777 Tears – To Prof Atukwei Okai | A Poem

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Prof. Atukwei Okai is one of the greatest poets in Ghana & Africa. He is said to be the trail blazer for performance poetry in Ghana & Africa at large. He has several poems to his credit, popular amongst them include “Logorligi Logarithm”, “999 Smiles” & “Rosimaya”. Sad news of his death came on Friday, 13th July, 2018, after short illness. He died at 77.
This piece is titled 777 TEARS because he died at 77 years on the 7th month of the year—July.

Poem

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

Five moon seasons now
Since Nyidevu traversed beyond the land of Kenyatta
& a quarter moon now,
Since Eyi too joined the old cast beyond the veil…

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

&
Now, (like Garry) you
Also stare at us
From where the rains drop unto our heads, but with
Eyes, Sour & with 777 tears

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

You who appeared at the roar of the iconic Fontomfrom;

We hail your fame
& chant loud your name!:

Blazer of dim-dawn torch
Master Weaver of words
Ancient sound of thunder roars
Master Cast of stage…

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

You whose fame
Rises above the heights of …manjaro’s Kibo
And stretches beyond
The length of our greatest Nile

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

We roar
The iconic skins of the elephant on woods;

With plea
You we search to see
But with plea
You now we no more see!

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

Oh! Blazer of dim-dawn torch
Master Weaver of words
Ancient sound of thunder roars
Master Cast of stage

you have crossed
The veil of night & brought grief
To our hearts
you have crossed
The veil of darkness & brought cloud of tears
Into our eyes

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

Alas,
For your ‘stillness’, we can but not sleep:

Timbkutu cannot sleep,
& Aksum cannot sleep;
Alexandra cannot sleep,
& Mephes cannot sleep;
Thebes cannot sleep
& Carthage cannot sleep!

Fontomfrom!
Fontomfrom!!
Fontomfrom!!!

Your land, our land,
Is in funeral cloth—we are mourning:

It’s been five moon seasons
Since Nyidevu traversed beyond the land of Kenyatta
& been a Quarter moon
Since Eyi also joined the old cast beyond the veil

And now,
Like Garry, Warrior King, you are still
& also staring at us;
But with eyes, sour & hurling 777 tears at us!

 

Note:
Fontomfrom: A gigantic Ghanaian drum played at every important ceremony.

Oswald Okaitei (c) 2018
A young Ghanaian poet & playwright.
Oswaldokaiteye@gmail.com

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