified

Where the grave is conquered with human pride.

 

THE BIFURCATION FOY

Ah, my dear friends! I am afraid to know

We have come to the eventual fork,

And the inevitable must follow,

For no man can control the steer of fate;

Hence we must bifurcate,

And take each his own gate

With his burden and stock.

But dear friends, I am of good cheer to know

Everyone's destiny has different source;

Yet here is not the end. For tomorrow,

Who knows where the streams of our lives may flow -

Not straight-forward, but though

Whether broad or narrow,

My path may meet one's course.

I’m still of the hope we shall meet again,

For paths of lives criss-cross everyday and place;

Even those we part here on earth with pain,

Once their sweet memories are kept bright with us,

Though with deeper remorse,

Mingled with fondling nurse
Are never cast-aways.

But my apprehensions forethink me ill -

For fear myself may not be met again.

(Excuse my foolish dreaming of evil.)

Yet I'm still hopeful of meeting those I’ll miss

Forever now in bliss

With a heavenly kiss

And joy without stain.

But what is my foy, when my dear friends part?

Nothing have I, but this piece of poetry

Which inspires from my cheerful-bitter heart:

Because poetry is good for God's praise only,

And poetry echoes through eternity,

Poetry travels deep through the universe,

And they only understand whom God bless.

 

Now having cleared one hurdle, i.e. the G.C.E., I was still thinking of the gloomy academic future ahead of me.

LOOKING BACK AND AHEAD

I was born and bred a villager,

In the village where the narrow path led to the farm,

And where the path led to the streamside —

The streamside where the girls washed clothes;

The path that led to the outskirts

Where playing toddlers rushed home for the breast,

And teenagers played 'come and choose your lover';

Where the old men played the drum

To the cheering women dancing 'adowa'.

But I found the path overgrowing with weeds

And I scorned the cutlass

Because I found the wide road.

The road that led to the streets,

The streets where flowed the gutters —

The gutters where girls dabbled in search for lost coins;

In the city where toddlers screamed for cerelac,

Where the boys played 'cowboys and violence',

The city where old men came to bed at mid-night

To the complaints of women who have lost their hearts.

And now because I refused to weed

My way through the bushy path,

I am forced to read and cipher

My migrations through cartography;

And self-awareness has made me ashamed

For the peace I have lost.

But knowledge advises me: ‘Courage’!

 

 

MY LAST HOLIDAY IN TESS

When the golden gates of Tess closed,

I leapt with nostalgic joy

Like to Heaven I was supposed

With invitation: ‘Ahoy’!

The thought "home bound  raged me mad

On the wings of fancy flights;

The dream of home friends made me glad

In spirit of sublime heights.

‘Home! Home! home!’ was the chorus.

Shut the golden gates of Tess.

‘Hail! Hail! Hail!’ help stop the bus,

To meet the welcome address.

FAREWELL

At last shall come that glorious date;

Through the administration door

I shall pass through the entrance gate.

And when the morning bells summon,

Friends, be assured, I am no more!

The only 'Prof in Tess is gone!

 

WE SHALL REMEMBER (SUMMING UP)

How can we forget the sweet days at Tess?

 Oh Tess we shall sing your praises far and wide
With fearless pride and happiness

If we forget, we shall regret
In forfeiting our happy days at Tess.

We shall remember the old friends at Tess;

How we spent the nights laughing wild and free

How can it be» if we're senseless?

Unless with rude ingratitude

 Can we forget the old sweet friends at Tess.

We shall recall every speech at old Tess,

 Made by every individual master

With laughter, or with curse,

We can neither, nor forever

Forget the reminiscences of Tess.

Woe is us if we ever forget Tess
With the rare concern of all its workers

Whose loving cares helped to redress   

The scholar's way we tread today

Great shall be our disgrace to care so less.

Every scene and atmosphere of old Tess
Shall come to us with speedy memories;

With its glories, fame and progress

Shall be our song all day, so long

As we are alive to sing its praise and to bless.

We shall remember our dear Headmaster —

How calmly he walked to his officer

With grim service, as a father

Being strict and stern helped us to learn

Por higher achievements for Mother Tess.

 

 

We shall remember each effort and deed

Of pitfall and higher climbs we had here

Which made us cheer, or made us plead

 Our cause with grief, or with sighs heave

The regrets and failures we had at Tess.

 

 

We shall remember all the sports and games

Of inter-houses or the zonal ones

Held on our grounds; cheering guy names

Of cross-country runners, hockey

And soccer heroes who won fame for Tess,

 

We shall remember the inspection hours —

The dreadful concern of every student:

With resentment scrubbing the floors;

Washing, sweeping, dusting and weeding

To enliven the atmosphere of Tess.

 

 

How can we forget that merry Fun-Fair

With the thrilling dancing competition,

Oh bright season, we had our share

And taste of choice to reap rejoice

rom the fruitful pleasures of Mother tqss.

 

 

We shall remember every day and night

Of the entertainments we had with our stay —

The 'dinner day' of 'Carol night',

And the delights of records nites

Which glow our memories with pride of dear Tess

 

 

We shall remember the songs of parade»

And the new school anthem »e learnt here?

To sing with cheer and more to add

Of symposiums and debate sessions,

Which give us more cause to be proud of Tess

 

We shall remember the morning breakfast

Of 'ekwee senior' and 'koko rasta';

And the flavour of 'banku.' lust

For our lunch, and the rice demand

For supper» as the day's menu of Tess

 

 

We shall remember the secret loves we made

And all the clubs and societies we joined

With fraternal bond: the Writer's Club

Debate Club, S.U. and Volu;

Which we did to promote a happy Tess.

 

 

We shall remember the administration block,

The classrooms, the dormitories, the pantry,

And the library with archaic stock,

The dining hall, science lab, and all the

The flowery lanes linking them, O dear Tess

 

We shall remember the Sunday Service;

How in white raiment we thronged to the Hall

At morning call to divine officer

Joined the girls like bright angels;

Sang hymns of praises that God bless Mother Tess.

 

 

We shall remember the aspirations

And endeavours we tried to score success

To crown dear Tess with carnations;

In this we pray, if we fail, may

We be forgiven of our pride, oh Tess

 

 

We shall remember our subject masters too

In our prayers, wherever we may go;

In all we owe or we may do.

0 may the Lord bless and reward

Them for their parts in shaping our course at Tess,

 

 

We shall remember the matrons and their staff»

With their maternal perseverance

And grievance borne on our behalf.

