Tuesday, 9 February 2016

AKOSUA FLOGS CORPORAL FRIMPONG

Corporal Frimpong waves Akosua to a halt at Madina market. ‘Park here!’ He commands, and then directs other vehicles though the traffic lights are functioning. Indeed, on other days the traffic lights just refuse to work. Akosua obliges and parks at the bus stop just behind a faulty Nissan Pickup. Her car, an old grey Datsun looks well kept except for a slight dent at the rear, just below the traffic indicator, and about two inches from the bumper.

The sound from the engine is minimal and light blue smoke swirl into the still air. The ‘C’ number plate is only evidence that the car had been in existence for close to thirty years. Akosua is in her mid thirties. The old horse is a family heritage handed down to her father, who in turn passed it on to her. She has however decided not to pass it on to any of her children but to save it as family relic in their garage.

“Officer, wetin dey happen? Why you stop me na?” she screams to get the Corporal’s attention.

“Na my office i dey oo” he turns around slightly, throws her a defiant look and turns around again to collect the Okada man’s rider’s licence. He opens the middle page and removes a five cedi note which he slots into his back pocket.

Akosua holds her lips loosely and theatrically “Akosua, don’t talk, don’t talk, don’t say anything” She says to herself

“Na only God go bless you. You never go chop gari. My God no go gree sef”  Corporal Frimpong prays while dipping his hand into his back pocket again to ensure the money is secured. “Away” he commands waving his benefactor to ride on. After this, he adjusts his beret and struts leisurely toward Akosua. He rests his arms on the driver side window, which is already wound down, surveys the insides of the car and gives Akosua a cold prolonged stare. She sees mischief and lust in his eyes as his bulky eyeballs settle on her chest.

“Officer?”

“Ye...s, where is your licence?” he says hurriedly knowing he has been caught. She pulls out the licence and car documents from under her seat and hand them over.

“Your extinguishers?”

“Are you that blind” She says in her head, wondering if his eyes were shut when he initially surveyed the insides of her car. Without looking back, Akosua points to the extinguisher affixed at the rear, her eyes continually monitoring his to make sure she observes the lustful gaze of his eyes.

“Car papers?” 

“Car papers?...Officer, you no say u dey waste my time. I spend fifteen minutes for here already. The car papers? how?...” Akosua laughs for close to sixty seconds nonstop interjecting it with sarcastic grins. Officer becomes furious and impatient.

“Shut up there. I say where is your car paper? and you are giving me lectures” Corporal Frimpong interjects boastfully, leaves her side and goes the other way to occupy the passenger seat by her.

“eeii Akosua, don’t talk, don’t talk, don’t say anything” Akosua taps her chest to calm herself. Corporal lets a fake grin and grabs the Porridge and Beans cake on the dashboard. Akosua stares on as he consumes the food in the black polythene bag raving at it like a hungry pig. The sound from his throat and the up down movement of his adam’s apple disgust her. Then, he lets out a loud belch. Akosua’s stomach turns and her inside boils with rage.

“I like your bobby” he hasn’t finished speaking than his right hand touches her left breasts. She slaps it off immediately.

“Foolish man...foolish officer ...how dare you?” Akosua sparks. “If you be man, touch am again like you say see wetin go happen for here today”

Corporal Frimpong, short and stout is shocked. He cannot believe his ears. He may be wrong to have touched her but for a civilian to slap a man in uniforms is unacceptable. Letting the matter end there will signify his defeat. His bloated ego overcomes sound reasoning and his body must simply obey. Corporal Frimpong cannot control himself any longer. ‘If I must, it must be now’ he thought. Akosua, whose face has turned red with rage continue to hurl insults at him.

“Me? Corporal Frimpong?” He grabs her left breast again in protest but only for a split second, Akosua smashes his hand again with applied energy that sends his hand knocking hard into his own face. His beret falls off. He is dazed and his breathe become shorter but heavier. Akosua pushes her door open and steps out ready for a fight.

