Poetry

May 25, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

By

Coby Daniels

 

 

Why I Hate Scholars But Love The Tabula Rasa

 

 

We are born into a world where we say:

Knowledge is power but this power corrupts

And is used by the knowledgeable as a tool of oppression

 

In our part of the world, knowledge means an infusion of bookish wisdom

People spend half a lifetime in academia

Hoarding laurels that do not bring a change to their human constitution

The Akans say Onipa onim papa,

Man, knows the right,

 

Knowledge is meant to change the world

But maybe we are wrong in the choice of who makes it happen

From creche to the last degree

Rote learning kills any notion we might have of being truely schooled

We learn to forget and pride ourselves in knowing dictionaries cover to cover

But ask yourself, will your vocabulary ever change this status quo?

 

Scholarly points of view clouds our sense of judgement

The result is an intellectual crisis where we cannot practicalize theoretics

So we dish out theories as practical solutions to all our problems

We no more understand us, our origins and our abilities to right the wrong

 

We could be Lucy if we wanted to

But we love to be insignificant

Unseen, unheard of, no taking risk

Old is gold is a stereotype of a maxim we are chained to

So we fail to unlearn the trash we learn

 

With a medalion of irrelevant achievements hanging about our necks,

We criticise, offering no better options

We lack the ability to strategise

Our school system has no space in the curriculum for common sense

Because it contradicts the fundamentals of western education for black people

 

We’re made to think that sensible is weird

And in other words, people with sense are supposed to be empty

But if empty can challenge the status quo,

Then I would want to be one

For it is true what Hosea says,

For lack of knowledge my people perish

For their willingness to learn,

 

This is why I hate scholars but love the tabula rasa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sojourner’s Tale

(In Memory of Dr Kwame Nkrumah)

 

 

It was on the last bulletin for the evening

When grandfather walked in that night

From the saw-dust riddled carpenter’s shop he spent his days in

With bowed head he lamented:

‘Tis grave, a grave mistake,

Future generations will be made to pay

 

I didnt know then because I wasnt born yet

But so my mother told me as I fanned her coal-pot fire as a boy,

It was the night, when one man was brought down from his lofty perch

And accused of having so many grandiose dreams

Backstabbers with mediocre mindsets lay in wait until he’d flown the nest

Was it out of hate, greed or piety towards the citizenry?

They claimed ’twas justice so why, was his exile not enough?

 

They wiped the traces and made sure our minds would be completely formatted

But as legends never die, so he lives on, in his ideologies

The very essence of Sankofa that countless times we fail to grasp

He was both flesh and blood like you and I

As much flaws and faults had he like us

Yet for the greater good he ran his race

 

Fifty years down this long winding road

And we’ve lost the key to this great destiny

Broken our standards, undermining our independence

We’ve forsaken our consciousness

No substance to boast of, so now we live in the shadows of the glory days

When our nationhood was still virginal

No piercings to leave us feeling violated

 

But in this present, the evil that men did

Has trailed us with its contagious tendrils

The result is the mirage we take for reality:

 

Bribery and Corruption is like the proverbial troublesome tooth-ache

Strike actions are the only remedy to get our rights respected

Now there’s no more communal spirit

Because apparently, brothers-keeper is not in the lexicon of this state

The people are left forgotten in the grand scheme of power-hungry tinkerers

With no hope of making their concerns known

 

This is the plight of a people with no address

So we can only watch and pray for a better state of the nation

A man can only fight forward, no going back

Because the enemy pursues but we,

We sit in a circle of pretentious believers who sabotage our attempts at sovereignty

 

Statesmen these days are merely chess players and we the pieces

Slammed across board at will

Puppets, being toyed with in our ignorance

So to serve for the selfish ambition of individuals that continue to desecrate the sanctity of our conventions, customs, tradition, the constitution,

They all dont matter

 

What shall be the account we will render when the journey ends?

That this state of affairs killed our dreams

Or weakened our selfless resolve?

 

Morality is battled by moral judgement

Our value systems are in chaos,

Social structures, with no firm basis, have crumbled

We are now a people on a mass exodus

Heading straight for the solitude of oblivion

But who or what will save us from doomsday?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coby Daniels

Coby Daniels (born: Daniel Asamoah Yeboah) is a young Ghanaian poet, novelist and spoken word artiste, currently schooling at the University of Cape Coast where he is also president of the Creative Writers Club. He has featured in the maiden and second editions of the Lunaris Review Online Magazine. He has performed some inspiring poems on platforms in Ghana such as Moonlight Cafe, Indigenious Minds, VerbzCafe and has been greatly influential together with other creatives like The Village Thinkers in instituting the poetry revival in his university campus with selflessness, zeal and enthusiasm. He is a social volunteer and aspires to positively impact society with his writings and volunteerism. He loves nature photography and is a voracious reader. Find him on: IGFacebookTwitter and Blog.

1 Comment

  1. Rupen Savoulian May 25, at 07:40

    Two excellent poems about two fascinating subjects. The blank slate has had bad press, and with good reason. I am not suggesting that genes alone determines the social course and experiential outcomes of a human person. However, each and every person is born with the capability to reach their full potential in terms of their scholastic achievements, artistic creativity and technical expertise. There is not ten cents worth of difference between the Kalahari bush person and the Oxford academic-Don. Dr Kwame Nkrumah - a truly inspiring and remarkable intellectual and revolutionary. I learned about him back in the days when I took courses from Soviet institutions. Nkrumah was upheld as a courageous and principled leader, undermined by the scheming, dark forces of US imperialism combined with local oligarchies. Nkrumah was fighting not just for Ghana, but for the unity of all Africa in its fight against modernised imperialism. He stands head and shoulders above western politicians. In the days when Nelson Mandela and tn ANC were regarded as terrorists by the United States and Britain, Nkrumah and African revolutionaries were upheld as heroes in the struggle against apartheid and colonialism. Thank you for keeping his memory alive through your poetry. Nkrumah stood for anti-racist solidarity and anti-imperialist struggle, not for selfish individualism. Great work. Cheers Rupen Savoulian

    Reply

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