May God bless them with every term

To serve the prosperity of dear Tess.

 

We shall remember our mornings’ cold splash
At the Aponkosu stream.
And the laundry Of our weekly Sundays’ clothes wash?
For the smartness of Mondays’ neatness
To the glory and honour of dear Tess.

 

We shall remember the Saturday loss
Of our dear Madam's woeful tragedy.
Auntie Mary, the fateful cause

Of our fellow student's sad role

That marked and epoch in our days at Tess.

 

We shall remember everything we did
And saw during our two years transient stay —

From the first day of our candid

 Experiments and achievements

To the last we bade farewell to dear Tess.

 

 

A DAY AT THE SHRINE OF BACCHUS (To Harry.)

After today shall come tomorrow,

And another sunny summer Sunday like this

The future out of throes

In swaddling bands shall nurse;

And youth with wanton desire

Shall be persuaded from home

To join once more the revel.

On that day when life shall go gay»

O Harry! from experience, learn today

The difference between ambrosia, lethe and arsenic

 

 

IT IS REALLY A SAD SUBJECT

It is really a sad subject

When others have to keep wake

Conning volumes till their nerves ache;

While you, reposing in bed

Step in to write what you've not read.

It's a shame and you must reflect.

It is really a sad subject
When others have to take the valium,
And combat headache with Librium;
While you , delighting with sweets
Later receive all the best treats.
It's a shame undeserving respect.

It's really a sad subject

When others have to waste their time

On the syllabus at the classroom,

While examination merchants

On the streets sell easy chance.

It’s a shame» and you must detect.

It’s a really a sad subject

While those praying for God's aid

Are rewarded with, the worse grades»

While you the ungodly who cheat

Are given trophy for the feat.

It’s a shame, and this breeds suspect.

It's really a sad subject

When through the sloth of a few

The innocents are ill-reviewed«

And the diligents’ effort

Suffer reproach and ill report.

It’s a shame, and this crime infect.

 

It's really a sad subject

When others have to use the stairs,
And come to find no empty chairs;

While their friends who used the lift

Under the air-conditions thrive.

It's a shame for this breeds contempt,

It's really a sad subject
When all have to bear punishments
For the vices of other students.
This is serious you shouldn't laugh,
But speak a word on our behalf.
It's a shame, and you must inspect.

It's really a sad subject

This is the time all must repent,

For God will bring judgement,

And the deception now you sow

Will be what you reap tomorrow.

It's a shame» when the brave deflect,

VARIANCE

The ploughman mopped his sweated brow

And sowed seeds of perseverance;

With endurance and stoicism

He dreams Heaven his sole chance.

The reaper to secure ransom,
Invested for a double chance
Shivering at the thought of death,
Have staked Heaven in the distance.

 

He ploughs for the comfort ahead

And he invests to cheer his dread

But they all vet the same reward

To harvest heaven from the Lord.

 

MY LAST DAYS AT TESS

I know my last days at Tess

Have been happy days indeed

And I hope my God will bless

And shower rains on the seed

I have sown here. God my Lord,

To you I pray the award.

I pray you bless my friends,
And all my enemies too;

That while I part here from hence

None may feel the parting rue

That those who have not enjoyed

My stay may not be annoyed.

My Lord, I beg forgiveness
From all, from my vanity:

The pride I displayed at Tess,

And every hypocrisy,

I hope I can make amends

     To all my offended friends.

 

Dear God, guide me these last days

To do best and win friends all.

May you again lead my pace,

That friends home — both old and small

Prepare my cordial welcome

For my safe return home.

 

 

NOSTALGIA

Oh June, when?

How soon a month may come and go

But oh June

Why do you crawl along so slow?

Oh June when?

When shall I leave here for sweet home?

Nostalgia

Drives me mad for mother's welcome

Welcome June!
With fervour for me to leave here;

Bring tidings
Of my departure with a cheer»

Oh why, Tess?

How I tried so hard to record

All my best,

And got injustice as reward.

Oh dear Toss!

My presence here has been a rue

But I say

My absence shall ring my love true.

Here at Tess,
Pretty ladies are around;

But not one
As sweet as Doris have I found.

Sweet Doris,

Think not of me as ungrateful\

But trust me»
I shall never turn unfaithful.

Oh Doris,
When I leave Tess for home next June,
Believe me»

I shall bet here no more the boon.

Come what may!
Whether pass of fail, matters not;

But come June,
And I will defy every report.

I regret

The way I lived my life at Teas»

But one day,

I'll smile and sing its happiness.

Oh June, when?

How soon a month may come and go?

But oh June,

Why do you crawl along so slow?

 

 

PARTING WORD

Whenever thou art given a welcome

Into an officer’s splendid room,

Do not vie for a place on the high shelf?

But to avoid disgrace and ridicule,

Choose at the corner a broken-legged stool,

And learn humbly to behave yourself.

When thou art travelled to a remote spot,

And asked of your mission to report,

To avoid jeering, reproach and blame,

Bo not brag with unnecessary speech,

Nor with circumlocution seek to preach,

But learn courteously to speak with discreet shame.

When the critic has dismissed your presence
As useless from a faulty reference,
Be proud even for the touch of his hands?
And remember, a scholar disqualified,
I, your patron such favour never eyed

For such a dignified place to advance.

 

 

TO THE REVIEWER

From

The Author,
Of Rural Habitual

To

The Reviewer

For a look

In his book,

Dear Reviewer,

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF REVIEW
On account of your decision
Arrived after your revision,

I admit all the faults as mine?
The best, the Publisher's design.

Thank you
For your view,
Adjei Matthew.

FANCY THOUGHTS
I love to fly
Far, far on high,
In fancy flights
With sweet delights,
Looking at skies,
Or with closed eyes
Fly into dreams
Of peaceful realms
Where music is
The balm of bliss,
With gentle breeze
And shady trees.
And there I'll sail
Into the vale
Where wildly grows
The pleasant rose,
And there I’ll breathe
The flagrant wreaths
Of gay flowers
In calm bowers,
Full of sunshine,
And there I’ll dine
And let my lips
Taste honey drips
With other fruits
And tuber roots,

And fancy free
Myself happy
Like gay sunrise
In paradise.

 

THE HARVEST OF NATURE
If orthodoxy        

Is piety

The world well lost;

And doomsday needs not tarry;

Heaven, a hermitage

will host

Less capacity.

