Swear Note - L. S. Mensah


Disguised as the hoof-note of an ancient Justice,
You gallop through my runnels,
Pounding my daughters into the mud.
Even the moon shields her ripeness from your flares
As you drape my children in tradition's calico.
No! My daughters shall not be cook pots,
To feed the hunger of gods and ghosts;
No longer would they be your hierodules.
I Shwilao* Patron River of Trans Volta, make this pledge:
I shall send, in the beaks of augur-buzzards, a flywhisk of plagues.
This shall I do to you and more,
If you, Trokosi# would not let my daughters go.

If you, Trokosi, would not let my daughters go,
This shall I do to you and more:
I shall send, in the beaks of augur-buzzards, a flywhisk of plagues!
I Shwilao, Patron River of Trans Volta, make this pledge.
No longer would they be your hierodules
To feed the hunger of gods and ghosts;
No, my daughters shall not be cook pots
As you drape my children in tradition's calico.
Even the moon shields her ripeness from your flares.
Pounding my daughters into the mud,
You gallop through my runnels,
Disguised – as the hoof-note of an ancient Justice.



* The Volta River
# Ritual servitude in some areas of the South East of Ghana

8 comments:

adjei agyei-baah said...

Wow, L.S. I have chills all over my body. A stern warning to Trokoshie which I think she should comply once it is coming from no other mouth than one from her own land.I love the reversal arrangement of the poem as it has been difficult to do.I think i have tried it before in a poem of mine and you may check it up at www.kwakubaa.blogspot.com

adjei agyei-baah said...

the title of the poem is TIME PASSSAGE.Enjoy!

Prince K. Mensah said...

The poet extraordinaire has done it again! 'Swear Note' is a work of linguistic genius, employing the various prisms of meaning in the use and positioning of words.

The poem brings to light double meanings in things - that defeat can be construed as determination, that victory can be understood as viciousness, that simple words have, within themselves, a complexity that continues to elude comprehension.

'Swear Note' drenches the archaic and barbaric Trokosi system with a sudden deluge of resistance, resolution and redemption. The modern African poetry scene needs more LS Mensahs - I have said it and will say it again - LS Mensah is the African poet to watch!

What a work of excellence!

You always stoke the fires of creativity with your works.

APPIAH GRANT said...

KUDOS L.S YOU NEVER MISSED THE TARGET! always there to whistle the cold whispers of the poets' whispers. good one there! keep it up

Darko Antwi said...

The proportion of art within L.S Mensah's poetry is larger than life. It has come to stay that she has something stunning to offer in each title.

Weldone L.S

Anonymous said...

Mirror mirror on the wall tell the brutal truth and expose them all.Love the what? boldness in the poem the reversal the creativity.Futhermore love the richness of the poems soil.Silverzorro.

LS said...

Thanks everyone for your generosity; Prince, Darko Antwi, Adjei & Appiah Grant, you're all fine poets. Anonymous/Silverzorro thanks for your comments.

Adjei, I have looked at your poem 'Time Passage' and I can see how it lends itself to a form like this.

enjoy

Nana Ofosu Agyemang said...

I have enjoyed this beautiful piece of poetic wizardry. The diction of this poem are carefully selected to depict the meaning of the poem. I enjoyed the work and it is a good work of art.