“You slap an officer of the state? Today, I go show you wetin we call jungle fight.” He threatens and steps out too. Akosua, twice his height and build unbuckles her shoes and firms her bare feet on the floor. A charged crowd form a circle around the two. Corporal throws himself at her with a punch to her tummy. She lets out a cry. The crowd shout in unison against the Corporal. She staggers backwards but regains her stamina quickly. Corporal straightens the turf of his shirt and folds his trouser up to the knee. Buoyed by the first knock, he runs into her again. She steps away slightly leaving her leg in his path. He trips, loses balance and falls to the ground. Akosua pounces on him; her knees get a go at his crotch. He lets out a shriek. The crowd boo him. They enjoy Akosua’s display.

The two trade a few blows on the ground and later get on their feet. Corporal holds his crotch in pains. Akosua run at him, encircle his waist with her arms and release a knee jab into his chin, drawing his blood instantly. The weight of the jab forces him to the ground but he pulls her along. A trouble-thirsty crowd cheer in admiration as Akosua’s body cover the full length of the Corporal.

“‘beat am! finish am! beat am”

Corporal knows that victory is slipping out of his grips. His back is to the ground as Akosua clamps her knee to secure his waist. This prevents him from getting into a position where he can hit her lower pelvic. He tears up her jacket to partly her white underwear. She in turn slaps his face repeatedly, her frame weighing heavily on him. The crowd mock the losing corporal.

“Finish am...finish am” somebody shouts from the crowd.

“make...she...finish...me eh?” Corporal replies through his blood filled nose yet unable to look in the direction of the call. He pummels some blows which are not strong enough to get her off him.

She powers some more punches into his sweaty face till he lets out a shriek like a trapped squirrel. She frees herself from him, allowing him the full diameter of the ground, picks up her jacket and gives the crowd a look as to say ‘thank you’. There is no crowd now but a team of police officers and their vehicle parked just behind hers. The crowd had actually dispersed when the Police Patrol arrived.

Corporal Frimpong and Akosua are handcuffed and put in the back of the vehicle; sitting face to face and sandwiched by police officers. Corporal’s head is bowed in shame. Akosua looks outside confidently as the vehicle speeds off. The Vendors, buyers and Pedestrians give Akosua a standing ovation, clapping and cheering such that it draws laughter off the police officers. They were sent to the regional police headquarters for interrogation. 

The following day, their story makes the newspaper headlines, prominent among them being ‘Macho Woman whips Fake Corporal’

Apparently, Corporal Frimpong is a tailor from Madina who could not stick to sewing church attires only but decided to sew himself a police uniform and station himself strategically to extort money from innocent and offending drivers. Beware of Fake Corporals!!!


Copyright (C) 2016

#thestoryteller

Thursday, 4 February 2016

SHERRY

Today, as I stepped out of the office premises to get lunch across the street, a speeding truck from the opposite side knocks Sherry, sending her off the ground and then effortlessly, her light frame drops to the ground dead. The speed of the truck minimised the sound of the thud, nevertheless, one could still hear it from ten metres away. She had joined her ancestors.

The crash was so sudden it was almost unnoticeable.  ‘Oooww’ was the simultaneous chorus from passers-by; others shouted ‘Jesus!’ What a gory scene on a Monday afternoon, I froze. My palms drew shade over my face and both jerked sideways as she landed on the hard surface. The afternoon was bright and the sun, biting. For a moment, I did not wish to uncover my face, that way; I could just turn around and return to the office as if nothing happened.

‘I should have waited a bit longer in the office’, I thought. I would not have witnessed the incident. In any case, the news would still filter into our office, which would be much bearable. After all, lunch break was a whole hour and half, beginning from 1pm. 

The shouts intensified as reality dawned on onlookers. Shop owners, passers-by and dog chain sellers who dominated the area drew closer. They accosted the driver immediately and would not allow him to park on the side of the road for fear he bolts away. The thought of finishing anything I began clouded my mind, so I told myself that I had to see this to the end even if it cost my entire lunch break.

