Category: Poetry


So many broken parts
Left behind like casualties of a war
That never should have been

How do you wake up to a piece of you
And shut your eyes to it
Leaving it to wither and die?

How does an apple prematurely…
Ripped off the tree it didn’t have to think of holding on to,
Find a way to exist as though it was ripe?

How are we expecting a healthy orchard
When fruits that are barely far from seeds, make seeds that have lost some essence?

Piece by piece… something dies
Here and there… something dies

Year in
Year out
A change here
Another there

How do we still expect that the orchard is of the same fruit as decades back?

So many broken lives

More and more we no longer hit the ground running.

We land and are down flat

We land and die

Wasted years spent finding all the places that hurt,

Stopping internal bleeds…

Startled by latent injuries triggered by seeming normalcy

Ricocheted to a “square one” that didn’t exist before

Lost in spaces that should have been home

Grown men learning to walk in time to be enlisted

And end up…

in many broken parts
Left behind…

casualties of a war
That never should have been.



You want to lash, cry, out

Shake your fist held up to

Where silence shrouds


You want to stop pulling the breaks on

All the “I’m sorry”s; stop saving them

For cankers that stink less to you


Stop the feigned “hallelujah”s

And whimpered “it is well”s

While your mind explodes with a million “why”s


And “is it not enough?”


You want to want to

And want to not want to string it in

Perfumed syllables punctuated with perfect interludes


You feel the need rising

From where everything is raw

Everything is harsh

Everything is bitter




But the silence tumbles down over you

Taut with sighs



And once again you resume your rehearsed



While the heavens wait

For the curtains to fall

And whisper  –



Will you come

As you are?”




You have got into the habit of toddling over to me

And stuffing your toys down the front of my shirt.

You shove it there and walk off,

Babbling excitedly.

Your father says it is because my breasts are there –

They have been, all your life;

Heavy with warmth and liquid gold.

To you,

My bosom must be the safest place on earth.


You have got into the habit of stuffing your valuables down my shirt

And when you toddle back to me

Seconds later to retrieve them,

The look on your face tells it all;

You are confident you’d find them

Right where you kept them.

To you,

There is no surer place.


You will soon outgrow this phase.

You will soon find that

Physical things can’t practically be kept down Mama’s shirt.

You will soon be weaned off these breasts

That taught you to trust the constancy of my chest.

But I promise you this,

With all of me,

No matter how many phases you outgrow

For you,

I’ll keep my bosom the safest place on earth.


There are days you will find me quiet, my love.
You will find my eyes glossed over,
And when you softly say “Mama?”
I will blink firmly and the well will overflow.
And though a part of me would like to shield you from such a sight,
A larger part knows better.

There are days you will hear my sobs
Before you turn the corner to find me hunched over,
Shoulders shaking, breaths taken in long, loud drags.
My sighs will fall heavily before they dissolve into relief,
And your world might be rocked to see strength make way for grief,
But you would have learned, Hadassah my dear,
That there’s always room for cathartic tears.


Na Wo, me Nyankopɔn – 

Dua a mewea, mia m’ani

Bɛn ho, twere ho a,

Awerɛhyɛmu bu fa meso

Sɛ merempɔn nhwe da.

Wo, Ɔkorosa tumi Wura a

Wodi aberempɔn nyinara soɔ.

Nti Wonsono kyim ampa sɛ

Baatan bere a ne ba rebrɛ?

W’ahomeɛ te tesɛ Agya a

Ne dɔba redi nsɛmmɔne?

Nti nnipa dɔm mmeresanten yi

Yɛn nyinara wɔ wo?

Abusuabɔ no yɛ prɛkopɛ?

Obiara yɛ ɔba ma Wo?

Me Nyame, nokorɛ no nie

Sɛ Wonni mmanana bi?

Ne saa deɛ a,

Wo ne owia yi bɛpue abɛtie

Wo mmogyakrogyen yi anɔpasu?

And You, my God – 

The tree I crawl  and in effort

Draw near to and lean on

And my hope spills over

Knowing I will never fall off.

You, almighty Trinity

Who Lords over lords

Do Your insides turn

Like the mother of a suffering babe?

Do You grieve like the Father

Over the waywardness of a beloved son?

Are we, through all of time,

Fully yours?

Is the lineage sure?

Are we all offspring?

My God, is this truth

That none is but a child of a child?

Truly then,

Would You rise with the sun to heed

The morning cry of an heiress?