I'll rather reap bliss at less cost

and tillage

From natural beauty,

 

THE SONG OF THE REBEL

Cheer cowards with eternal life

To live peaceful lives free from blame

But give me transient live to win

The taste of everlasting fame

 

Martyrs shall die to God's glory,

Rejoicing with their hopes above?

But let me die an Epicure

In my triumph of sensual love.

Confine monks in their monasteries
To meditate each day and night
But give me freedom to roam wild
To share my choice of human right

Feed those who care with superstition
To think of fate when they are dead
But teach me philosophy and science
To win today my daily bread.

 

Give your opium to dying men
To inject some hope in their veins
But when my light is flickering,
Give me poison to seal my pains

 

Let the old die in ignorance,
To die calmly in contentment;

But give me the adventurous life

To die a hero or repent.

 

BUOYEM                 

Anytime destination looms up my way,

The craze within my soul to wander is furled?
When smiling faces of lovers display
There's no place like home around the world.

So it was, the day I set off with some mates

To their ancestral hermitage – Buoyem.
As a wild bunch of student delegates,
We set off and arrived with a steady climb

The Datsun pick-up raced downhill to a top,

After a seven-mile hilarious journey
There we were, safe at last, ready to drop
In a village lying in a serene valley.

Behold; the beauty of encircling mountains
Adorned with the evergreen camouflage;

And what a good welcome to feel the rains

That raced to meet us from the high foliage.

An hour's rain, signal of good omen,

Ushered in the 'yam festival' at last?
With feasting, drinking, dancing and drumming,
Crowning our reception to a climax.

Back at school, I am forced to meditate

The hospitality and the welcome
That overwhelms my great joy to narrate

The sincere cordiality of Buoyem.

 

HEAVEN FOR SALE (THE SONG OF THE APOSTATE)

 

Heaven is here! rush for tickets
On Three Hundred and Twenty Concord Flight

To Heaven tonight.
The fare is low? available are seats

Make you life a delight.
Come on! let's waste no time. We shall reform

Everlasting life into a free norm

And make it cheap

For all to reap.

If we today mould heaven out of earth,
Eternity we shall win out of death.

So many men preaching, teaching, reaching
To herald kingdoms beyond mortal scope.

With zeal» faith and hope
For feigned bliss after death they are itching.

Some start, but break the rope.

Invitation is here, all are welcome
To spend transitional pleasure with time.

Make life today   
A comic play

And forget now about death and its care
That you may rejoice having scrambled your share!

All those choosing the narrow road, good-bye
To invitations of heavenly bliss.

Hurry I lest you miss
The promised reward you are staking by?

But should you compromise,
You are welcome to the toll-free broad-way

With many side attractions on display;
Permissiveness
And wantonness:
With mitigations on the penal laws
We are striving for life on a freer course.

 

Ancient prophets fell in trance and had dreams
And visions of Jerusalem yet to come

Out of God's Kingdom,
With its true happiness of perfect realms.

But they are dead and gone.
Then why wait, perhaps you may fail and die
While you have time to win now; if you try

Your luck today,

And have a say,

Then die you may today, but still with claim
That you have sowed seeds of eternal fame.

Shepherds once rejoiced on a blessed night,
And sang with the angelic choir the praise

Of God's amazing grace
Which out of men's sins justified them right.

But that is a past case?
Today swings the disco beat in full sway,
Join the crazy dancers, that thus you may

Find balm for grief   
With sweet relief.

Whether you accept life's offers or renounce,
It's appointed for all to die, but once.

The Apostles once ate bread and drank the wine
To symbolize salvation with flavour

From the Lord's supper;

With hope once again in Heaven to dine?

 But with what hard labour-
Then, come to the epicurean feast
Sweet ale, beer and cake spongy with yeast;

With stew and rice,

All at low price.

For while we are mining bliss from pleasure,
We shall gain on earth our stock of treasure.

 

 

The Apostle John in his revelations

Presented delightful news to mankind,

And sight to the blind.
Yet he foresaw all with tribulations

So terribly defined.
But just tune on the modern video show,
And we shall witness dreams of tomorrow

of the Star Wars

And Delta Force?
Civilization is shaping the world
Today, with imaginations unfurled

Moses led Israel to the Promised Land,
With redemption from bondage and slavery»

To feed the honey.
But many perished out of their great band

And lost the bounty.

But here is your own choice: to win or to lose;

To utilize your life on what you choose.

Whether you bleed

Or you succeed,

It is your own right to live or let die?
But still you may win, for no man will fly

Solomon gave Israel a peaceful rule,
And kings and queens came to praise his wisdom

In his great kingdom.
But in the end ladies turned him a bull,

And dropped him to bottom.
Then learn today how to deal with the fair sex
Before they first subdue you to their jest?

Learn to adore

One maid before

One day, your transient life expires its breath,
For there's no way than this to overcome death,

 

 

LULLABY II
A crowing crow cannot crow like a cock.

Coo — cu - coo - cooo!

A golden cradle cannot create babies

Cri - cro - cri - cro!

A cock may give birth to the dawn»

But a bird cannot produce spawn.

I met a couple on my way

To hospital the other day.

I met them again at the church

In supplication of their search.

Then I found them bound for Europe,

Still in their search with futile hope

They searched every scope for heirs»

And they would like you to be theirs.

But dear little one» you are mine

A baby is a gift divine!

A running clock cannot run from the lock,

Tick - lock - tick – tock!

A golden cradle cannot steal babies.

Crick - crock - crick - crock!

Wealth may give birth to servitude»

But gold cannot buy happy mood.

 

 

 

MOBILE FLOWERS

En route my course one sweet Sunday

During a pleasure walk

I chanced upon a horde of gay

Flowers around the stalk

Of a wayside nsomme shrub

Out of fancy delight

I stretched eager fingers to pluck,

Clap! Clap! Clap! off in flight

Scattered a dozen butterflies

With scorn for freedom vouch

And I heard my conscience advise

"Next time, just watch, don't touch

And if you will learn to admire

The beauties of Nature,

Learn first to control your desire

As step-stone to pleasure.

 

 

MESSAGE TO ELIZABETH

Oh sweet darling,

After you were gone,

I felt so forlorn

That I ceased to sing

The old happy tunes

And today, life seems

All messed up in ruins

With yesterdays  dreams

Turned haunting nightmares.

