Poetry

August 5, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Nastasya Tay

 

By

Coby Daniels

 

 

The Expatriates

 

 

Long lines, way longer than your average queue at the butcher’s shop

Eating, sleeping, turning embassies into a shrine

Day in, day out, every move connected like strands of hair to this elusive visa

But still, with chants of “it shall be well” and “let’s try again”

The queues keep growing even as people are bounced

 

The zeal to fly away into a dream land is of religious magnitude

Just enough to turn the sane, insane

No experience of the destination in mind, just hearsay from connection men

Accounts are cleared, shops closed down, all debts tracked

Cash put together to speed up the process till the formalities are finally checked

 

Travelling bag, check.

Winter coat, check.

Leather jacket, check.

Bhurger swagger, so high on fleek, check.

 

Saying good byes like heaven’s best

Some with the intent of never coming back

For they believe that after all, there’s nothing good on offer in this native land

Abroad to them, is that symbol of milk and honey flowing from taps

Trees blooming with the heavy weight currencies they so esteem

 

Departure dawns and finally, with a flourish they wave adieu

Soon after arrival, the truth hits home

As women are sold, unknowing victims of modern slavery

The men begin to play hide and seek, trying so hard to evade deportation

 

Reflecting,

the tears flow unchecked

As from distant reaches of their consciousness,

they try to recall what made home sweet

The freedom to express, associate, own

The right to life and all its joys

And the greatest ever privilege of all

Criticising the government of the day

 

So then like prodigals from the sacred tale

They plan, draw out an escape plan

and with the ring of “home sweet home” in ears

They come back,

expatriates,

with a lesson learnt

and a word of caution to the new ones in the queue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle Scenes Before

 

 

In Anticipation,

 

Of this softly whistling wind

I feel as though, I were a part

Of their reluctant march down this road

Through these oaken doors

I shiver looking at the glaring sun touching down

On these gleaming white-washed castle walls

And I feel the echoes of the clanks of chains on manacled feet

 

Clanks that sounded like the toll of bells

Bells that heralded misery and doom

In this place that stinks of death’s acrid smell

And hope got lost in the sunken eyes of kith and kin

Passed through this door that only expelled

Ticked of a list and crammed all aboard

With fever, hunger and our wealth they stole

 

An unfathomable trek over fathoms deep

Shipped off to oblivion in conditions steep

Shielding these eyes from the mirrored sea

I trace the imagined path they trod

Hearing the ghostly echoes of weary footfalls

Resigned to fate, like the sea’s ebbs and flows

Exposed flesh blistering from vicious blows

 

Yet they sang, the womenfolk, of hope

In undertones bereft of all good cheer

Sent into pilgrimage as exiles without identity

Condemned to wander without a destination

Subjected to the scrutiny of judges of nationality

And hang up in the balance, sat their destiny

 

Taken and wiped clean as a slate

Off culture, dignity and freedom

To be black and bold enough to run our ship

To have the peace to pray and worship

Seeking the counsel of the deities of old

But their coming swept in as a wind so cold

 

Looting, destructing our self belief

Deliberate, calculating beyond relief

Casting alien contrivances on us

Setting  a course different from what

we knew

They showed us civilisation embodied in flashing

knives and polished mirrors

 

The echoes of the warning bounced back off the

high seas was four centuries too late

We should have read the future from the unbroken surface of water

In the brass pans they proffered

 

Caught now in a crisis of identity

We children of a defiled yesterday

Yearn to be back in this place of sanctity

But the way back is like a faded map

We are the offshoot of a cultural cocktail

And thus we pine for a home we may never know

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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