Sherry’s body lay scattered over the tarred floor. Her head rolled towards the front of the beans vendor’s desk, collecting sand particles along the way till it stopped on the pavement and sending Aunty Mansa’s customers fleeing in various directions. Her eyes were no more in the socket. ‘Oh Sherry Sherry!’ Aunty Mansa was dazed, abandoned her stall to join the conversation at the edge of the road. Fresh blood escaped from Sherry’s lifeless body parts.

Her limbs were torn into shreds and her intestines sprawled on the road, two strands remained stuck to the bumper of the truck. By this time, the road had choked, sympathisers increased by the minute and the two-way lane had become one. Road traffic became dense. Each vehicle that passed sought to avoid going over Sherry’s mangled body while passengers in moving vehicles leaned over each other to catch a better glimpse.

There was Jackson, embattled, crying as he run around helplessly. He looked terrified, fearing to near the crowd for fear of being stoned. Apparently, he was in Sherry’s company. He assumed she was following him when he crossed the street. She did not. When she did, the truck approached from nowhere and smashed her. I recognised Jackson and Sherry immediately. They are friends whom I had seen together on two occasions, today being third.

Aunty Mansa told us of their love relationship. That Sherry was often lured by Jackson into them taking a stroll. That she often waited till everybody left home before she hopped off to her lover. The security officer was always at post yet never notices when Sherry leaves home since he was also busy engaging his lover, the charcoal seller. Those are opportune moments for both Sherry and the security officer. Each one got what he wanted.

Meanwhile, the truck driver, a man in his mid-fifties had the Almighty God to thank for not being stoned. He looked visibly pale and inwardly troubled. He admitted wrong doing, confessed that he was slightly intoxicated because his wife of thirty five years had passed on shockingly the previous night. The crowd agreed to let him go.

Jackson, the thin-face American hair terrier dog hovered around mystified. He belonged to the old goldsmith who lived at the tail of 17th Jakada Street. Jackson loved to wander and rarely slept at home. Sherry, on the other hand was a stout round-eyed Labrador retriever, the latest of dogs owned by the Minister of Agriculture who lived in the same area.

When the noise receded and traffic began to ease, the dog chain sellers scrambled for Sherry’s remains.



Copyright (C) 2016
#thestoryteller
Originally read at Citifm Writers Project Radio Show

Monday, 18 January 2016

My Wife is a Thief. My Husband is a Liar

Akwasi and Belinda my neighbours ruined my day with their marital matters. I am still trying to figure out a good reason for why two individuals sheltered under a roof can be as bitter and hostile as to hurl vitriolic words at each other for almost a fourth of the day. Waking up around 11am, I desired to grab a final round of snoring and sleeping before I face the ever-waiting laundry. The noise, poisoning the quiet afternoon overpowered me so I quickly abandoned the idea of more sleep. I decided that it was in my own interests to begin the day’s task immediately and to just find a way to ignore their rout.

Though we have been neighbours for two years, I had never set eyes on them except for the images that formed in my mind’s eye. Akwasi, average-height; chocolate-skinned; a broad chest; sunken eyes and a generally imposing figure. Belinda is light-skinned; has short-hair, a heavy bust-line sitting partially on a lean waist and curvy backside.

They occupy a chamber and Hall rented apartment, their window facing my cubicle. My room stands just about a meter away from theirs, only separated by the landlord’s special water gallons. Initially, I got furious. I reasoned that I would have broken no law if I proceeded to deliver to them a gross lecture on Tenancy regulations. That I should have a good case of what to say, I decided to snake my left ear against the side frame of their window to listen. I rejected the idea immediately; rather, an obstinate desire to be wowed by their escapade grew in me.

The chatter from their apartment rose and filled my room like smoke from a bush fire. Akwasi was here accusing his wife of having stolen his money. He insisted that he had folded the money into the back pocket of his jeans trousers the previous day. Belinda would not take the accusations likely, dismissing his every attempt to label her a thief. I reasoned that a wife cannot be a thief in her matrimonial home, she could be a taker.

