A modern poem in the traditional manner of an offering and petition to one’s gods and ancestors, sent to us by Adjei Agyei-Baah.
We have come to you with our gourd of tears
take, accept and make us men of huge testicles
we have swam in our sweat as you instructed
and braced the harmattan with its cracks
on our lips and heels
our hoes have tilled the same furrows that you made
our fences going beyond the boundaries that you reached
but our harvest has always come with weevils
must we pour you libation of blood
before our voices climb up to your ears?
Here is the poem in Twi translation:
Yɛde yɛn nisuo pantu ba mo nan ase
monye na monyɛ yɛn mmarima brane
na yɛasiam yɛn anim nfifire te sɛ nea mokyerɛɛ yɛn no
saa ne ɔpɛbranee ham so, maa no gyaa yɛn nkotwa
wɔ yɛn ano ne yɛn nantini
yɛn asɔ dii akcneaba wɔ amena korɔ a motuuiɛ mu
trɛɛ yɛn ahyeɛm traa pampim a mosisiiɛ
nanso ɔtwabera du a
aburomoa na ɛhyɛ yɛn nkɛntɛn mu ma
na mopɛ no sɛ yɛyi mo mogya apaeɛ
ansaana yɛn nteamu awura mo asum?
by Adjei Agyei-Baah
Adjei Agyei-Baah is a lecturer and translator at the University of Ghana School of Distance Education, Kumasi Campus, and teaches Academic Writing and Literature related courses. He is also the co-founder Africa Haiku Network and Poetry Foundation Ghana, and currently serves as the managing coeditor of The Mamba, Africa’s first international haiku Journal. He is widely anthologized, won several international awards. Adjei is an author of two books: “AFRIKU” and “Ghana 21”, and looks forward to publishing his first long verse collection “Embers of Fireflies” in 2018.