Frankly now, I have

Less concerns and cares

But for one sole hope

Of the blessed grave

Which will sooner ope

The gates of sweet chance

With speeding advance.

So sweet darling,

Expect the ringing

From hence, any day

My golden swing

Without delay.

 

LIFE IN THE CITY

We have been tricked to come to the city

With promises of peace and security,

Just to realize in time the fear

And horrors that reign here from year to year.

We were tantalized with milky ideas

That the fight against barbarous savagery

Had been won, just to come to the city

To behold such heart-chilling miseries.

Oh Lord! blessed is the heathen savage®

Sharing with the wild beast the forest shade

In ignorance to man-made codes and rules

Than us living among these civilized brutes

Professing with lip service the knowledge

Of the rights and wrongs to the laws they’ve made,

MY DAYS ARE NUMBERED
 
My days are numbered,
And when I am gone
To none do I pray
That I be remembered.
Hold you peace, anon;

Endear me no day

 When you hear my knell.

Ah! dear friends, good-bye!
Disown my name as
Just a passer-by
Encountered. And thus
           I toll my farewell.

 

 

THE SONG OF THE ORPHAN

Poor orphan child, I am beguiled;

My life is wild with grief compiled,

I groan and moan in tempest thrown»

And God alone comfort at tone,

When I'm weary and look dreary
And my story makes me sorry
Having a haven like Heaven,
I'll enliven, when I’m shriven

When friends allure me to injure,
God will insure me to endure?

Having a goal for ray poor soul,
He will condole my struggling role

When raining hail my plans curtail,
And my foes rail because I fail,
Having as share the one who care,
I'll boldly dare the worst to scare.

When my life's track turn rough and dark,
And my last spark of hope turns black,
Having a bed to rest my head,
When 1 am dead, my woes interred,

When the cold grave my soul enslaves,
And the dread wave of life enraves,
Having a home like God’s Kingdom,
There I will come and win ransom.

Poor orphan child, am beguiled;

My life is wild with grief compiled.
I groan and moan in tempest thrown,
And God alone comfort atone.

 

 

THE GRAVE IS TOO HEAR

Whenever someone offers you love,

Reciprocate with a warm heart»

And thus help remove

Venus painful dart,

Smile to him and respond, My dear!

For the grave is too near.

 

When a stranger trips on the way

Help him; encourage him to wake,

Give him some kenkey

With a piece of cake

So that he may see the way clear

For the grave is too near.

Whenever a neighbour offends you
Be ever ready to forgive;

Without ill review,

Show him how to live»
That you may impart him some cheer,

For the grave is too near.

 

 

A REQUEST OP TRIBUTE
Please, when you reach the spot,

Point it out to your comrade,

And say: "Here he was laid,
He who usurped to be what he was not
                                                — a poet"

 

I WENT TO DISCOVER MY EXISTENCE

I went to discover my existence

Who am I here today, and in what sense?

And my poor self in mankind I discovered,

When an old maniac in the street I met;

The way he behaved chilled my heart,

His bristled hair so stiff with dirt»

And his sooty body dripping with sweats

One man met him and tossed him one cedi,

Which he picked with sweet ignorance and glee.

From him I learnt the vapory valued net

Of my existence, and the useless fret

Myself I toil wet from morn till sunset;

That NOTHING is my presence here on earth,

But if 111 find value for my worth,

Must GODLY DEVOTION show before my death.

 

 

I went to explore where I came from.
How came I to this life and with what sum?
And learnt a dear lesson from creations -
A pregnant woman in tribulation,
Shrieking wild in her labour; and behold,
A baby was born dripping in bloody fold
In absolute nakedness he came forth;

Women came to pick him and dressed him up.
Then he smiled, content in his mother's lap;

Through him I found whence came I, and what worth.

And since I nothing brought forth to this earth,

Like I came from birth» thus I go in death,

From where I came, VANITY is the way,

And thus to live with joy today,

I must always learn CONTENTMENT display.

 

 

I went to investigate why I am here;

With what purpose and what aim for my steer,

And the answer in humanity I found

When on hearing the sexton's knell resound,

I went nearer with sober grief belated

And behold, a fair lady laid in state

In silence and devoid of consciousness

But a woman kept the flies from her breast

And there she lay, humbly in comfort rest

Prom her» I learnt the purpose and aimless

Pursuit of ay life; with its bitterness

And in my distress, I found myself depressed

That OBLIVION is the aim of my goal,

And thus to win purpose for my soul,

I must in HUMILITY live my role.

A HUMBLB REQUEST
No more of this lease,
Of this bitter life,
And its painful strife;

When spent are my days,
And finished the race,

Let me rest in peace.

Nothing great I beg,
From the battle's spoils,
Life's bubbles and toils;

But six feet of earth
Is enough my worth

To cuddle me snug.

 

 

TO DORIS WITH LOVE FROM TESS

With Happiness
And Love from Tess

Bright May Day.

Miss Doris,

I wandered as far as Britain
And came back the same man,
But took a few yards walk one day
And came across my way
A piece of treasure — Sweet Doris
(My Discovery of bliss).

Doris, life at Tess without you
Looks so gloomy and blue?
But rest assured; it won't be long
And I'll break the tong;

With the speedy coming of June

And exams over soon

I will rush with all fervour home.

So expect my welcome.

Yours ever,
Sweet lover,

To Doris
With a Kiss.

 

 

THE HERO OF TESS

Here is the story of 'Prof’ —

A student who had it tough

When entertainment in Tess

Was dull, boring and mirthless.

He took up the students’ cause

To challenge the S.U. laws;

Why all should not join the dance
When the Bible for instance
Has the richest records in store
Of David and many more
Who danced in times past ago.
But the S.U.s as you know
Got him locked in prison
With a false charge of treason.
He was brought before trial,
And was sentenced to exile.
But when he was in jail,
He saw the students' cause prevail,   
For the S.U.s learnt to dance;

Miss Theresa for instance.

Now Prof is gone to Elysium —

The righteous students' haven;

Where he studies archeology
And the science of hypocrisy.
One day he'll come back to Tess
To excavate the S.U. mess;

His enemies shall weep, while
His friends with happiness smile.

 

 

TO HIS DEAREST FRIEND – MR. KWABENA TUFFOUR DURING A RUDE ENCOUNTER (A Sonnet).

