Posted in LIFE, POETRY

TWO POEMS by Kofi Awoonor (The Cathedral and Across A New Dawn)

THE CATHEDRAL

cathedral of the holy spirit AccraOn this dirty patch
A tree once stood
Shedding incense on the infant corn:
Its bough stretched across a heaven
Brightened by the last fires of a tribe.
They brought surveyors and builders
Who cut that tree
Planting in its place
A huge senseless cathedral of doom

 

 

 

 

ACROSS A NEW DAWN

Sometimes, we read the

lines in the green leaf

run our fingers over the

smooth of the precious wood

from our ancient trees;

Sometimes, even the sunset

puzzles, as we look

for the lines that propel the clouds,

the colour scheme

with the multiple designs

that the first artist put together

There is dancing in the streets again

the laughter of children rings

through the house

On the seaside, the ruins recent

from the latest storms

remind of ancestral wealth

pillaged purloined pawned

by an unthinking grandfather

who lived the life of a lord

and drove coming generations to

despair and ruin

 

*

But who says our time is up

that the box maker and the digger

are in conference

or that the preachers have aired their robes

and the choir and the drummers

are in rehearsal?

No; where the worm eats

a grain grows.

the consultant deities

have measured the time

with long winded

arguments of eternity

And death, when he comes

to the door with his own

inimitable calling card

shall find a homestead

resurrected with laughter and dance

and the festival of the meat

of the young lamb and the red porridge

of the new corn

 

*

We are the celebrants

whose fields were

overrun by rogues

and other bad men who

interrupted our dance

with obscene songs and bad gestures

Someone said an ailing fish

swam up our lagoon

seeking a place to lay its load

in consonance with the Original Plan

Master, if you can be the oarsman

for our boat

please do it, do it.

I asked you before

once upon a shore

at home, where the

seafront has narrowed

to the brief space of childhood

We welcome the travelers

come home on the new boat

fresh from the upright tree

 

Kofi Awoonor, poet and patriarch of African poetry passed on to our memories on September 21st, 2013 in the Westgate Mall Attack in Kenya. Across a new dawn produced here from WSJ Blog was one of his last poems. He remains an inspiration to a whole lot of poets around the world and a personal friend that I never the good fortune to meet.
Kofi Awoonor, poet and patriarch of African poetry, passed on to our memories on September 21st, 2013 in the Westgate Mall Attack in Kenya. Across a new dawn produced here from WSJ Blog was one of his last poems. He remains an inspiration to a whole lot of poets around the world and a personal friend that I never had the good fortune to meet.

Kofi Awoonor, poet and patriarch of African poetry passed on to our memories on September 21st, 2013 in the Westgate Mall Attack in Kenya. Across a new dawn produced here from WSJ Blog was one of his last poems. He remains an inspiration to a whole lot of poets around the world and a personal friend that I never had the good fortune to meet.

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Some all-rounded writer with the wits to turn anything and everything to words with inspiration... cheering to glory and on...

11 thoughts on “TWO POEMS by Kofi Awoonor (The Cathedral and Across A New Dawn)

  1. Thanks so much for sharing my article. I love The Cathedral. Two great poems. I will be following your blog as it looks very interesting. Warm greetings from the Caribbean!

    Like

  2. That makes the two of us. I have loved ‘The Cathedral’ since reading it years ago. It’s one of those early poems that have remained with me. Read long before I ventured to write.
    Nice to meet you! Cheers from Nigeria 😉

    Like

    1. Hi Aya, Kofi Awoonor is among one of the greatest bards ever… You sure should find more of him… His verse always leaves much to smile about. Sad he had to pass away the way he did but well, we all have our days… And when it comes…
      May the sands rest gently on him.

      Like

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