The anger in Belinda’s voice was raw and fresh. She reminded her husband of saying he had no money when she requested for some the previous night. He would not answer the question but to dismiss it with rounds of sarcastic laughter and then repeat his accusations. She was her own lawyer. He was his own judge. I, ‘the audience’ was enjoying the courtroom affairs.

Belinda dared him to hit her, slap her and do whatever he wanted with her because she couldn’t cope with his attitude anymore. She threatened to leave his home but he doesn’t give a hoot. Rather, he laughed, chuckled, and then expressed shock at her comments. Akwasi seemed to press Belinda’s infuriation button by his sinister grins. She pushed herself into his face. “You are wicked and heartless. Kill me! Kill me!! Foolish man!!! I asked you for money and you said you had none; now you accuse me of stealing your money. How do you expect me to cook in this house” she ranted.

Akwasi swallowed the insults, resisting the temptation of applying the weight of his heavy palms to her face while equally resisting the temptation to walk out of the room. Most men avoid nagging wives by avoiding their presence. He knew his being there hurt her more and he was prepared to satisfy that inner desire to the fullest. If he smacked her, she would cry sore, attract the attention of other tenants, which he reasoned would simply curtail their arguments and of course his quest to retrieving his money.

To my amazement, the couple went on for another hour after the other, driving each other nuts with insults and counter insults. Around 4pm, Belinda began to wear out; her voice shook as she struggled to deliver her verbal punches, her voice straining under her throat with every subsequent utterance. Akwasi, buoyed by her being close to tears reminded her that this was his home and that he had the final say. Out of nowhere, he averred that since she claimed innocence to not taking his ten ghana cedis, he would resort to the assistance of a fetish. Fetish?


Fetish to retrieve ten ghana cedis? I could not hold back my awe at the goof. What is doing laundry to hearing all over the cause of the couple’s struggles? I admitted that doing laundry was totally insignificant to the case at hand. Luckily, he repeated himself in that condensed Ga accent. “It’s okay, don’t worry woman, since you said you did not take my ten ghana cedis, Okomfo Do Wonders will find out whom.” Wow! What a waste of my ears and time.

Copyright (C) 2016

Monday, 16 November 2015

MUSTARD SEEDS

Talk less, speak more
Talk more, never
Eat more, more fruits
Fail more-
In doing evil
See more, look less
Sight is free
Learn more, outside school walls
Sow always, Reap always
You are a seed, sow yourself
Ask those who know, be an Oliver
Be yourself
Sing more, sink less
Connect always, never condemn
Connect with the right people
Never write; remain writhed
Write more, of your revolving life
Never hate, haters abound
Save more, spend less
Stay close, remain open
Better late than never
Start small, small is relative
Still, start small
Speak truly; truth is truth
Be a happy fellow

Live freely, die a freer man. 

Saturday, 31 October 2015

BURUNDI, WHY?













Burundi, you are caught in a trap
And only you can free yourself
Bujumburam is choked by her own tears
The blood Of Evariste splashes across sorghum fields

The spirit voice of Kayenda is strangled at dawn
By those who once were friends
Gishora panics
Abatimbos fear

Burundi, you have killed Nkezabahizi the cameraman
And spared not his wife Niyonzima and children to carry on his voice
Burundi, you tied sand to your son’s testicles
And burned his buttocks in acid













Burundi, you already crossed your red sea
Then why? For once the Israelites did cross
Where is Nkurunziza of our past decade?
Nkurunziza the christian

Burundi
Burundi
Burundi
Burundi, the garment you wear is white Saltire
Yet Africa mourns your nakedness.













