A balm for death...In memory of Prof. Atukwei Okai

A balm for death...In memory of Prof. Atukwei Okai
Source: Ghana| Roland Akosah |roakosah@gmail.com
Date: 22-07-2018 Time: 06:07:36:am
Renown poet Prof. Atukwei Okai

With clasped hands lain upon the head

We wear a countenance contorted

Not as in a scowl of the hotheaded

Nor as in a smirk of the self-conceited

Whose grin holds some fellow in ridicule

We bear a grimace of anguished resignation

 

We lift our shrunken voices, and hum

A mournful melody at a hushed gathering

Alas, a sing-along of a gathering in anguish,

Subdued into a look of unspeakable solemnity

Now and again, a  stranger hugs a stranger

Yet nothing here bespeaks of the strange

Nor that so strange as to stun the bystander

Save the energy of death enervating the living

 

Two strangers embrace at a hushed gathering  

Not as in a lovers’ embrace at the boudoir

United in grief; theirs, a bear hug of a balm

That soothes the sting and raw sore of sorrow,

Of a sudden estrangement that forever tears

Away the loved one from his loved ones

Alas, all shall depart life into dirt, and the inert

 

Furrows on the face can’t an overflow of tears bear

Even as the heart bleeds to ease the pain of a loss

Bleeding is the ooze that cleanses the heart of goo

Of hurt, harm, and hate hidden and roiling within

So we forgive an animus harbored towards a foe

So we let go the hurt a pastor’s sermon couldn’t heal

 

Nothing here is so strange as to stun the bystander

Save the energy of death enervating the living

When we see what we need or wish to see

When we hear what we need or wish to hear

When we have our say of what we need or wish to say

When we face the facts and fantasies of a fleeting  life

We do what we do not to outdo or to undo death

Lest we do the impossible, or we do the insane

In glee and in grief, one another we ought to embrace

 

Roland O. Akosah

July 21, 2018, Accra 

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