In front of me in the public bus 

is a woman with her child.

A cheerful baby, she holds her over her shoulder

 and absent-mindedly pats her back.

I look away, out the window and there,

mockingly, is a flower shop 

with wreaths showcased in the front. 

Artificial flowers.



I feel another contraction and grab my flat belly.

Then I close my eyes;

welcoming the nothingness;

the undefined,

the unnamed –

giving in momentarily to exhaustion.
When I open my eyes, she is asleep.

My insides are calm

A single sob escapes 

And it is enough;

Measured to fit the brevity of existence.

Enough grief…

For what was barely there.



Susu gyegye gu akͻnnwa  yi mu;

Susu didi

Anhwε yie a,

Na wode woti ato w’abati so

Asa nkwan no awerεfie mu,

Ama asεe w’ataade fitaa mu.

Nyansa bεn na εwͻ mu,

Sε woretu kwan akͻ serε mu,

Na ade asa wo kwan mu nti,

Wapε baabi a wode woho bεtwere,

Na waduru hͻ atu wo nneεma

A wode nnansa hyehyεeε nyinara agu hͻ,

Abere a wonim sε adeε kye a,

Woresan asi kwan so biem?

Fa aniteε tu saa kwan yi,


Na sua woyam kͻm kyere

Na ͻhͻhoͻ nni abε.


What is this madness that makes me 

carry myself into the future,

leaving happiness behind,

torturing myself this way?
Like now,

catching myself 

thinking of a time without you,

not sure if it should be that you died,

or that you broke my heart,

or I yours,

or fate did us both in.
I break down in tears,

mourning good times not yet had,

but gone;

missing you fiercely

like I need to rehearse

for life –

for how flawed our love

can be…

and is. 


Photo credit: B. Roberts

I have not trusted You, dear Lord,

I have not trusted You enough.

When promises roll from the foot of the cross,

“Be careful for nothing…I am your God,”

Like Sarah, within me, I laugh.

What waging waters,

Tumultuous trials,

Cascading cares

To face.

And yet You tell me, You tell me,

Lord Jesus;

“Don’t fear, I’m full of grace.”

How do I do this?

Calm down and listen…

How do I obey as I should?

I would if I could

With the strength left within,

But I can’t, I can’t, O Jesus.

So I move to the cross

Where Your promise unfolds

And I name the names

That ensnare me.

I parade with pride,

I fret with fears,

I linger in lies,

I’m sinking.

Smack dab in denial

Of base desires,

Of hatred and envy

And anxiety.

But hear me, O hear me,

I name them, I name them,

I stand at Your feet and name them.

I have not trusted You, dear Lord,

Not trusted You enough

But here I am before the cross

“Just as I am…O Lamb of God”

I name them…

and I come.



Yaw yi tumi ma mete si abͻnten,

Na menenam rehwehwε fie kwan.

Ɛtͻ da a, mehua εho mpopoeε

Na mekͻn adͻ sε mεtene mensa asͻ mu;

Ɛbia na atwe me akͻ ͻhomeε mu.

Nanso ͻdͻ wͻ ahoͻden bi a

Ꜫboro me nteaseε so.

Ɔdͻ mma pεsεmenkomenya ho kwan;

Ɔgyina hͻ pintinn wͻ ne dabrε a

Hwee mpusu no,

Na me ne hwan na mahyε ne so?

Agye ͻno ara atwa n’ani abεhwε

Me a meretee so yi, na waka sε;

“Ah, ͻdͻ nso yε owuo”

Nti mεma neho kwan

Na mahwε deε ͻde me rekͻ

Ɛbia na deε εkyerε sε woasi

Fie kwan so no yε ͻyaw yi

A agye honam yi afa yi

Ɛfiri sε nokware no ne sε,

Ahomegyeε pono anim no,

Yεdane dͻteε.

This pain has me out roaming

 In frantic search of the way home

And sometimes I smell it near

And yearn to reach out and grab it;

Perhaps it would carry me into rest.

But love has a will

I cannot comprehend.

Love gives no room for selfishness;

She stands grounded in her place,

Unshaken by none.

Who am I to lord over her?

Unless she turns to look at

Me gasping for each breath, and says;

“Ah, I am death too.”

So I’d let her have her way

And see where she leads me.

Maybe what shows you are on

The road home is this pain

That racks my entire body.

Because truth is,

At the door of rest,

We turn to dust.