I am Fredua-Agyeman Nana from Ghana. I have lived in Suhum a town about eighty kilometres from the capital, Accra, for all the twenty-five years I have been in this world with the exception of the time I spent pursuing higher learning. I attended Star of Suhum International School from kindergarten to the Junior Secondary School and continued to Adisadel College, in Cape Coast, to read science—a continuation that began the break in my long stay in Suhum. From there I moved to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, to study Agriculture.
I completed in July 2003 with a Bsc. (Hons) Agric first class from the Faculty of Agriculture. Though I was offering science at senior secondary school, I was paired up with students who were offering literature and wanting to be universally literate began asking them many questions in their field. Hence it came not as a surprise to me when I discovered my keen interest in literature—basically, poetry and prose—just after my senior secondary education. I started reading any book my hand would get hold of—both literary and non-literary and writing anything that comes to my mind (after all, whoever loved that loved not at first sight—Marlowe). Some of my articles were published in a local entertainment newspaper Graphic Showbiz. To this point I have two unpublished collection of my poems: Tot of (My) thoughts and ImageNation. Some of my poems have been published in a London-based Ghanaian newspaper Ghana Today. My admirers include Pope, Keats, Dryden and Donne on the non-African scene whilst on the African soil I admire Kofi Anyidoho, Atukwei Okai, Ali Mazuri, Wole Soyinka, Immomotime and many others. I aspire to move from being an amateur poet to a professional poet.
Poems by Fredua-Agyeman Nana
Curvy lines on foreheads:
Racing in all directions: haphazardly, innovatively and in orderly confusion;
Women raped by men by children by women by animals by all, in that confused vicious cycle.
Spilling into drains, into the earth.
The earth sucking the blood from dying souls.
Men slashing heads
Children, no, no child was alive.
All have taken arms and are raping the more.
Infections, re-infections, further infections
From deadly diseases and lively viruses: curable and incurable. More of the poor being infected—dying from the curable ones.
Starvation leads to death and diseases lead to multiple soul-deaths.
Moving through the air like giant birds of the sky
Which know not their eyrie.
The silence of racing words makes it difficult to hear.
Confusion, more confusion, still more confusion.
Mouths wide open with no word rolling out.
Brains embraced confusion.
Clicking sounds in
Engine room of the billion brains
To put to orderliness the order of thoughts.
The gear lever breaks in the fidgety process.
Confusion, yet more confusion!
Earthlings in confusion,
With blood-smelling eyes,
Not knowing what to do in these broken down thoughts,
Pick up guns,
Locally manufactured ones, with darker inner barrel. More darker
Than it usually must be, yet, whiter enough to reflect death, fear and chaos.
Thirty-six souls skirl, or forty-eight or three or twelve, into the darker pits of hell;
Their bodies not mutilated:
Without a bullet-hole.
Souls shot, not bodies, or hearts, no! Souls were shot- I am sure of that, or…
Demonstrations- political, social, religious, economical: in streets,
Within faculties- mental or academic.
More blatant demonstrations
Where both cops and students would be found strewn and straggled among
Bottles, flesh, blood and stones, with a blue violent smoke
Meandering from the detritus and carnage
Resulting from the incompatibility of ideas, ideals, needs and deeds.
Explosions that occur after unknown scuffles:
Taking the lives of innocent pedestrians and guilty passers-by
Advancing any sane course by a nanometer.
Fights in restaurants that wouldn’t allow Blacks, Hispanics and coloured to eat at the same counter.
Police firing good- and bad-standing citizens;
Children turning on their parents, wards, guardians, foster parents, adopted parents, siblings. Marches: shouts of political mottos and slogans.
Psychopaths, socio-paths, perverts: people running away from normality into their own world of hatred, filth, intense desire, which
Defies psychic, divine and even human comprehension.
Cloning, genetic modification
Producing more confusion- non-reasoning earthlings- into an already confused
He goes about deceiving people the more and causing more confusion when
His victims realise their own folly.
Fusing two different corns.
The confusion of which gives a hybrid:
New breeds of corn. From the Green Revolution to the Genetically Modified corn. Are
These not more confusion?
From the use
Of fertiliser to the methodical transformation of the basis of life to give something different
More confusion in the corn fusion.
Everywhere. Billions die without blame and billions still enjoy without shame-
The world’s entitlements skewed
Confused minds, the few elite pick up pens and write in confusion what they cannot
Confusion? It is
The fusion of the world- economically, militarily, politically, socially, culturally, religiously, spiritually- which is waiting
For maximum explosion, no one dares to imagine; The Global Village where confused
Earthlings live in poverty, hunger, thirst, need, which
Is heading for disaster.
Yet we need the fusion of religions, economies, spirituality, political divides, cultures, Militaries, social amenities, to survive:
The confused fusion.
Into confusion is birth
Into peace is death.
All these from a confused mind are written to cause greater confusion.
Gyrating and cavorting
With blissful and joyous face
In a city of wrinkled foreheads
And squinted eyes,
He sang and shouted-
He uttered words to himself.
A passer-by stood and stared
At him in awe:
‘How can a lunatic be
So happy alone with himself
In today’s world?’
