Our Home, Our Pride. - Poem by Kwame attaPappoe
2. BEYOND OUR DREAMS, OUR HOME
(For Uncle Zate mafi tu.)
Amid the vast plains of mighty Volta.
Where Rainbow –colored birds fly,
And lazy antelopes sunbake uncaring.
In the land that falls asleep at noonday.
And wakes in frenzied earnest at night
Is my home.
There the mighty Kalakpa winds its way
Through tortuous valleys and gullies deep
away through alien strands,
Telling its lore as it traversed the land,
giving life to it.
There also the Table mountain, stands sentinel
Transforming into a goddess
She who guards the ancestral gods.
She holds court with her courtiers of royal
who breeze their lazy and noisy music undisturbed.
There is my home
It was a peaceful and majestic land,
With rolling hills and green star forests
Where the angry clouds never, never visited
Except to water the land and go away.
In the days of our virginity,
When it was all songs and dance,
When under the starry magic skies
And the silver- beamed moon
We in ecstasy played hide and seek.
And the Elders, redolent with sweet palm wine,
Practiced on their ageless gabada drums.
And the songs seem to last forever,
There, there was my home.
There the prom-prom-prom of the fufu pounding
Whetted appetites into a frenzy of hunger
After the backbreaking on the fields in the valleys
It was a land of Love and Beauty,
And my heart saddens to remember it
But one day,
The sun suddenly warmed,
And a chill came over the land.
The music of the river fairies stopped.
And the magic birds went away, never to return,
Angry voices, long unheard in that part,
Issued in random from skies now overcast
With dark sinister clouds,
Covering the crown and face of the mountain goddess.
Then dark shapes were seen in the once peaceful forests.
An evil presence seem to have fallen on the land,
And the nights became dread and horrid.
The playsongs and laughter of the children
Could no longer be heard in moonlite,
And the drums of the Elders fell silent,
As if a giant hand had slapped them silent.
Then the land started to decay and sorrow and
Evil came into the hearts of the people.
Perhaps the land had been polluted.
As people whispered; of the blood of innocent
Travelers shed in the land,
Of forbidden sacrifices performed in the land;
And the profanation of Great Tendenyi’s oaths.
The chiefs, the fetishes proclaimed, had
Departed from the Oath of the Three,
And the land needs cleansing.
The evil suffused the land and tears abounded.
Everywhere went fear and panic,
As sorcerers waxed strong and decimated the people.
The awful howl of the witches-turned-owls,
Filled the once starry night.
And then people fled in fear of their lives,
The heroes fell even as they tried
to make them return to the old way,
they humiliated them and drove them to an early death.
The winds still whisper in sorrow
Agbeve, Degbadzor, Ayimey,
May you rest in peace
Never will prophets like you be ever hailed
Or believed in your time.
Damirifa Due, Baba Nami.
Then the elements changed their courses
At the curse that had hit the land.
Great Kalakpa sank into the Earth,
And the once luxuriant land, turned grey with decay.
The fireballs came and swept through the land
And the people looked glum and hopeless.
And the new prophets came, , , , , , ,
Trying in vain to appease a land lost to the Elements.
They came in their cassocks and with holy water
They came, fortified to cleanse the land
But the demon-gods who had swallowed the land
And turn the gods’ acolytes into their votaries
Blazed out with doom and boom and blood,
And they drove them away.
They filled their sacred places with those who
had drunk of the forbidden potions with them.
The evil initiates filled the land.
And the once beauteous land became the land of death.
But somewhere in the desert savanna forest,
In the land where the rivers now dry
Only mud and guineaworm as legacies,
Where church bells ring only to summon
the evil to Sabbath,
A new hope is coming.
The wind whispered it and the thunders boom it.
The lightening draws it in angry filaments
on the firmament,
and fear silently creeps into the
hearts of the warlocks.
The witches grab their broomsticks to flee,
But find they are trapped.
For the gods have arisen.
They have arisen under the Power of the One
And the Night of the Three is once more.
The evil clouds are lifting from the face of
The protector goddess.
And the shackles are falling from the land.
Soon, soon, the songs will come back,
And the drumbeats will return,
The shadows shall fee the land into oblivion
And then love and beauty shall return,
And the evil old ways shall pass.
Then, then, in the ecstasy of our renewal,
We shall sing the songs of old,
Of our love and of the times of our virginity.
And the purity and beauty of our land
For beyond these dreams,
Our home is our pride.
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