If you love me let our extremes meet true

In appreciation of our tiny flaws,

Let us laugh off our egocentric lores

To tap mirth from our moments of rue

Let's draw a circle to our variance
And leave no intrusion for menial caused
Nor struggle in our sphere with mortal laws,

To leave loopholes for an enemy's lance.

For though nearer trees may cause constant friction,
But unless we trumpet our faults with clouts
Others will hear our wildest, curses and shouts
Like fraternal anthem transmission.

For while we forgive each our mortal flaws
Shall we find no claws at each other's paws.

THE ACADEMIC RACE (An Epigram))
Beauty has its own gains
But this is a race for the brains
He who knows the refrains,
Wears the crown.

Strength may endure pains,
But this is a race for the brains;

He who learns and retains,
Wears the gown.

 

WELCOME TO TESS (For the New Entrants 1983/84 for their Homos Night Entertainment).

 

Welcome young brothers and sisters.

Welcome to share the academic milk

Of mother Tess

Having sworn to be scholars

Do not turn back
 Envy not the commercial world

To stay on track.

If you shall happiness find here

Learn to obey!
Be respectful and diligent

Bach night and day.

Be courteous to all your seniors —

Their rules don’t flout;

Obey all school regulations,

Last you drop out.

Keep your portion of what you learn

And don’t forget;

But if you play with all your time,

You will regret.

Like brothers and sisters we share

The same one breast,

So beware you don't fall victim

To some’s incest .

 

 

Enjoy all school activities

Sweet to the full;

Exert yourself in any field

Where you can rule.

Forgot the repose and comforts

Of your sweet homes;

Concentrate all your efforts hare

For higher climbs

During your course here, let God be

Your constant guide

Pray to him, thank him, and let him

Your fate decide.

 

Welcome young brothers and sisters.

Welcome to share the academic milk

Of mother Tess

THE DANCING BOY

What may not a man do to win his fame?

Bravo! Thou dancing hero of Tess

Let others enjoy the karate,

But yours is the finest art

With thousand voices to cheer your success

A man's talent is the seal of his name,

 

 

GOD BLESS MOTHER TESS (A proposed Anthem for Techiman Secondary School).

 

Hey there! all who hunger for freedom,

Welcome to the fountain of life

Dripping wisdom milk for ransom.

Ransom for freedom here is rife

 

Chorus:

Dear God! bless Mother Tess,

And let all who come here as students

Leave here in happiness

As scholars worthy of their rents.

Hey there! all who thirst for intellect

Welcome to the spring of knowledge

Flowing free with honey perfect

Perfect intellect for the sage!

 

Chorus:

Dear God! bless Mother Tess,

And let all who come here as donors

Give free gifts to disburse

Our cause, as true benefactors.

 

Hey there! all who crave for sweet repose

Welcome to the land of comfort

Where the scent of sweet success blows

Here blows repose in grand resort.

 

Chorus:

Dear God! bless Mother Tess,

And let all who come here as masters

Live here in peace and bliss

For the welfare for good scholars.

 

Hey there! all who care for the future,

Welcome to the paradise train

Awaiting the promised rapture,

The rapture of future to reign   

 

Chorus:

Dear God! bless Mother Tess,

And let all who come here as workers

Thrive here and do their best

With motherly-fatherly cares.

 

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF MOTHER TESS

Son and daughters of Mother Tess

 Think of the task ahead of us

In noble deeds that spur us on

Forward! till the fight has been won

And the glories of Tess shall flare

Like the flames from Aaron’s altar?

With such sweet perfume fill the air

And its brightness glow near and far.

Chorus:

Jubilate! all you sons of Tess!

In songs of praise to Mother Tess.

Rejoice! all you daughters of Tess,

With the chorus of happiness.

Long shall be our song all day long

As brave soldiers noble and strong.

Sons and daughters of Mother Tess!
Prepare yourselves in bold service
To die for the cause of mankind.
Push on! ahead for the bold stand
Till the fame of Tess grows in triumph
Like the giant savanna tree
Under whose shade scholars shall come
To prosper in its liberty.

 

Chorus:

Jubilate! all you sons of Tess!

In songs of praise to Mother Tess.

Rejoice! all you daughters of Tess,

With the chorus of happiness.

Long shall be our song all day long

As brave soldiers noble and strong.

 

 

 

DYNAMIC HOUSE TWO - MY HOUSE OF PRIDE

Even though they give us the worst

Of everything in Tess

But when they come to choose the best

Let them no forget us.

 

I feel proud to be a member

Of Dynamic House Two

With her bond of love which ever

Keeps our brotherhood true

 

House of prosperity ~ how rare!

House of comfort and peace!

How sweet your sons and daughters are

Always feeling at ease.

 

I shall never forget House Two

My sweet refuge in Tess

With all her lovely sisters too.

Oh House of Happiness!

 

Let all Houses in Tess honour

Our Dynamic House Two

And lot all tongues with praise pour

To join her blessed queue.

 

 

DYNAMIC HOUSE TWO ON THE MOVE

House Two boys and girls on the move,

Dynamic House Two on the move!

In sweet brotherhood of pure love!

With pride we sing aloud to prove

Our march to victory,

And the shrine of glory.

 

House Two boys and girls on the move,

Give way to Dynamic House Two

 The devil on our path, remove!

While God s spirit in us imbue

Our souls to attain

The best and perfect gain.

 

TO THE CREATIVE WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF TESS

 

When saddled with a lot of sores,

Why should I waste ay my time on yaws?

But if through the bond of natural laws

One can no greater success scores

Then I’ll rather count but as loss

And blame myself with tiny flaws.

 

I say all these to show my love

As it overflows my heart to prove?

To have all doubts of me remove

 That I'll rather choose like the dove

 To fly in Creative Writers’ grove

Here at Tess than all else above.

 

 

You know I've got some books to read

To learn a lot in Akan's creed

To crack a nut for History seed,

And cook the pot from Literature feed

But I count none of these a deed

Than the C.W.A. lead.

If I fail, I go home alone,
And if I pass, I gain no stone;

While a lot of books make me groan,

From endless studies weary grown,

I’ll deem my choice a juicy bone,

With my writer's pen to atone.

Thus may I like you think of me,
How I at times preferred to be,
To spend my time in company
And chats of pleasant jollity,
To have my writers friends to see
How I loved them to such decree.

Ah, dear friends, that you remember

And think of me as a lover;

That my memory with you never

To any reproach may suffer,

For mine love to you, forever

Than polished gold shall shine brighter.

