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MY WORDS

I like this (not just because of the shout out, I promise). I’m almost a 100% sure you will too.

In My Cosy Head

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I’m a man running from the one thing I love most

I’m scared I can’t honor my end of the bargain

No matter the distance I’m still haunted by my passion’s ghost

Every time spent separated is an all too lonely terrain

I’m painfully aware of your constant prodding

Lines of perfection fitting into empty spaces

I can’t rid my heart of your gentle tagging

Rhyming stanzas drifting through forgotten places

All I ever wanted was to display you in a brighter light

To make the world out there understand your timeless compositions

And to bring all under the awe of your stunning effulgence

But my thoughts were too unruly to form you perfectly

Nor were my lips savoury enough to utter you pleasantly

My shortcomings did you a grave injustice

My flawed existence sold your brilliance short

My imaginations were too gauche to capture your entirety

And your beauty…

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WORDS

Words have been my best friend through it all. They come easily when I do not try to force them. We’ve had a strained relationship recently. Everything has been jumbled up in my head. Some have been longing to burst out but I managed to stifle their longing. It was not a good decision.

They have been my best friend through it all. Seen me crumble when the world saw me as what it does. I have held my head high while crying inside. Words; they understood. I was not really nice to them sometimes. Holding them back.  I should not have.

My best friend through it all; when I thought my heart would burst from the joy. All the joy that had me disregard the joy they brought me, the joy that coursed through me like the blood courses through my veins. The joy that would lift me higher than any high. They should have had their say.

Through it all; the times when my life overwhelmed me.  Me, who owned it.  Words saved me. They lifted me over the tides of emotions that would have swept me away. They hid me under the covers when the winds of those emotions blew and wailed, threatening. They saved me.

Words have been my best friend through it all.

SUNSETS AND PRETTY HORIZONS

Thoughts of sunsets and pretty horizons
images of smiling faces and bright eyes
I am immersed in the magic of the idea of you and me
as things unfold, the creases tell a story
our hearts on divergent paths…
far from the other with each passing mile
but still mine is bursting,
brimming with joy,hopeful
that this story that has started,
will end with thoughts of sunsets and pretty horizons

A Facade

Resurrecting my love for poetry…maybe soon, I’ll write again.

Ostwin Writes

That frontal appearance

Yes! that one behind which one is

Where he is himself

Where he speaks freely

He thinks not twice before speaking

Because, there, he is “covered”

Where he fools around,

And yet protects his image, that “outside image”.

Here he portrays the 2nd and/or 3rd of his multiple personalities.

“The world shall never know”, he tells himself.

But in reality, it is a smokescreen

Maame once said, “Suban te s3 nyins3n”

It is bound to reveal itself…

Then the world will see it for what it really is

A façade.

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Felt like something out of a movie…a Ghanaian movie. A not so badly written one either. Woke up, did the normal morning rituals, set off for work. Walked down to Palmwine Junction and luckily, there was a trotro waiting to go to 37. I was blessed…but then again, when am I not? Now the battle to get to 37 was on…that deadly bit of a traffic jam between Burma Camp and that junction right before the El Wak Shell filling station…that traffic!!!! When the trotro bypassed the Soul Clinic junction, in my head, I went “Damn!” but I understood. Someone was getting off at Burma Camp.

As expected, the traffic situation was…hehehe…well, jammed. It wasn’t that much of a big deal though. I wouldn’t be late. I had considered the possibility of all that so I had scheduled my waking up accordingly. I’m a scout…always prepared. Plus we weren’t exactly stuck in one place. We were crawling.

Working with the assumption (and taking into consideration that assumption is the mother of all mistakes) that the driver took our frustrations into account, he decided to cut through Cantonments. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Now this driver seemed like he knew the inside-insides, so I felt quite safe at that point. I would get to work kraaaaa with extra time to spare.

I jinxed myself with that thought.

We had just gotten past the American embassy when the car just stopped. Just like that. Ei. Now the driver and the “mate”, two hale and hearty young men were shouting expletives at each other in twi and we the passengers were clueless…just sitting there waiting while passing drivers shook their fists, their heads and let out their frustrations at our poor trotro. Finally, one man gathered his wits about him (I think everyone was in the kind of trance that I was) and called the two young men to order, asking them what the problem was.

