A Harmattan Matter - Prince Mensah


The village was subdued by a sudden attack of abnormalities,
As the weather drove a wedge between sons of the same mother.
We wondered why it happened same time, every year as we browsed
Through concordances of our superstitions
Slapping blame on whatever peccadilloes we had committed
In complete disregard for the wages of our sins.
This was our state of mind until the old woman uttered words of wisdom,
Words to secure our freedom from naiveté and cluelessness
About this season of tortured skin and tempestuous tempers.
So we listened, we learned, we understood
This cantankerous saga between our hearts and the Harmattan:
We had dealt with what we could do nothing about and we lost.
But harm is harmless when arms are together and men would rather
Understand than undermine each other since the weather
Is no excuse for what we do to each other,
For seasons change but life goes on in the village.


"A Harmattan Matter" is the first of our series of poems on the Harmattan. New entries will be posted each week, and collected here.

11 comments:

FOSTER said...

Unfortunately we missed the Harmattan, this time around. It did not show his face. Don't know why.

But all the same, nature is the greatest teacher of all times.
Anyone who refuse to learn from nature will be doing himself great harm.

Great piece!

As today marks the independence day of our beloved country, Ghana, I'll be posting a poem on that subject on my blog; myfoskutter.blogspot.com, you can all check it out now.

Gideon Adansi said...

Great!

daniela elza said...

I like the way this poem thinks. The way it explores our connection with the elements and the ceaseless search to find meaning and explanation to patterns, to what we experience.

daniela elza said...

PS Wow. No Harmattan this year?
and here we are writing to it.

Nana Jabuu Agyemang said...

The harmattan left us due to our wicked acts of torture. man has ruined the very sequence of the happenings of nature. And now we can't experience that which we were used to. before we were graced with dried air for some months but now its gone and i know something worst is coming and we must brace ourselves for it.

the poem is good one and always will be from Prince but the diction is deep making it quiet a read for me. keep it up and write for mother nature

Wisdom Afedzi said...

another classic from 1 of my alltime fav poets on OGOV...internal rhyme is slick...harm...harmless...arm...harmattan...Prince never disappoints..gr8 stuff!

Darko Antwi said...

May I join the resounding applause from the lady and gents by saying: weldone Prince. I hope to write an essay about this series, when all titles are published.

Anonymous said...

jus wondering...the poem was set in a simple village but the poet used complex words to descrie the state of harmattan---was that intentional cuz that was brilliant, cuz simple tings have a complex side to them

MASTER APPIAH GRANT said...

they said the young shall grow
and soon it lived to show
it tormented the the little boy
who grew learning like a cow boy
no wonder they say nature is perfect
and prince did it with grt intellect
reflection of nature in poetic picture. GHANABA MENSAH! AYEKOO!!

LS said...

Thanks Prince, for another cracking poem.

Growing up, I never heard any local myths or stories explaining the origins of the Harmattan. Unlike other weather phenomenon there doesn't seem to be any gods or cults to the Harmattan (not that I know of anyway).

I suppose this has to do with the fact that it comes with a whole load of inconveniences, which includes the price of shea butter (nku) shooting up astronomically.

People would not worship or offer explanations for anything unless they feel it brings some kind of benefit, or teaches a moral.

I'm not saying myth and folklore are the way to go, but the absence in the folk memory of any narratives about a recurring phenomenon like the Harmattan is noticeable for its absence.

I could be wrong, perhaps there may be some out there, especially from around the Sahel, where the Harmattan's effects are more pronounced.

Cheers

Adjei Agyei-Baah said...

Sorry to have arrived late. its true that the Harmattan failed this time to suck the grasses dry for a rebirth to begin.But as to whether it has to come or not, one has to release there is a reason for every season and the good Lord know best.Hi Prince,i for one did enjoyed your work only that I have to go over thrice in other to suck all the good juice.

But my little worry was your diction which will be a bit difficult for the ordinary person to enjoy the beauty of his own season in a "hard" poetic lines.Apart from that,kudos for the write.