Memories in Soft Breeze - Prince Mensah

- An Elegy for President John Evans Atta Mills

You left us without saying goodbye
You left us without saying goodbye
We have too many questions and no answers;
We are in shock and sighs, our mouths
Are still open with surprise –
You were father of our nation, shepherd
Of our collective hopes and dreams
But on this morning of mornings, we are
Caught in mourning – our spirits are stirred
Unto sorrows upon your departure.
This afternoon is as dark as night, our hearts
Ponder on your life and wonder why
Death chose to come down like a hawk,
Like a bolt from a clear sky

The clouds have lost their colors, the birds
Sing no more, the wind refuses to whisper -
Ghana cannot stop crying, no consolation
Can minimize the impact of your passing –
You served your nation with distinction,
You were patriotism personified –
Ghana will not forget your devotion,
We remember your gracefulness
In a flood of memories in soft breeze -
We write your deeds in our hearts,
We shall tell them to the young; to those
Yet to be born, we shall say –
He was a great example of decency, a man
Whose life was built on scruples and decorum

Whether we agreed or disagreed, one fact
Stands out like an oak among neem trees –
You were a man of peace, a man of patience,
An excellent son of Mother Ghana -
As the sun sets, as the birds fly in dusk,
As tears fall endlessly, as minds grapple
With the suddenness of tragedy, we know –
We know your life was a show of distinction,
A light of unity, a beacon of hope
And we remember you as such – a gift
God gave Ghana, a gift beyond measure.
The emptiness still remains, it hurts –
You left us without saying goodbye
You left us without saying goodbye

Prince Mensah is a regular contributor and associate editor at One Ghana, One Voice.

If you have a poem in memory of President Mills, please send it to us at oneghanaonevoice(at)gmail(dot)com.


Julian said...

This credible eulogy for the late President Mills leaves me with tears as his death made the birds stop singing, the clouds refused to change colour and the trees kept still. All these events signify how deeply hurt we are as a people and Africans for that matter. I have never seen any selfless, humble and God fearing leader such as Prof Mills in my 33 years of existence. This is a great loss to Ghana and the world as what the man achieved in the areas of health, education, infrastructural development etc in just 3.5 years is unprecedented in the history of the nation Ghana. He made some of us visualize the works of Nkrumah.

Prof Due, Prof Da yie... We shall forever miss this great son of Africa

Bernadette said...

Excellent piece. Touching

Darko Antwi said...

Prince has proportionally conveyed how we feel and what our president stood for. At such a time, we need a message like this.

Welldone sir.

Delatrophy said...

Thanks, Prince Mensah for your insightful comments. I am really impressed but not surprised by your wealth of understanding of the sublime. The holistic perspectives from which you explore literary pieces fascinate me beyond words. Indeed, it takes a great mind to decipher bottled emotions from the deep recess of a grieving soul. I was once told that there are indeed some talented professors (intellectuals) who may be well versed in literary criticism and can easily pass as authoritative voice on the genre but cannot really settle down to pin down a line of poetry based on the cacophony of unexpressed talent bottled within their intellect. Prince Mensah, you are however quite different from that generalization. You are not only an authority when it comes to literary appreciation but also an excellent poet yourself. I keep learning from you every day. Well done, Sir.


Delatrophy said...

It all started from last year when we followed your lead on OGOV to immortalise with verses the IMMORTALITY of late Whitney Houston, who had used her troubled talent positively to fight gallantly against the ignoble apartheid regime in South Africa. Little did we know that today we will once again follow your lead on OGOV to eulogise the immortalised legacies of our late President Evans Atta Mills. Continue to show us the way, as you can see from the massive response; we are solidly behind you for it is a noble cause to observe the highpoints of the transient nature of illustrious fallen heroes whose noble deeds are indeed worthy to be emulated by the living. When the dry leaves fall on the tree, it is a cue for the green leaves that one day we shall all obey and respond to the final home call.

Now coming to your poem, “Memories in Soft Breeze - Prince Mensah” in my opinion did not only set the pace for the rest of the poem to follow but also can definitely stand alone as an anthology of sorrowful poem. Just take a second serious look at the title. I guess that is what you should be, I concede my outright copyrights over my poem to you for that noble cause should you consider it so in the future. All other poem submitted by other poets OGOV in this special series "President Mills Memorial Poems" are also great and rich in equal measure to grace the pages of such an anthology. Indeed there would be no better of really immortalizing the exalted legacies of our late president Atta Mills. Just imagine this, about 53 heads of states present at his historic funeral service at the Black Star Square. You know what? That memorial service in itself stands tall as a great legacy and a roadmap for other leaders who desire such great honour accorded to them to turn a new leaf just in time before their own inevitable demise. Perhaps our late founding fathers, especially the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, may be green with envy at such a magnificent funeral ceremony accorded to his successor late President Mills, but I know he would no longer squirm in his mausoleum, after the recognition of “Fallen Heroes” – by Julian Adomako-Gyimah. Well done, Julian. Perhaps I may not be wrong or far from the fairness if I suggest that part of the late Osagyefo’s remains be exhumed and interred in the newly created Peace Garden cemetery in the Osu Castle meant for entombing future dead presidents of Ghana. Sankofa Reality - "Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki." This literally translates to mean, "It is not a taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot". Perhaps this expression essentially means that "In order to understand our present and ensure our future, we must know our past."

It would a very wonderful event to revisit the past vaults of redress and sing with one voice a new song of recognition to our “Unsung Fallen Heroes.” Who knows, perhaps someday, you and me may become part of the fallen heroes of Ghana worthy to be interred in the Peace Garden? One can never tell, right? So help us God. Amen.

My favourite lines from “Memories in Soft Breeze” poem by Prince Mensah? Oh… come on, I know you can guess that already. Lol.
“Whether we agreed or disagreed, one fact
Stands out like an oak among neem trees –
You were a man of peace, a man of patience,
An excellent son of Mother Ghana –“

“We know your life was a show of distinction,
A light of unity, a beacon of hope
And we remember you as such – a gift
God gave Ghana, a gift beyond measure.”

My special appreciation goes to all OGOV editorial crew. Thanks Rob, for your foresight, patience, diligence and the invitation for such poems. It is quite exhilarating even among our stifled grief to know that OGOV will also forever go down memory lane as fully identified with Ghana, Africa and such other noble ideals. Well done.