Sunday, December 28, 2014

One noon on the Accra main road

Panting, heaving, sweaty; 
an arm and a leg for free air here , as
traffic hits red..
A thousand and one tyre screeches heard
A wheelchair footplate falls but the beggar doesn't
His coin finds the feet of a young guy 
who washes car windscreens half-clean on impulse 
Hawkers hang on trotro windows 
like butter bugs bringing blues buried under wings,
Make way for manipulating motorcades!
swerving through slumped vehicles, swift
like shiny rivers.. 
Heat as heavy as a traditional dancer's garb
plunges into the gut of the trotro,
slaps me in the face!
Mumbles catapult from passengers' mouths,
bad drivers, troopers, deadbeat trucks, loose hens…
Warden tired, pretending he's not sagging on his knees
Bicycle rider risks a stunt, 
Jesus! A baby and her granny cry...
Tall corporate boxes with glass eyes-
Our eyes flirt all over them as if it's love at first sight.
Silver wares swell, loaves poking
loads  choking,
The hell-digging hot sun tearing apart hairs
As if soul-searching

Friday, December 19, 2014

Home to Johanna

After a few days,
we met for another first time.
Again, it was under a shed that Accra poets
had built with conducive words.
Downing shots of akpeteshie mixed with passion
fruit, I asked her; “what do you call home?”
Right there in the middle of a jazz anchored street,
she replied that home used to be safely stuck in her past
so her memories replayed the music of nostalgia
concealed in the abyss of late teenage bewilderment
when she first 'discovered' Africa;
bundled and fragile like a bubble floating over pin cushions.

But presently, home is best untwisted from the rubik of travel-
once it was Kabale, somewhere near Kampala’s east elbow
In the span of rural taste
wrapped in paradisiacal plump, 
peacocking arrays of borrowed savoir-faire.
Her left and right feet had known Leipzig and Rostock too long
and now, as Accra
sutures in..

It’s either where muzungus are laved
with ruchiga minced under the tongue
or where taxi drivers flirt and the word “obroni” is whirled
into a light-skinned person’s ears like a soft blow-wind
or even where her mum and granny thumb the same keyboard
singing Petersburger Schlittenfahrt 
to mark the end of year.