Posted: October 25, 2013 in Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

by Aquila ‘mcRansom’ Kalagbor

A Tribute for Kofi Awoonor (1935-2013)

Not only mad men like me are invited to this banquet called death
Even sane men struck with the strain of seeds of sanity
Long enough to sit it a baobab standing tall, with green leaves
And settle sober with fruits of freedom
Not yet harvested, not yet relished

For the slavery you knew
Was crafted with Nkrumah’s iron bars
Where without flute or konga
You chanted Grandmother’s ewe dirges
Like a peacock defeathered

Even Zdogbese Lisa was shocked at the suddenness of your coming,
Your questions perplex her brother gods
I listened with insurgence – Death’s strumming
Al-Shabaab played with guns the music of marching bullets

One strand uprooted from Africa’s roots
Wheta has lost a syllable salient
To the docile clotting of left ink
Oh! Wheta has lost another letter to the silence

Afesti! You have been handed the tunic
Not down to the steps of despondency to sink
But to fight the killer of your fathers

With the ink in the pen- the pen to the paper
The lips to the words to the ears
Of the children to their hearts

Is this not what you meant Kofi?
Was this not the burden of your heart?
Are these not your words Kofi?

Your words have echoes as you journey beyond
Our calabashes fell on our return
From the stream of cycles on the night of your blood
-spilling in your sisters house.

This Earth, My brother
You have left for us without
Coins tied in your cloth for the boatman

Grief cracks our voice like dry lips in harmattan
Sorrow weighs on my black face
I need no black caftan

I have something to say
I will say it before death comes
If I don’t say it, let no one say it for me
I will be the one that says it

Yet silence sits coldly on your lips
Here come the voyager at last

Not only mad men are invited
To this feast called death.

With the ink in the pen- the pen to the pape

Lyriversity — Liberty of Creativity

  1. The weaverbird finds a new nest

  2. LegendaryCJN says:

    Really nice requiescat!
    Men like this never dies, they live on forever and ever!

  3. Anene Francis says:

    Many things came to my mind after reading this poem. First, I must confess, I did not pay much attention to it. Before that, I even watched the news about the ugly incident on CNN the day it happened. I took it as talk about a stranger I don’t know perhaps. Then I recalled seeing that name “Kofi Awoonor” where part of his poem was quoted in mr Solar’s article ‘African Literature Versus Foreign Literature (Round 2) coincidentally, even before the man’s death. I did a little reseach and the whole thing struck me as if I lost an elder in my village. And he is almost like one. Then I recalled one of Solar’s poems ‘The Bicycle Repair-man’. Two phrases to summarize this: Crazy world, Lyriversity rocks lol.

    Back to the poem:
    We needed him. The world needs persons of his kind with great potentials. Alas, he was caught up in violent conflict that did not concern him much. A great man he was but now a collateral damage from terrorism in a sister state. It was said that most of his works pointed to his end. An end that we know is certain for all but the time and manner of his aggravated our grief. For his demise, we mourn, and more so would we continue because the cause of this great loss still persist. Sad
    A beautiful poetic tribute. Even the time lapse could not diminish its efficacy. Good work.

  4. Ezeamalukwuo says:

    Finally settled down to read this. What a Tribute Aquila. Nice!

    RIP to Kofi Awoonor…now you can finally eat with the elders.

  5. bryanchima says:

    “I have something to say I will say it before death comes, if I don’t say it let no man. Say it for me”

    Amazingly nice! Kudos Aquila. Kofi Awonoor has surely rested in peace

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s