Kwesi Brew

 We  have come to your shrine to worship-

We the sons of the land .

The naked cowherd has brought

The cows safely home,

And stand silent with his bamboo flute

Wiping the rain from his brow ;

As the nestle brood  in their nest

Awaiting the dawn of the unsung melodies;

The shadow crowd on the shores

Pressing their lips against the bosom of the sea;

The pleasant home from their labours

Sit by their log-fires

Telling tales of long ago.

Why should we the sons of the land

Plead unheeded before your shrine,

When our heart are full of song

And our lips tremble with sadness?

The little firefly vies with the star,

The log-fire with the sun

The water in the calabash

With the mighty volta,

But we have come in tattered penury

Begging at the door of a master



Kwesi Brew

The year is withering; the wind

Blows down the leaves;

Men stand under eaves

And overhead the secrets

Of the cold dry wind,

Of the half-bare trees.


The grasses are tall and tinted

Strew-gold hues of dryness,

And the contradicting awareness,

Of the dusty roads a- scatter

With the pools of colourful leaves,

With ghosts of the dreaming year.


And soon, soon the fires,

The fires will begin to burn

The hawk will flutter and turn

On its wings and swoop for the mouse,

The dogs will run for the hare,

The hare for its little life.


Kwesi Brew

Here stood our ancestral  home:

The crumbling wall marks the spot.

Here a sheep as led to slaughter

To appease the gods and atone

For faults which our destiny

Has blossomed into crimes.

There my cursed father once stood

And shouted to us, his children,

To come back from our play

To our evening  meal and sleep.


The clouds were thickening in the red sky

And night had charmed

A black power into the pounding waves.


Here once lay Keta.

Now her golden girls

Erode into the arms

Of strange towns.

US - Africa Literary Foundation

Chimdi Maduagwu, PhD
Executive Director
US-Africa Writers Foundation
Macaulay Oluseyi Akinbami
US-Africa Writers Foundation
Lagos, Nigeria

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