Nana Arhin Tsiwah
What if it is the truth, or could this be an originated fallacy? Whenever the skies we walk on from morning to sunset falls on us; the beginning of yet another day is sacrificed. This time – by the time – the house-maid fell into a deep sleep; not of ironies or metaphors but of beautiful essences to magic in-blue lights; our all became the tale of two interspersed remarks of ancient mahogany leaves – spreading their harmattan eyebrows – facing monuments and memories of un-tiresome spinal secretions.
From sundown to moonlit nights, aphids sang oral linens of timely paperbacks. When it had reached us under leaking huts, and paused on eyebrows of singing birds on cocoa-pods, we know that squirrels and antelopes feast not in aircraft but on three-pine fingerprints of leaves and branches. Like Kweku Ananse and the Akyekyer, a story is told of how knowledge and magic became living, a living disease to infest all and sundry. Even death is well spoken of. It is told of how wisdom wore dress to cover its shame and books spread their leaflets beyond seas and lands. Words are aloft! Sometimes aligned betrothal hallucinations that knock on kernel nuts as pestles pound repeatedly.
In my (in our) homeland just by the sea and beside the curtain-layered forest; drumming of sounded skins leaving scenic and serenity to caress lights and flowers – as it is of figment and rigmarole which disappear after child-birth. Whenever a child is born, between the anvil of Onyankopon and divinities, with red-hairs or even grey (as it is for twins for festival), a tale of truth or truth of a tale is whistled by divination. After eight days of ghost chat in lonesome heart pulses, this thin spiral bridge is broken. That is why back home in the land of my Mfantefo (Fante people), the elders would say, “A child is not human until it has passed through charcoal.”
Here water is left to hang in leafless drops on the tongue and allowed to walk down the road; speak the truth as it is and blend colours as they appear on ancient anthologies. In a span of years – seventeen or thereabout – when the rock used to have eyes and ears, could see and hear, sheep and goats talked to with backs (furred) on walls. The trumpeter of the sea came to life when the life he so desperately desired walked him on a gun. The ladybird once began a journey of miles and nights. It is held on to a broken wing; a parcelled beak; a whisked feather: lacing one end of a dream to another – of wonders and for wonders of what might be the end to a dreadful diseased canvass. ‘Humanitarians’, I have realised are sampled sweat on mud walls. Society attains stress and stretches beyond leaves of plantains. In herbs came glorified sanctuaries and jealousies that fisted on bark to other root and leaves.
In one European world; one world of science and teachings of technology, where absolutely nothing or something should be shoved from its sleep, a world of glittering smoke and igniting industrial fumes – beautiful and glamour as they allude with chapters of claps. There is one beautiful tune of Arizona exquisiteness – it is called discovery: an end could be a mistaken prodigy. In confluences, dried watershed stamps, stumbles and irrigates in vertical heritages of horizons.
So aback, basking ourselves, trimming our minds and reaping the tree of our stories. Stories laid from one stench mouth to newly germinated ones. I could be the next storyteller or perhaps I should dig with a spade into the vein of the earth (ours only), unearthing, fishing out, saluting and preserving nature’s feel on our people.
Then when the stone grew grey and Ananse had gone on all walls smoking the wisest, bravest and skilled (of medicine men and herbalists); the tide was up and held with Akyekyer. One should be the emir, the ancient scroll leaf, but alas; greed was the only antidote (paradoxical) for which the latter could be outwitted. They had no God; no beliefs, no touch with reality; they lived like paupers, like shifted ironic chaff for the wind. Its almost antiquatedness could send thousand clapping riddles down the spine. Then came the wise who spoke of man and man as one (not of a woman), a divine lord, a masquerading parrot of fountain and favours. As it were told of many voices (crystals and squawky), books and dogmas rained on until night called for day’s rescue.
The screaming of birds and the wailing of sheep had awaked me. The night before the moon sang, the fire held its brows on a stiffen-end, and in glare succinct, succumbed to ill feelings and malediction. These were the times the comforter came to our canoes, with rescue boats, re-channelling the sea’s course into the tropics.
It could be true to say, that our people had no stories of their own; that these cricketed filtrations were only concocted melodies of mythological renditions with no threads to link. That it was those men of the ocean’s eyes, and from beneath its roots that came to give us the knowledge skirted in annotated anomalies. That we were like trees standing inside a virgin forest without any meaningful echo to the music of the winds. The logger had no usefulness except to worship it like spiritual filtrates.
That it came by a surprise call, a call of the many and the select of the few. A call for the makeover. Just after we had crossed the bridge of the idling maybes of the sands that washed the feet of the firewood, before the pot could swing and dance of merry to the fire, we set magnets to validate our trombones. All we have heard of our stories – those of which are plastered re-establishment of Kwaku Ananse’s gourd; told by aliens and written on the seven walls of the universe are in fact some cooked mysterious cancers.
I cannot deny my blood that flamed in light. When Kweku Ananse and Akyekyer had eventually soldered their heads on the lips of the palanquin, the readings became this: “for the grey stone lighted life; ignited light and swivelled in to the unseen”.
In Africa, in the land of the people, the people, I have become a living logged ancestor; what the earth has refused to be rapped off, perhaps, off-rapped in the Nile where miles and miles of archaeological stories have uncovered a certain untold truth. Even if I know; not by knowledge of men; not by knowledge of ants, not by knowledge of the winds; it is certain that we have (I have) paid the crabs to rid us of nutrition, and that of thousands of generations born and unborn.
Nana Arhin Tsiwah