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 Mad Are Sane by Kwesi Brew

In these days
When abnormality has become
The normal sign of sanity
The mad are sane.

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

Ancestral Faces by Kwesi Brew

They sneaked into the limbo of time
But could not muffle the gay jingling
Brass bells on the frothy necks
Of the sacrificial sheep that limped and nodded after them;
They could not hide the moss on the bald pate
Of their reverent heads;
And the gnarled backs of the wawa tree;
Nor the rust on the ancient state-swords;
Nor the skulls studded with grinning cowries;
They could not silence the drums,
The fibre of their souls and ours -
The drums that whisper to us behind black sinewy hands.
They gazed
And sweeping like white locusts through the forests
Saw the same men, slightly wizened,
Shuffle their sandalled feet to the same rhythms,
They heard the same words of wisdom uttered
Between puffs of pale blue smoke:
They saw us,
And said: They have not changed!

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