DB (July 1st,1964 / Aveyime-Battor, Volta Region, Ghana)

Tears For Amuga

The nebulous whirlwind in the horizon
charted by the vertigo of technology
twirled and dazed my forefathers of old
to dance to strange whispering tunes
lost in the heightened tempo scuffles
Amuga became confused, convulsed and chased
my ancestors backwards to odd resettlements
to take stock, nurse imaginary and real wounds.

aftermath triumphs over Akosombo and Kpong
unearthed the near stagnation of weakened Amuga
writhing in manacles of mud, slime and hyacinth
manure by the puke of looms of Akotex and Juantex
daring insatiate young swimmers and divers
harbingers of the dreaded cystitis blood in urine
my riverine people are hydrophobias overnight
the exodus of Tongu gold, afani-picking vocation.

upstream at the Afram Plains and beyond
thick rain forests become man-made lakes
hunters now hunt in canoes on islands
their usual game helplessly marooned
kindle firewood is now fetched on water
half submerged stumps boats to capsize
many souls to swallow to swell the tears
savannah vultures now feed fat on water.

the quiet storm heaves a sigh of change
Battor and her sisters in North Tongu
now scratch their fingers on walls as
Dzidegbe flares the moonlight flees
the smooth coal tar ate the coarse gravels
Amuga, the world’s largest man-made lake
is now tamed and termed domesticated
but let us take stock of our good
that was replaced with their best.

Is it there all really is? Amuga whispers to me
Son do not flinch nor wince if Ogonied on the alter
such were the fate of your forerunners slain
now martyrs in the ecological tussles for nature
death embraced for every life to thrive on earth healthy.

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