It seemed we needed a push. Now who will do it. The mate isn’t strong enough to do it on his own. The driver can’t get down and push with the mate. Who’ll man the car? The passengers were feeling too big to get down and push… One Ga man dier, herh…he was letting his frustrations be known papa. Luckily for the mate, another trotro came by not so long after wanting one passenger. This hot-headed man didn’t even wait for our mate to sort the other mate out. Away! Good riddance. You could virtually feel the tension lessen after he left. It still wasn’t all good though.

It was at this point that we got off the trotro. Yes, that whole time, we were on it. So now they pushed. Two passengers decided to help. They pushed. And they pushed. Lol, my, did they push. The bus just would not start! Then I heard some talk of fuel. Well, well….

Turns out our trotro had run out of fuel! I could not help laughing. I was like a crazy person. So the whole time they were pushing, these two knew they had no fuel???? Dear Lawd!!!!! I laughed!!! Then I was pissed. But I was still laughing. Got a hold of myself, pulled my phone out of my bag and tweeted just a little bit of my frustrations away.

One determined man was frantically flagging passing vehicles and finally, one pickup stopped. So…everyone fit. EXCEPT ME. THERE WAS NO SPACE FOR ME!!! Ok, unless you count the back but there was NO way I was standing in the back of a pickup. NO WAY.

Now, it’s just me and the trotro driver and his mate. The driver crawled under the bus and fiddled with something and then tried to start the engine.

Hey, presto! I got trotro dropping. All was right with the world.

Ha!

We had finally got to that K-junction (that’s what I call it) just before the El Wak shell. The mate got down and run ahead to let the soldier know that we were going to be moving on the side of the road. The last thing we needed was to be held up when our eyes could see Canaan.  We were zooming along when all of a sudden, the trotro stopped and suddenly started going back. Ei bei!

All I was thinking was, what at aaaaaallllll did I do to deserve this?

We came to a stop. I was just smiling, waiting to wake up.

No, it wasn’t a dream. I wasn’t going to wake up. This was real life. No Ghanaian movie.

So I finally made up my mind to get a cab when I realised they didn’t even have a gallon in their godforsaken bus!!! How can you not have a gallon?? I mean how??!!!!

In the cab, one thought was running through my mind; “Seriously, this isn’t really happening to me!!!!!!!!!!!”

Letting go…

It has been a while…quite a while. In that while, so much has happened. I’m getting emotional as I write this because it reminds me…yet I must because that is the main idea. I must remember in order to let go.

This year I lost a friend. We were very close years ago; when I was so shy I could hardly lift my nose out of fictitious worlds of wonder to face the “rigours” of the real world…(lol..*wipes tear*…little did I know…smh) and he was as he always was:- confident and full of himself without getting too annoying. We had something in common and that was a love of books, of words thrown together to form some kind of art. That love was enough to spark a friendship that spanned a period of twelve years.

There is this phrase my father used in one of his speeches to me sometime ago-“society reclassifies relationships”. This is how I understood it:- distance and time changes the way we relate with people. Circumstances will not remain the same no matter how much we wish it were so. With time, our friends go to other places and meet other people. These other places may be a block (or 30p trotro ride) away or quite a number of oceans (and  a few hundred dollars worth of a plane ticket) away.  These other people may actually become our friends also, or they may become the only friends our old friends have. With time, we grow to accept changes in each other and in ourselves (if you know me now, you would know my big nose has found its way out of fiction and is always out and about in the real world). We deal with situations we would not have envisaged a couple of years back. We grow and we accept that society reclassifies every aspect of our lives; not just relationships.

When we finished Achimota School, I hardly ever saw Harold except for once in a random while where our paths would cross in places where we were both too busy to do more than exchange random pleasantries. Then one time, at a gathering of like-minded people, we met again. It seemed that which we had in common had not changed. At the end of the session, we took a walk and caught up on old times and this time made a pact to do better with staying in touch. I must say, Facebook and later Twitter and even later Whatsapp (who doesn’t like free?) helped a lot.

I got to know that he bought waakye in my neighbourhood almost  every Sunday and now I regret all those times that he called me to ask if I was home and that I should walk down to Fati’s end. Sunday laziness always had me grumbling some excuse or the other. The last time we spoke was sometime during the Christmas holidays, about making sure to meet up. Well…

There’s a lot more I wanted to write but I cannot…forgive me, I cannot. This post is an attempt to start the process of letting go. I regret now that I did not attend his funeral to pay my last respects but the pain was too fresh. Even now, remembering makes me cry. But it’s a start.