 

 

TO HIS HONOURABLE HEADMASTER MR. KWABENA KYEREH

(A Poetic Portrait).

 

Kings and Queens may rejoice their glories,

Worldly merchants may boast their vanities,

And Youth may pride themselves with beauties

But greatest is the Man who in his

Endeavors lead mankind to springs of bliss.

Not even aware of himself in this.

And for this, God has sowed our freedom in you.

Knowledge is the greatest of worldly pursuits.

Yes! and if in this, intelligence may boost,

Education is the key to honour.

Redounding this priceless values in men, your

Everlasting name of merit is due.

Here on earth, you've really lived without rue.

 

THE CHILD OF NATURE  or THE MAID OF ABRAKASO

Once I saw her, I wished she were mine

A maid so bright,

So happy and free; a perfect design

For men's delight.

 

She lived alone in her father's cottage

In solitude,

A content dweller in a hermitage,

A state unruled.

She was a maid unknown to worldly ways:

A virgin unsoiled,

Playing wild amongst the forest's shady places;

A child unspoiled.

 

She asked me about the city's gay life,

Of which she had heard.

I told her all; about its nasty strife;

Its crimes and dread.

I told her lots more, but she knew 1, lied.

For all she knew

Nature was truth – of birds, flowers, streams; besides

Showers of dew.

 

And she was right not to believe such tales

Told of London.

Why should she? One whose life in this vale exhales

To die unknown.

 

 

THE LEGION OF NO RETURN

(To Nana Osei Kwadwo, alias Osei Mpobi. My grand-father who travelled ay many years before my birth» and had to be brought home dead.)

 

Once in a geography lesson

I learnt the earth was spherical?

And Columbus the distance to shorten

 From Spain, sailed west to gain the east.

He did not attain his goal but at least

All the same he returned to Spain

To prove all paths lead but to a home

And that whoever says goodbye with smiling care

Must expect welcome one day somewhere.

And Magellan to prove the theory still,

Set sail to voyage round the world?

And although he died among the foam,

Cano continued his route safely home,

And proved: whoever travels north

With a will never to come back,

Shall return from the southern track,

But Osei Mpobi travelled with the sun

And never reached his destination.

And now, his journey is long past sunset,

Over the Sahara Desert,

Beyond the Rift Valley, and across

Continents and Oceans but all he won

Was a degree of no credit:

"Hic jacet!"

 

AND THE DEVIL_MAY COURT A FAIR ANGEL

And the devil may court a fair angel,

When my strength saps and my hopes drown,

Your coyness shall prick remembrance,

Help me today to win the crown,

And once my frame is given rest? give chance

So the devil to court a fair angel

 

 

And the wild lion shall kiss the young lamb,

When my days are spent, and my efforts fail,

Your beauty shall be of no use

Help me today to hoist the sail,

And so when the storms are past, you may choose

The wild lion to kiss the young lamb.

 

 

And the kitten shall rejoice with the mouse,

When my life flickers, and the battle is lost,

Your tears shall not mend the damage

Help me today to fight for my post,

And when tomorrow I'm gone; then engage

The kitten to rejoice with the mouse.

IF LIFE IS A STIPEND
If life is a stipend,

And so what?

If I spend my part

In the end

To win one friend,

I shall be content

With my rent.

 

VANITY

Since all the ladles I have known

Have gone to their honeymoons,

And left me here alone

To keep vigil on the ruins

To lament with mournful tunes,

I have lost feminine trust?

For the best diamond will rust,

And perfection will never last.

What value are these morals?

When life is speeding so swift

Without respect for mortals

Whose reluctance for death's lift

Spend their years like coins in thrift?

There is no happiness on earth

Of true meritorious worth

To withstand the scythe of death.

SHE LIVES IN MY REGISTER OF OBLIVION

And why must 1 care more for her beauty

When I am forbidden to call her mine

Because our stars by the work of destiny

And time have been set at variance to shine?

The time to strike concord at amity

Has thrown the dice in favour of Alec

While I, poor Angel have miserably

Come too late to witness my love in wreck,

I must confess her beauty, but to me

Henceforth she is anybody's lover;

Since she, while keeping wake in her fancy

Imaginations of her love abroad,

Inflames me with the rival endeavor

To win someone, somewhere, someday to keep mine in record

 

SO LONG

So long the youthful zeal with hue

Sits like dew

Upon my cheeks, I mind no gain,

But my pen,

With which I’ll sit and dream and write

Day and night;

And if this will fulfilled I die,

Do not cry,

But if the world should ask from you,

Tell them true;

“He lived and died the way he loved,

As he proved•"

So long the world revolves and racks

On its track,

And moves along each day and night,

To incite

Mankind with goals and hopes and aims

For their claims,

Your love with mine daily I woo

Pure and true;

To give my life and all I owe,

Thus to show

I loved the way I lived and died

Unrivalled.

So long I have my wish and way

To display

My want, my care and sweet desire,

I require

No gain at cost of some-one’s pain,

Nor his brain;

I’ll brace myself and push ahead

Undeterred;

In this, if my effort should fail

 

Still hail

I’ve died the way I loved to live

Without grief,

So long my health some strength retains

No disdain

Will prick my soul to grieve or grope,

But with hope,

I’ll dance and sing; my poems rewrite,

And recite

Your name with praise; with lines rehearse

You with verse;

I’ll eat, I’ll drink, I’ll love my choice,

And rejoice:

I died and loved and lived my way

Bright and gay

 

Epilogue:

So long my life I live today

I will pray

To serve my God and do his will

With my skill,

And do my best to praise his name

And proclaim

To men, his might and love and care

Far and near

That once I’m dead and gone inert

He may set

A day aside to raise me up

            In his lap.

 

 

 

THE DUCK

Ah duck! you must be ashamed of yourself,

Staying here all day long to swim and bathe;

Playing and feeding in this dirty puddle.

Search for yourself some clean stream to waddle

 

A clean stream will offer fish for diet

And make you grow healthy, strong and fat.

It will give you water to swim neat

And make you more pleasant and good to eat.

Malevolent benefactor, pass me by

Go and eat your food; bake and cook and fry,

And leave me alone to stir and dabble

My stinking, filthy, dirty, sweet puddle.

 

 

Go and feed your dog with fresh flesh and bone,

And leave me and my dirty eggs alone.