Hearing, he replied ‘happiness
Abounds in my world, only we in it
In a kaleidoscopic stream of dreaming colours;
Belly heaves; nostrils sigh tiredness
It is in one of the round huts
Stark pain bolts through nerve-endings
And painkillers are still infantile
After all our palm-kernel-filled stomachs are roaring
And our heads are empty;
The Trained One looks down unto her
From the photochromic window of the aerocar;
Trapped in the head is the key to her breath
But life must go on
(And grow green)
Our Tribe must not perish.
Blood drips, then spews, then gushes;
Her mind spirals inward
Through blackholes into a dark dizzying nothingness
She recalls nothing but her farm
And then, pfump, the line goes dead;
Death is the two eyes in the window
Her eyes turns, pierces through
The circular window in the round wall
Meets those of the Trained One
Also looking down contritely unto her
From the green windows of survival
(But life must grow green)
It flips over…washes white
And she dies
Mother and son.
Our Tribe perishes.
To Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on her Declaration as the President of Post-War Liberia
You came upon a country torn
From war’s gentlier arms, heart and brawn;
You came upon an infant lorn
From the kinder womb of war born;
When many by sheer greed did crave
To you the mantle they all gave
Ignoring those by war made brave
Who have many sent to the grave;
When amidst the factions you stood
Informing all both bad and good
That the masses are without food
None heard ‘cause they were in death’s mood;
When peace seemed eternally lost
And all in war were deeply lost
You took the road less travelled like Frost
And that made the difference most;
When you were wrongfully imprisoned
And years later charged with treason
Because men of arms couldn’t reason
Time was only having you seasoned;
When your struggle many have seen
And seeing the good in your being
Formed long lines in a sun so mean
They knew you won’t become a spleen.
The Drunk Chromosomes of a Drunk
On the fertile footpath
to the weedy farm
(Sun and Moon at a twilight reunion)
…and died not
…and the conceived son
from the drunk communion
was not a toad-cow…
reflects the contents of the mind…
harbours the deeds of the body…
surely begets a crab
You sow what you reaped
the farming season before…
Then he saw no heavens
…but a vast emptiness
He felt his feet suspend in space
the Lotus-Eater cum palm-wine Gulper
He sang songs of lamentations
beneath the palm-wine seller’s shed
Broke his neck
His son has a bottle in his back pocket
A stoic man to succeed his father
…and he has his father’s Drunk Chromosomes
He is his father
moulted into prime youthfulness
to continue plying his trade
To be the gods’ concrete example of advice.
Finding My Voice
Dedicated to You, Kofi Ghanaba
A True Son of the Motherland
Last night the sax played.
In the stool house
A spirit died.
Men of the Fatherland
Crowed Wesley chorales.
Our voice fled,
It fled from
Slaughtering of desolate souls.
Their infant teeth
Milked tar from our sagging breasts.
Of gassed-souls sang
Tunefully to its rhythms.
I am a toddler
Groping for an arm;
He said one whose
Blood is black
Must walk bold
My blood is black
But can’t find a foothold.
Last night the drums beat.
The spirit was dead.
We couldn’t croak
To the seprewa tunes
Of a lone longing long-ago man.
Our slaughtered souls
Found not their voice
Amidst the desert bones.
We were a dead people.
A people without a voice.
Me not, my Muse
And throw unto this mud wall
The water that led to their freedom;
Free this fledgling lark to play its lyre
According to its own calling and likeness.
To You Madiba
The seal, Patmos
The deal, Robben
Rolls of scrolls unfurl
Things that must shortly come to pass
One to reveal
One to release
One to die
One to lead
And when revealed die
And when released lead.
Through the Red Sea
Through the wilderness
In the Midst of Death
How would you feel
In the solitude of sickness;
When your life roams in the wild’ness
With one that will not heal?
How would you feel
Alone trudging on the broad way;
Without anything much to say;
Marked with death’s potent seal?
How would you feel
Left by your fam’ly in the lurch
Unable to your dire thirst quench
And eat a day’s fine meal?
AIDS is very much real!
Contract it not with zeal!
The Land of Standing Corpses
The sound of metallic barrels
Reverberated throughout the field
With deep voices and frightening clanging tones.
Mansions levelled with the ground at these great tones,
Their exhaust floated on the air above the field
And penetrated niches and cracks
With their choking and pungent smell.
Empty shells of souls lie in screaming pools:
The fate of posterity locked in a blurred future.
For aeons, these voices echoed unceasingly.
Soils give up productivity;
Springs and streams lose their taste
And assumes a vermilion outlook;
People run haphazardly
With no where to go
They end up as asylum seekers;
A country, a nation lies in shambles-
A product of power.
The elite trained to head now behead;
And anarchy predominates.
A nation, once the birthplace of humanity,
Now harbours soulless lives:
Ability becomes disability.
Those who by stroke of luck have breath,
Are standing corpses living in constant fear-
Awaiting death on the click of the second
From blood-sucking vampires
Whose appetite is sucking blood from the sufferers.
People captured and their lives taken away from them
For no fault of theirs
Than expressing their desires.
Many are those who cross the thin dark line.