A Scandal On The Head

by Kwesi Brew

The broken bone cannot be made whole
The strong have sheltered in their strength
The swift have sought life in their speed
The cripple and the tired heaped out of the way onto the ant hills
Had been, bit by bit, half eaten by termites

The rough and ready were beginning
To tire of dancing to that one
Strange unfamiliar tune
The master of the house cracked his whip
In the realm of laughter and light
And mopped his brow with a silken cloth

It is only gods who know
Why the bones are broken

It is only the old who know why
The gods skip homeward at evening
And the master of the house
Now the master of rags
Stay behind on the rocks
to rummage in the rubbish heap
For castaway morsels of power

The Mesh

by Kwesi Brew

We have come to a cross-road
And I must either leave or come with you.
I lingered over the choice
But in the darkness of my doubts
You lifted the lamp of love
And I saw in your face
The road that I should take.

The Cathedral

by Kofi Awoonor

On this dirty patch
A tree once stood
Shedding incense on the infant corn:
Its bough stretched across a heaven
Brightened by the last fires of a tribe.
They brought surveyors and builders
Who cut that tree
Planting in its place
A huge senseless cathedral of doom


See also Poetry as Cultural Memory and The Slums of Nima