I vie not the cat's meal palatable;

Therefore contend none with me my puddle,

Mortals keep health regulations in vain;
A guilty conscience may kill a good saint
Human babies die of infestation,
But ducks never Suffer worm gestation.

 

SEX FOR SALE?

I once lost my route there,

And hardly knew my feet

Treading the brothel street.

Fair ladies everywhere,

Sitting in front of doors

Dozens of them, and scores,

Making grimaces at me,

Of which meaning I hardly

In my innocence guessed.

Sss! Sss! someone hissed.

I turned round and beheld

A lady not young; not old,

"Did you call, please Madam?"

"Yes, come. Gentleman come!"

"Please can I help you, Madam?"

"Yes! come. Come to my room.”

“Please Madam, what for?"

She pointed to me her store?

Which baffled me a while.

"Sex," she whispered with a smile.
I reflected to survey.

”Sorry, Madam. Just a minute

I fear I have gone astray

And chosen the wrong route."

She laughed, and I went my way,

 

 

 

AFTER THE RAINS

After the rains came the breeze

To refresh the cleaned atmosphere

With cheering bees.

Blow.' gentle breeze, blow sweet and cool,

And let Nature rule to the full.

 

After the rains bloomed the flowers

To perfume the purged environs

With serene hours.

Bloom! pretty flowers, bloom bright and gay,

And let Nature sway her own way.

 

After the rains swelled the streams

With jolly swimmers who hover

Over their rims.

Flow; silent streams, flow fast with ease,

And let Mature please youth with new lease.

 

 

After the rains grew the grains

To adorn the green countryside;

Astride the plains.

Grow! tender grains, grow fair like brides;

For Nature abides to provide.

 

APOLOGY  (TO MR. YEBOAH-NYAMEKYEH, CENTRE FOR NATIONAL CULTURE, KUMASI.)

How dangerous are human expectations

In the light of mortal limitations;

The fulfillment and realizations

Disprove the dreams of youth's aspirations.

The awaited hopes of generations

And individual participations

Once ripened with time loses animation

And strike its full force with false vibration.

Why then was I ignorant of my state,

But plunged myself into miserable plight?

Well! What I can't recite, I'll learn to write;

And what I can’t write, I'll learn to appreciate;

And thus may I silently help chorus

Songs which I can't sing with words or solfas.

TO DORIS

If I should be inspired with poetic flames

To preach your charming qualities to the world;

Of your beauty that plaster all your blames

When your mortal infirmities are unfurled,

Albeit! the world shall be exasperated,

But should I fail to praise the nonpareil,

(Though with terms over-exaggerated),

My expression of gratitude to God fail.

And if failing my constraint to incite

The world to rage for this, I am to be blamed?

No! why can't they sympathize with my plight,

If they should set their eyes on you one day,

Can't they then understand my sonorous lay

And swear there's few like you on earth as yet untamed?

 

I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE OLD STORY

I cannot understand the old story:

That one of such glory

Should be roads to die for mankind

Who to sins are inclined.

 

The puzzle gets me further entangled

That He above landed

Upon this foul earth to save mortal dust

To his father entrust.

 

This sweet riddle is beyond solution

And in my confusion

I still want to know why He so mighty

Came here to die for me?

But though, forever hidden the mystery

Of the old, old story

At least, I can rejoice, for this I know

He came to save my soul

 

THE WOES OF STUDENT LIFE  '

It is strange to be a student!

All masters, though this life once spent,

Now forget the vent

And sentiments of the scholar's craze,

As if they were saints in those days

Of the tempting maze.

 

 

At home, they wake at eight o'clock,

Undisturbed by the crowing cock»

Or a tap on the lock?

But how I dread the rising bell»

Repeated by a senior's yell

Like the sexton's knell

 

 

 

I can dream my mother's kitchen

With enough meals for ten children,

But I the eleventh

Sit here, eyeing my tiny ball

Of toy-like banku — so small;

With its soup like gall.

 

 

Some people dislike work,

Yet they endure for the sake of the pay,

And still have some say!

But how I hate the cleaning rake,

With the inspection at its wake.

But I can't forsake.

 

 

My human passions burn and scorch

Within my loins, flaming like torch

But I dare not touch

Nor approach the lady whom I'm loved

Without fear of being removed,

Or fiercely reproved.

 

 

My father's pet dog, can come home

And go out anytime at random!

Still it is welcome.

Tiny birds roam free for pleasure,

But I dare not the town venture

Without fear of capture

 

 

 

Freedom of worship gives delight
And inspires one to do the right»

And not fear of spite?

But here» whether one likes or not,

Sunday Service one must support,

Or face the report

 

At home, one can loiter about
And sing, and play, and laugh, and shout

With the happy rout;

But here all is centred on books,

And the dread of the exam cooks»

And the failing flukes.

 

 

It is strange to be a student
They treat you like an instrument

Without sentiment!

When I see the foaming liquor

Where mortality drink for pleasure

I look with leisure.

 

 

SHATTERED GLORY (A Sonnet).

You may take my post, but leave my diction

To defend the reason of my presence,

That striving for the goal with revision,

May achieve impression of existence,

After finding me guilty of treason,

Let your judgement prove me without defence.

Condemn me, and shatter my ambition,

And deprive me of every reverence

But when my obligations are lightened,

I shall fill the vacuum of time with work,

And once like a fallen angel brightened

I shall gather shattered glory from wreck:

Thus, by polishing the tainted and blamed,

Memory shall never make me once ashamed.

 

RESHUFFLE THE CARDS

Reshuffle the cards and let's start afresh,

That I may change the pattern of the game.

I shall not vie the ace for lofty aim,

Nor pride myself with the sequence enmesh.

Give me bad cards that I may learn to play,

And not fool myself to compete for primes,

Nor usurp dramatization for trumps,

But just to play the foil not to fall prey.

O Lord, in humble deeds teach me your ways,

To live my life with simple existence;

In second fiddles employ my essence

To occupy my labours with your undeserved grace

That those who now have disdained my presence,

May have no cause to rejoice my absence.

 

 

 

THE BURDEN AND THE PLEASURE (A Sonnet).

Unless it is some positive madness

Or some strange malady that afflicts me;

That compels me to write on themes endless

When there's a lot to do on G.C.E.

Nine set books on Literature, still plus

Motes to scan and peruse on History,

Thousand themes on the G.P. to discuss

With Akan's grammar and phonology.