I could not bring myself to post anything on here because, again, it reminded me of him. A friend told me something earlier this year when I was going through something else. He said; “Embrace the pain”. At the time, all I was thinking was ‘what kind of corny bs is that?’ but it actually helped and I’ve learned to apply it.

It will be impossible to forget Harold Ankrah. And I must accept that.

I must thank Akwasi Tagoe though. (I call him AT Himself :D) His words prodded me to post this. He said (typed, actually) “you have to let go”…so this is me…letting go.

THERAPY-A Love Story

They became friends fast, clicked in a way neither thought possible. Thank God for technology; because of Whatsapp and Skype, their friendship grew even faster. Not hearing from each other within a space of an hour caused a light sense of panic neither was readily willing to confess to the other. The friendship was blossoming into something else and neither was yet able to admit it to themselves, how much more the other person.

Their meeting was a fluke. He heard her voice in a not-so-crowded room and was drawn to it immediately. He wondered how to approach her, since despite her diminutive size she had an strong presence that was overwhelming. He stared in her direction,  not quite at her, for fear of making eye contact and tried to strategize. After all, he knew he was known for always going after what he wanted and at that time he wanted to know the small woman with the big personality.

Mary-Anne stood with that air of carelessness which still managed to portray a particular strength and stole glances at the tall dude across the room. She noticed he seemed to be staring past her and had resigned herself to the fact that he was looking at the chic tall chick (she had named her so even before they were introduced cursorily and she couldn’t for the life of her remember the chic tall chick’s name) who was standing a few meters to her right side. It didn’t hurt to look though, right? After all, he was an impressive specimen of the male homo sapiens. After about ten minutes of making the appropriates sounds and inserting the necessary giggles into the conversation of the people she was supposed to be bantering with, she left the group to look for her friend who had invited her to the gathering of people she hardly knew.

After skimming through the people to look for Lynnette, Mary-Anne spotted her standing next to…well, well…the fine specimen of male homo sapiens. Even as she walked towards them, she felt a fluttering in her tummy and could not understand why she seemed all in a tizzy over a guy. It hadn’t happened in so long that she had began to feel like her emotions were dead.  Lynette introduced him as Kwadwo and the next thing Mary-Anne heard was a light, baritone voice that she was sure she could listen to for hours on end.

“I was staring at you earlier but you were too engrossed in your conversation to notice…”

Mary-Anne was sure if she was any lighter in complexion than she was, she would have blushed beet red.  Exuding outward composure, yet quaking within, she replied; “You were?? You’re right, I didn’t notice.”

And so it began…who would have known that meeting a guy at her best friend’s little gathering would make her forget all her pain? All the suffering and hurt? Who would have known…

Kwadwo was tormented. He had a girlfriend. He could not honestly say he did not love her but in that same vein, he could not honestly say he loved her enough to not want to leave. Therein lay the dilemma, the young woman who had been with him through it all or the enigma of a woman who intrigued him beyond measure, who managed to stir within him emotions he didn’t know even existed?!!!

Star-crossed lovers they were, even though they did not know it. They each knew that the feelings they had developed for each other had long ago crossed the threshold of mere friendship but they also knew that there was no way they could be together…yet…and so they each remained a therapy to each other, using themselves as a balm to salve wounds that they could not openly show.

My pain and Me

My pain is my own….MY pain. Thanks for caring enough to be bothered to ask but I can work it out on my own. It feels really nice to know that I have your shoulder to lean on…and cry on…when I need it. But right now, I’m good. I’m still bubbly and bright. That small, sweet thing…Little Miss Shining Light. I can deal.

Nothing fazes me…things try to. But nothing can. I’ve been through too much. I’m possibly too young to have seen as much as I have but then again, I know…or have heard of..people who’ve been through worse. So why do you doubt that I can fix things in my little corner???? Ok, I may not necessarily fix them but I can make them work with everything else around me. I mean everything else that is not in my little corner. 

People try to bring me down. They try. Some succeed in pulling me down from where I am supposed to be to just a little lower than where I am supposed to be. Still I rise. See, I have no option. I’m not trying to say people have it in for me… (or am I?) but yea, sometimes, those around me are stumbling blocks to the person I should be. I manage to rise above it though. Life has taught me that I have no choice…yup, no option. 

