Motherland

Motherland
Journeying into the unknown,
Journeying into the deep soil,
Into a trunk, which has been
Uprooted and stripped off it’s branches
Removed from its natural soil,
And thrust into a cold and bitter
Climate of an unknown land

Motherland
Journeying into the unknown
Journeying to imagine the unimaginable
Journeying to confront my fears,
To recover my motherland,
The tired, colonized soul of
My motherland

Motherland
We have come,
We have journeyed home
We have come to embrace our motherland

Motherland
Forgive me if I do not understand
Nor speak my mother tongue,
For we have been away for too long
Forgive me if I do not answer
When you hail my name,

The name that mista smith gave me has a
Different tone, an unfamiliar beat
To the name that you persistently call me with,
Like a frightened mother who screams for her lost child
And only to hear the echoes of her own voice

Motherland
Journeying into the pit of my soul
Journeying to recover my stolen identity
Journeying to recover what humanity
Stripped off my flesh

Motherland
We were stolen,
Captured like hunted antelopes
Only this hunter had no love,
Nor respect for the hunted
We were herded onto a boat
And shipped of to an unknown destination
A land that had no sunshine,
A climate that is so cold it cracked my
Soft skin and offered no shea butter
To grease my cracked wounds

Motherland
We have come
We have survived
We have come to give thanks to those
Who lost their lives on the journey
And to those who were not captured
But who’s heart were forcibly pieced
With Kaigama’s arrow

Motherland
Forgive as if we do not bear our tribal marks,
Forgive me if my hips do not move
Ceremoniously to the drumbeat,
For I am of mixed breed,
Part British part Spanish
I am the descendant of a slave girl
A property that mista smith could
Enjoy at his convenience
A property that he could explore the
Benefits of my hips, my upright breasts
And the rhythmic beats of my waistbeads

Motherland
“RAPE”
I heard you cry out
“RAPE”
I cried back

Motherland
I was your untouched child,
But I became mista smith’s property
Part of his wealth and livestock
And a property cannot be RAPED

Motherland
Hush, do not weep
We have survived we have journeyed HOME
Ah Obataan pa due, demirifa due
Due ne amanehunu!


Jennifer Maame Prempeh
Copyright © 2003

 The Drummer

The Drummer’s Last Beat

Morning rose to the dismal sunset
The villagers were awaken by the drummer,
Who ceremoniously drummed his drum
Announcing the death of the motherless elephant

Woe is the motherless elephant whose
Last days in this lifetime was spent
Roaming through the bosoms of the African forest
Its heart, heavenly aching with solitude and desolation

Robbed by death,
Denied by Mother Africa,
Spurned by nature

Sorrow is the motherless elephant
Lying in a puddle of mud,
Where his mother breathed her last breath
Sorrow is the baby elephant who now lies
In his mother’s bosom

Sorrow is the motherless elephant
Who now rests in immortal peace
As mother and child

The evening drew
And the sun despondently returned,
As the villagers returned home
And the drummer in sweat drummed his
Last beat to the Motherless elephant

Jennifer Maame Prempeh
Copyright © 2003