Tales From The Ocean's Belly - Kwadwo Oteng Owusu


In the belly of the ocean
I hear the sounds of old
Sounds of the voices untold
Voices of them that were sold
From the north to the west and the east
But never made the final feast.

In the bubbles of the ocean
I feel the movements of the feet
Movements of the dancers to the beats
Beats of the drumming from the streets
From the men of the west and the east
Who never made the final feast.

In the multitudes of the ocean
I hear the stories of our daughters and sons
Those sons captured under midday sun
In the midday battles of swords and guns
From the cities of the north to the east
Like pilgrims towards a Ramadan feast.

In the libraries of the ocean
I read tales that are beyond reason
Tales of atrocities, of human treason
Atrocities of the changing seasons
Like the west bound sun from the east
We are west bound for the feast.

In the valleys of the ocean
I see tracts of good fertile soils
Soils enriched by their sweat and toil
Sweat darkened by rage like gushing oil
That we till today from the west to the east
To prepare for ourselves a grand feast.

4 comments:

Darko Antwi said...

As we dream of the upliftment of Ghanaian literature of today, so many ideas have been shared across board. They're all good. But for our dream to come true, I hope you'll believe with me that (apart from our passion and the several established magazines) we need a category of extremely talented young writers whose works can 'twinkle... above the world so high'.

Talking about extreme talents, I have ever thought of Reginald Ofori Kyere, Samuel Adjei Ntow, Edith Faalong, Foster Toppar, Nana Ofosu Agyemang, Appiah Grant, Reginald Asangba Taluah and a few other under 30 OGOV poets. The roll call wouldn't be complete if Kwadwo Oteng Owusu does not come to memory. By merit, and merit only, 'Tales From The Ocean's Belly' has registered the KNUST graduate as an outstanding poet by any standard of criticism.

Dela's befitting commentary is a better reference to my case. Kwadwo keep shinning, keep learning.

Prince Mensah said...

Kwadwo covers a great amount of socio-economic issues in his poem. As Rob noted in one of his questions, Kwadwo's use of rhyming stanzas is striking. However, there is more than meets the eye in rhyming stanza; you have to maintain syllabic integrity. This means that, for an example, in a three-line stanza where the first line has 8 syllables, the second line 7 syllables and third line 8 syllables, all the other stanzas must follow that syllabic structure.

Rhyming stanzas were usually put to music and for them to be able to be sung well, there had to be a pattern of syllables.

I see greatness in your works, and words, Kwadwo. If this is a style you prefer, you can perfect the art of syllables. You can research what I wrote by reading and counting the syllables in Wesleyan hymns and the English Romantic poets.

This is one of the many reasons why poetry moved from the rigid forms to free verse, because you are constrained in expression when you always have to keep syllables in mind.

Tales from the Ocean's Belly is a poem about potential. Just as the ocean is endless with water, our resources, as a nation, are countless. However, it is up to use to utilize the resources well or have our blessings outsourced to build other countries.

Thanks for a great poem, Kwadwo.

Nana Ofosu Agyemang said...

Indeed i have sung this poem than to just read it. the rhyming pattern of this poem is excellent and the fluidity of the lines are so perfect. if anyone thought poetry was dead in the current Ghana, he must see these beautiful works of arts from these young Ghanaians.

Apart from the artistic beauty of this poem, it carries a message that addresses issues of importance in our community.

To you Kwadwo, i say a thousand gunshot to you for such a splendid display of creativity.

Kwadwo Oteng Owusu said...

To Darko, Prince and Nana....im encouraged your comments..i bow in all humility...thanks seniors!!!!