EYES OF THE ANCESTORS

i – DEATH’S SOUL CALL

on my way to celebrate
the weekend with my wife
like i do every fortnight,
my bag rang
with continuous wailing.

sitting in a trotro at the
center of the minivan’s
heart, it screeched
& coughed like a thirsty horse.

the driver fed the van with
drinkable water to cool
the overheated engine
that billowed with smoke
into the air.

i released the wet bag
from my back:
*car abɔ wo ba panyin, the
voice faded out into silence.

**agya wa do!, i crashed my
head into the clamp of my
hands & swallowed the pain
of my phlegm as

the photo of my son
circulated like a spurt
of blood in my mind’s eye.

at the scene, i wept over
the scattered pieces of
skin stuck like jelly
onto the road of death.

death became like
a long winding mystery:
when you spend all your
worth on a precious gift
of a child only to be snatched
away by death’s soul call.

NOTE:

*a car has run over your eldest son **oh my God!

 

ii – EYES OF THE ANCESTORS

when the burning sun
died out from mother’s

pair of failing eyes,
the house fell into

a cloud of
darkening spirits.

we plied the dusty
path to the cemetery

to seek an answer from
the ancestors. i hid under

the shadow of grandmother
whose father & mother &

sisters & brothers
fed the soil

with the nutrients
of their rich bodies.

grandmother held mother’s hand
firmly with the stick of her

long eyes that lighted the
path to the cemetery.

we dug the tomb of the oldest
ancestor with the aid of

grandmother’s words of pacification.
the silent tomb, at once, became

vociferous; pregnant with babyish
eyes in the womb of the tomb.

my mother fell off the ground,
rolling many times with her body

in thanksgiving
for the ancestors gift of sight.

iii – DEATH OF THE NIGHT

the death of the night
buried in the tomb of darkness.

you vanished——
the night your heart perished

in a basket filled with water.
you leaked your body out of the pores

falling as little drops
onto the barren earth.

on the third day of your death
the earth termites promised

to resurrect your still body
through their biting tines.

on my last visit to the cemetery
my face became a thing of liquid

& flooded your tomb
with tears of woebegone:

of your unexpected loss
of your swift departure

——here on a mission,
to deluge your tomb

with sweet-scented flowers
plucked from my heart.

 

ABOUT THE POET:
Geosi Gyasi is a book blogger, reader, writer, and interviewer. He is the winner of the 2015 Ake/Air France Prize for Prose. Geosi writes from Ghana.

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