Copyright (C) 2015


Monday, 12 October 2015

LETTER AT SUNRISE

Good morning friends

Good morning flowery flames of flourishing fields

Good morning Anases

Mockers tremble when you wake at cockcrow

Good morning to those who were born yesterday

Good morning to those who loved us yesterday
You cause rain to gather in our eyes
Grow and water the earth
In wait for the harvest

Good morning to those whose palms fed the kernel
Our children know of you
That you did not bury the prophecy
The merry songs and dreadful days

Good morning to ordinary men who feed hungry mouths
Though you are despised everywhere
Your name is everywhere
The Potter’s pride

Good morning to suffering souls
When your day comes
Offer your master his last pound of greeting
Then walk out to your freedom which waits at the door

Good morning to those who deserve our greetings

Good morning friends.


Copyright (C) 2015

Saturday, 10 October 2015

SHINING LIGHTS

Light shines where it shines
Darkness stripped
Driven across the mountains
Here, no eyes should see blackness

Light shines where it shines
Blackest dawn forced backwards
With the strike of nine wounded vipers
Backwards ever forward never

Light shines where it shines
Light in every being
Ascending to ascension
Till the world sees bright light indeed

Light shines where it shines
The moon in your palms
Even on your sick bed
Of exit into eternal rest

That, men should see
The candlelight you were in their darkness.

Copyright (C) 2015


Thursday, 8 October 2015

ABRONOMA

On that blissful night
Of retire from the Folks Place
Where our feet first converged at Nana's call
I, the bee
Blown by the wind into your path

Words exchanged one or two, or three
'You look familiar’, I have seen you before'
Then, you entered my soul, there
Embossed, not ephemeral, your fragrance
I inhaled deeply

Morning blossoms
Blossoming spring
Clothed in heaven's mind
The window of my heart flung opened
To catch your aroma and morning breathe

Afternoon sun
Baths you to beauty
Your attitude
Your sweetness
Your care

My heart whispered me calm
Spoke to me and sang a ballad
My heart knew it had found a treasure
A place, a home
A woman to love, a companion

Slowly
I loosened to trust like Bonwire’s loom
You are the weaver’s hand
Whose tears wiped away my tears
Love is no more a stranger

Abronoma
Dainty dove
I till the earth and sow
A handful of gratitude
For you, the august gift of August.


Copyright (C) 2015


Abronoma (Akan Twi) = Dove

Monday, 5 October 2015

THE BEGGAR

This is to the beggar whose lineage are kingsmen

Death, they thought, must be a better choice

Than slanderous fingers should point at the royal palace

And gossips should find their voices again

What happened passed from one lip to the other?

Candlelight

Snuffed out softly, slowly

In the company of bootlickers and wild at hearts

Lured onto a slippery stage

Dreams fester

Merriment becomes a curse

Wait!

Not the dancers are to blame, not the singers but

The audience, among whom the beggar is numbered

The kingsmen could no longer remain dumb

They forbade the prophet to prophesy

And the soothsayer they charged to remain at arm’s length

That for the sake of their prodigal son, they should be poorer by some bread and butter

They reasoned among themselves, that,

Someday, the Pig’s feed should run out while their son’s hunger hurt him more

They knew the Pig would snort louder

Till their son heard the voice of wisdom calling in the Pig's snort

And return home


Copyright (C) 2015


Friday, 2 October 2015

PRICELESS













Fragile
Precious
Ripe egg
Bearer of gold eggs

Your wings spread beautifully abroad
Peacock in flight
You swallow the pebbles of my despair
Your love reminds me of old God

You mean so much
Words are prisoners of your love
Your smile spreads across  
Your voice is a tale on noble tongues

I will tell my mother about you
And remind your mother of her beautiful tree
Planted in the heart of a young lover
Priceless

Copyright (C) 2015

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

MY BLACK SUN, LORLORNYO

Mother told me about the shapely sun
That appears once in a blue moon
Carrying thoughts of the unborn
So I waited for her august arrival

I waited where the dusty roads kissed and broke
Where the roads embraced our town
It blossoms in the king’s forest
In all tranquility

I stood on restless dust
She eats me; the dust, I eat her
I eat the dust
Till my skin dries
Blurs!!
I stood amidst the unwelcome of crippled branches
Darkness rushed by, across my shoulder
Fear mounted upon our soul's silhouette, unyielding
Our earnest plea was lost in the wind’s sail.

