THE SEA EATS THE LAND AT HOME
At home the sea is in the Town
Running in and out of the cooking places,
Collecting the firewood from the hearths
And sending it back at night.
The sea eats the land at home:
It has eaten many houses:
It came on day at the dead of night,
Destroying the cement walls,
And carried away the fowls,
The cooking pots and the ladles.
The sea eats the land at home,
It is a sad thing to hear the walls,
And the mourning shouts of the women,
Calling on all the gods the worship,
To protect them from the angry sea.
Aku stood outside where her cooking pot stood
With her two children shivering from the cold,
Her hands on her breast,
Her ancestors have neglected her,
It was a cold Sunday morning,
The storm was raging,
Goats and fowls were struggling in the water,
The angry water of the cruel sea:
The lap-lapping of the dark water at the shore,
And above the sobs and the deep and low moans
It has taken away their belongings
Abena has lost the tinkets which.
Were her dowry and her joy,
In the sea that eats the land at home,
Eats the whole land at home
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 horizons limit as its nest.
But we cannot join the prayers and answers of the communicants
We look for new homes every day,
For new altars we strive to re-build
The old shrines defiled from the weaverâ€™s excrement.
SONG OF SORROW
Something has happened to me
The things so great that I cannot weep;
I have no sons to fire the gun when I die
And no sons to fire the gun when I close my mouth
I have wandered on the wilderness
The great wilderness men call life
The rain has beaten me,
And the sharp stumps cut as keen as knives
I shall go beyond the rest.
I have no kin and no brother,
Death has made war upon our house;
And Kpetiâ€™s great household is no more,
Only the broken fence stands;
And those who dared not look in his face
Have come out as men.
How well their pride is with them.
Let those gone before take note
They have treated their offspring badly.
What is the wailing for?
Somebody is dead. Agosu himself
Alas! a snake has bittern me
My right arm is broken,
And the tree on which I lean is fallen.
Agosu if you go tell them,
Tell Nyidevu, Kpeti, and Kove
That they have done us evil;
Tell them their house is falling
And the trees in the fence
Have been eaten by termites;
That the martels curse them.
Ask them why they idle there
While we suffer, and eat sand,
And the crow and the vulture
Hover always above our broken fences
And strangers walk over our portion.
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