/Supplication to Death for Being a Pulley in my Father’s Clan Milieu/
This is why my mother sits on our log mat
clenching her fist fastidiously
the tears awaken the spirit of my father
& the light in her eyes fades away for grief to settle
She split herself soliloquizing, ‘eden na onipa begye wo wiase’? ‘onipa nse whee’!
that is to say, What reaps of our harvest after our helter skelter on this Earth?
man is nothing before earth! How do you estimate a thing that doesn’t
settle well like our currency? they don’t stay to match the dollar—poor clan;
they come & go like
the Ghanaian economy, at the peak of their boom.
I start this poem from the 52 Cardinals of my father’s killer,
his benignant wickedness.
Merciless, Our strong vitriol.
they say death is heartless—which is to say he has murdered all loved
ones in this clan. You can call him atramentous—a black bird of prey
I watch death’s armor gaggle every night
like the sagrenti war
but his sergeant mellowed in the Ashanti hut. Now he pries here with several parts of him.
my mother treks around the room folding herself into everything
she chances on; anything & everything on the walls of the house—
her awful face depicting the face of my father—her mouth fortified by the
emptiness in Grandma’s room. Whenever death comes closer,
he takes Agya Addo from us, Nana Asare, Koo Letsa & still pacing his steps relentlessly
Whenever someone dies the house shakes of emptiness—barrenness would have
been better. & my mother storm curses as refatal…
I ask death; how do you live with a family who says you kill their members for a living?
I am at the cemetery with my parents
waiting for death to cut bondage with us.
The graves here cannot be counted, they lie stiff to the earth.
Mother couldn’t control her tears when she saw the grave
of my handsome uncle. This was the uncle
who replaced his life for my father’s living
When my mother turned, my father was nowhere to be found. His body freezes
into the air. I watch in disbelief as father cracked into a dry log burning everything
& my mother’s eye treks the ocean of tears on our way back home.
at home, the air turns cold, blowing away the last footsteps of my father
It happens that death returns to sign another
bond with my father & run away with him. Our house stood aloof & grief painted its compound.
I start to count the rooms left empty
but my voice choked into screams. So I hurl at
our enemy’s name. & the earth returned to me his muteness. Death refuses to be an echo—his shadow has vanished
& whenever I hear someone has died from a neighbor’s house, I quickly
offer supplication to death for being a Pulley in my father’s clan milieu.
After Samuel A. Adeyemi
I do not know how to supplicate
after I kiss a scathe
from a fruitless limb of birch. I
know not my anachronistic
feeble recital. You digest my flaws on a mechanic’s teeth,
the sky, a Jesus craving to save
with a cross. You may hear,
a mother weeps into a boy’s
That sound, trembling in a silk; universe of doom & of mercy.
How fast can I sprawl
in a hole. There’s a storm to
talk of mirage. Boondoggle.
of clutter. I am this, I am that. If I’m a hurdle,
I need not to suffer. I, prithee…
I, an empty can
live to lease
portraits of myself.
/Rise From Execution/
I dwell inside a plasm. Ever since my
mother plucked me from the outside. I live in somber;
stock of rampant constellation from adjust, teeth
munching airless things, retelling the moments
I took flight—jump, jump, jump together, jumping, an exercise. I, speaking without a tongue. I
weightless in the hurricane thistle. Once a housefly hums, it tells you its headache is
not to compete a rival, that weightless
tsetse-fly. It’s a lullaby of the outcast.
A boy whose tears shed fires
of retreat—speak into dunce, silence
rendering service to the throat. I vindicate towards
victor & here, comes irony of losses
descending into an elbow. I sprout. At odds & at ends.
I step back into the shadow of my body
I, sweat like a gooseberry
I smile like a parakeet reaching from Mars.
Poetry © K. Asare-Bediako
Image by Cdd20 from Pixabay (modified)