Many nights passed
The royal gongs were agog
They came, love birds
They came to where they had began
Perched on the tree’s waiting arms
Ohene wraps himself in her sunken breast
Sprinkling each other with sweet melodies of delightful memories

My admiration for the old lovers soared

Then, you showed up
My dearest!
Colorful bird among birds!!
More beautiful than a Goldian Finch
My thoughts flew out of my chest into hers
I wept and she knew why
She wept also, her love pierced my heart to glee

My armour-bearer; my kings guard
Stay here, my dome, my Lorlornyo
For, you are the black sun that should rise daily atop my roof

On ethereal eternal nights

Copyright (C) 2015


Friday, 25 September 2015

MEN OR GOATS?

A voice draws near,
Singing heavenly of hell
We cup our hungry ears to hear the murderous melody, which cut into our bones
And sinews
And flesh
And throws us into a frenzy
We are told of certain men
Men like us, men unlike us
Men like goats

They are men of honour, yet, they seek the illumination of fools and the possession of robbers
Their stubbornness stink like a goat's anus
The candor of courageous forefathers have departed them
No, they have departed the candor of courageous fathers

For, only a cup of wine
a pottage and a coin will save them
but for a moment,  just this moment
Pathetic!

They trap themselves!
Endanger themselves and freeze others to danger, even owls flee
They are like darkness.
They are darkness of sorts.

But,

May the wind of life blow treachery away, and send them our warm songs of hope.
Till our hearts lead them back to us.

Copyright (C)  2015

Thursday, 17 September 2015

THE MAD MAN AND OUR STORY

We
have
abandoned
our
story
to
the
mad
man's
script

He sieves our fate...

Into
a
sack
of
polluted
stories

Our slave masters infuse their choice words...

Into
our
history
books
and
afterwards
call
us
liars

And we call ourselves liars...

till
the
lights
from
the
songs
of
hope and love and faith
dimmed.

Who will, though weary lift up our sinking voices again?

Copyright (C)  2015

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

SWEAT IS GOLD

Sweat and gold
Sweat on gold
Sweat is sweat
Gold is gold
Sweat is gold

Copyright (C) 2015

Monday, 24 June 2013

EKURASE


The night always young
peasants resuming from labor
Noise of children so real and loud
Igniting a chorus through every deafening silence
1Ekurase

Each day too young to die
Footprints denting sand dunes
All are busy, none will dare sleep
Every man at his best
Ekurase

Household sits around the illuminating fire
Listening to the sage as he unties wisdom knot
Gray hairs nods in agreement amidst the lads
And in a mellow mood they enjoy every word

Tell us legends which preceded our birth,
and why death has no cure, they seem to ask
But night has journeyed far and old folks are weary,
They wait for a fortnight

Ekurase!
Forever my love at first sight.

1Ekurase: Akan name for village


A CALL TO ORDER!


I choose to write what they will ignore.
What they will not write in their stack of sheets-
Those reports of how they manipulated the sphere.
And influenced the courts of justice.
Yes, I know, 
they'll pick with me a fight
For I shed light on our plights. 
Our rights to enjoy the taxes we work so hard to pay. 
Not to pay bribe again before we get our monthly pay.

Now, be alert and tell them not to pervert. 

We've seen all the fake certs they use- We are Africans, not jerrycans  
Or T-rolls to be used and dumped.

Our schools shelf our knowledge in papers they call thesis. 

Our labour sits as white elephant waiting rot, when it could bring redemption to our homes.
These notes only sell 1abele na nketie 

Therefore, In sobriety I ask of our nation-
Of our leaders to take second thoughts-
To think or we sink.

1abele na nketie: roasted maize and groundnut sold in Ghana and served in brown papers or used newspapers.



First published at http://poetryfoundationghana.org/index.php/theme/social-poems/item/66-a-call-to-order


Copyright (C) 2013