Kofi Awoonor


Had Death Not Had Me in Tears

Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
on life's stream sail.
I would have heard sorrow songs
in groves where the road was lost
where men foot prints mix with other men foot prints
By the road I wait
"death is better, death is better"
came the song
I am by the roadside
looking for the road
death is better, death is much better
Had death not had me in tears
I would have seen the barges
I would have found the road
and heard the sorrow songs.

Lament of the Silent Sisters

That night he came home, he came unto me
at the cold hour of the night
Smelling of corn wine in the dawn dew.
He stretched his hand and covered my forehead.
There was a moon beam sparking rays in particles.
The drummer boys had got themselves a goat.
The din was high in the wail of the harvest moon.
The flood was up gurgling through the fields
Birth waters swimming in floods of new blood.
He whispered my name in far echo
Sky-wailing into a million sounds
across my shores. His voice still bore

The Weaver Bird

The weaver bird built in our house
And laid its eggs on our only tree.
We did not want to send it away.
We watched the building of the nest
And supervised the egg-laying.
And the weaver returned in the guise of the owner.
Preaching salvation to us that owned the house.
They say it came from the west
Where the storms at sea had felled the gulls
And the fishers dried their nets by lantern light.
Its sermon is the divination of ourselves
And our new horizon limits at its nest.