But write! Write! keeps echoing the throb

For precious moments to spend and frame

The pounding thoughts that will not cease to disturb

The course of the dart achieving aim.

Well, it takes pleasure to release tension?

To equip the mind for more mental transfusion.

THE BAIT (A Sonnet),

Why envy me because they call me 'Prof?

An unmerited title but to gain

A vent of hatred from friends, and disdain

From masters,  and to attract juniors to scoff.

What are guy names, but human vanities

Adding not an inch to recognition

But a drum to drown the premonition

When dancing to the tunes of enemies.

They can call me 'Prof’, they can call me 'Fool',

Or call me 'Dread', and it doesn't matter

If they mean frankly, I will take it cool

And pay fairly my part of the barter.

But O dear God! if their intentions flow

From flattery, I'll fall victim to their show.

 

THE STUDENT'S SONG

Cast your books aside and save some time

To enjoy wanton freedom in your prime,

For there is nothing on earth to disprove

There's no gift in youth like a drop of love

 

Books were made by men in search for wisdom

In their pursuit of knowledge without sum.

But love is a gift divine from above

It's obligatory for all but to love.

 

Sweet love is the balm for sorrow's relief

But endless studies brings a lot of grief.

Come, and I will show you how to remove

That tension of yours with the balm of love.

EPIGRAM

A good certificate is more genuine

Than a good testimonial which lies within

The bosom of another to win,

But a good certificate lies in the effort

And personal support

Of one's own aim and strain;

If you try, you will gain!

 

 

BLESSED

 Love that transcends love!

Oh wonderful love

That I so fallen and debased

Should be saved with ray sins erased

By God’s Son above?

Peace! 0 perfect peace!

Purely refined peace!

How that, I who in sins once drowned

Now in security abound

With God's silent breeze.

Bliss! such bounty bliss!

True bliss! How is this?

That my Great God's undeserved grace

Should flow to roe whose transient days

Have been spent amiss?

Joy! Such thrilling joy!

My Lord's promised foy!

Why should I, who once dishonest

Now qualifies for my Lord's trust $

In his work employ?

A RIDDLE OP LIFE

A blow struck with too much blind fury

Will later do much harm equally

To its striker as well as its enemy.

 

CONSOLATION

It takes adversity to prove a man;

To fill the sponge with water and exert

Effort with new strength to recover lost grounds.

Waste no time over rueful moments to reflect

On past chapters that cannot be remedied:

You may smile one day, if you learn now to forget.

So long the pot remains yet unbroken,

Cheer up, we shall fetch more water from the stream.

It won’t pay to brood over wasted labour.

Drink fresh water and get ready for the swim;

To cross the salty seas and storms of life:

If you persevere, one day you may win.

We are not apportioning blames, dear one!

Wherever you are now, may God bless you;

May Heaven keep safe whom we failed to please,

And to us with sublime new hopes imbue.

Ah! sweet child, farewell in perfect slumber,

With sincere wishes and affection due.

 

 

HIC JACET (To Yaw with loving memory)

Here in we kept 

Our beloved son

Sweet boy who slept

Eternally

On 25th August, 1983.

Sleep well! sweet one.

 

We shall never

Forget that day

When forever

He passed away,

On 25th August, 1983.

Farewell! we pray.

 

 

I WILL REMEMBER YOU (With love, in memory of Yaw Mensuoh, expired 22/02/83.)

When my soul can no more contain,

It shall spread to my face like yawn,

And crease it into painful frown,

But when observers ask me why,

I shall reply with a deep sigh

“Nothing!"  But I shall feel the pain.

Your image shall disturb my sleep,

And haunt my slumbers with nightmare,

But when I awake with frightful stare,

My sleeping mate will ask me why,

And I will reply with a lie

"Nothing!"  But the pain will sting deep.

Your name shall creep to me in dreams,

And drive me to wild ecstasies

Of somnambulistic diseases,

But when my comrades come to ply,

I'll hang my head high in the sky,

"Nothing!” I’ll say with shouts and screams.

Your love shall torment me each day,
And make me walk absent-minded,
But when I trip like one blinded,
And bump into someone, he'll ask why;
I’ll apologise with a sigh:

"Nothing!" Then proceed on my way.

 

Your absence shall feast on lay mind,

In my daydreams and fancy thoughts,

To decay my joys with maggots,

But when the horn hoots, brakes screeeh; fie!

And the driver will require why,

"Nothing!" I’ll say with shame confined.

 

 

Your photograph will break my heart,

And fill my heart with bitter brine?

I’ll seek consolation from wine;

When drunk, someone will ask me why,

Then I’ll frame a lie to comply!

"Nothing!" But I will feel the smart.

 

 

Food shall taste bitter in my mouth,

And water freeze cold on my lips.

I shall shiver with sweatful drips;

Nothing my grief can rectify,

But when asked why so sick and shy,

"Nothing!" I will say with a cough.

 

 

Loneliness shall shower me like dew

With cold, with tears and with sorrow,

Thick like measles upon my soul,

And when it makes me mourn and cry,

An eyewitness will ask me why,

"Nothing!" Yet I've remembered you.

I’ll remember you, now you're gone;

And left me alone and behind.

Perhaps I will think you unkind

For breaking the fraternal tie,

But by and by, before I die,

My love will shine bright like the sun.

 

 

DEAR MUM, LET’S AWAY PROM THE CITY

Mum, let's away from the city!

When brother went to Kumasi

And returned one day a changed boy,

Life there, he said he did enjoy.

But all feared his changed attitude;

His manners selfish, proud and rude.

Oh dear Mum, let's away from the city!

The city without generosity!

Mum, let's away from the city!
When sister went to Kumasi,
She came back really pathetic.
Seduced, she looked woefully sick,
How happy she went there; how good,
But she came without her maidenhood.
Oh dear Mum, let's away from the city!
The city devoid of morality!

Mum, let's away from the city!

Mum went with Dad to Kumaai;

How he made mother look sorry;

Seeing the ladies so many,

Mother was betrayed to misery,

And she looked so forlorn and lonely.

Oh dear Mum, let's away from the city!

The cruel city with its treachery!

Mum, let's away from the city!

When I too went to Kumasi,

I was the most brilliant boy,

But I was used as a decoy

And came from hence with my fate marred,

Dejected and frightfully scared,
Oh dear Mum, let's away from the city!

The city with all its hypocrisy!