I’m not where I should be yet. I don’t even know exactly where I should be…but I’m not there yet. I’m determined to make myself stronger than the strongest I can be. I am well on my way. The disappointments, heartache, sorrow, pain….the truimphs, singing-heart moments, joy and pleasure….they are making me. They are moulding me. I’m toughening up without losing that mushy bit of me. I’m getting there.

But in the meantime, thank you for letting me know you are there for me. Thank you for standing by me. And thank you for allowing me to deal with all of it myself.

Dealing

I’m no novice to pain…physical or emotional. Been battered and bruised more emotionally than physically though. People fail me. Situations disappoint me. Circumstances discourage me….I cry. Real tears…with moaning and wailing. I bleed…with the blood drying up to cause ugly scabs which fall off to reveal uglier scars.
But I endeavour…let’s make it simpler…I try…yes,I try to rise above it. I mean seriously,how many people really care about other people’s sob stories? I know people are not so unfeeling as to completely disregard my pain. But after that initial rush of empathy, the weight of my crushing pain which was initially borne with me by caring souls becomes mine alone. I must learn to deal.
And I do…you see,we really have no choice. Everyone is fighting to be somebody. I mean,really…not everyone will be in the limelight…but we all want to be SOMEBODY..even if only to the people around us. We want to mean something to the world,even if it’s a small air bubble of a world. To be that though,we must learn to deal with the curveballs. There’s no way someone’s going to remove their catcher’s mitt and wear yours’ when life hasn’t stopped pitching for any of us.
She gives us a break once in a while so we can help each other out,but that’s it.
Being somebody comes with it all…the pain,the joy,the random heavenly bites of chocolate (maybe that’s just me)… It all comes down to the dealing.

The Africa in Me

I was asked a question earlier which just got my mind running…How do you self-identify as an African? It’s one of the things that cause introspection. I could literally feel the wheels of my brain turning as I tried to answer the question. The first statement that came to mind is that ‘I revel in my skin colour.’ (Yes, I actually thought that verbatim). I may not be the ebony coloured, smooth skinned African woman but I am a black woman nonetheless. I love being black, knowing that white people sit (or wish to sit) in the sun for hours on end trying to get just the slightest hint of a bronze-ish tinge.

This question was posed to me on twitter and I was walking when I read it. With my head bowed intently looking at the screen of my phone and my finger skimming through the rest of my timeline, I noticed the ground…as in I actually looked at it, I didn’t just see it. The rain that fell this morning has left the usually dusty streets of ARS very much less so and more solid…please, I don’t know how to describe it, but you get what I mean,right??? Yea, well, the reddish-brown earth looked beautiful in contrast with the random green shrubs and grass and trees. I realised that’s another thing that makes me love being African…makes me know I’m home. I’d like to think that in most (not all o, abeg, don’t chew me…most) African countries I go to, it will not be too different. We have tarred roads and a semblance of a concrete jungle but we still have the earthy bits of the earth. That’s how I see it. We have that sweet smell of the rain to earth after a light drizzle. We have trees in the most random places that were not bought from stores. We have goats and chickens roaming about, again in the most random places. (This makes me smile)

Africa’s culture is colourful. That’s how people like to describe it. I think it’s us. The food, the dances, the fact that if I wear shorts, I know people will stare and wonder how my mother let me out in that..(another smile). I mean, seriously…never can a four-seasons pizza beat proper hot banku, with okro (notice I didn’t try to brɔfolize and say ‘okra’) soup/stew with some nice beef dancing in the soup/stew (I don’t really like crabs but you just watch someone who does eat them..massa, u lieeeeee!)…or even that same banku with hot pepper and PROPERLY grilled tilapia…chai!!! Most of these restaurants who say they serve continental dishes sef…you go and it’s ‘chicken and chips’ (french fries, potato chips, what you will…) or fried rice. Most of them just cannot get the fries right. No problem. All I know is I love the banku, the fufu, the bean stew and rice (not waakye)…I’m not really a waakye fan but then if you get proper Zongo waakye eh, even I cannot say no…against the shitɔ paa!!!! The agbadza (had to come first, I mean come on…I AM EWE), the adowa, borborbor…..kundum….all them things…I love being Ghanaian, seriously.

Lol…the leadership system in Africa. Politics here is just crap. Seriously. Almost everyone is corrupt. It’s a dog-eat-dog realm. I don’t like how the west portrays us as people not sure of who we are though. But maybe that’s our fault. Me, I don’t like politics so I’m not going there.

I am African…there’s so much I haven’t added. I didn’t mean for this post to be a long one. So I better start stopping….