harmattan blues

The harmattan, dust from the Sahara which blots out the sun and covers the city in a gray haze, arrived in Accra a couple of weeks ago. Unless we are blessed with a large rainfall (unlikely as this is the dry season) which would knock the dust out of the sky, the harmattan could be around for a couple of months. In an attempt to break the malaise, I’m heading to Ada, at the mouth of the Volta, for a few days to read and write. In preparation for the trip, I came across this poem by Koomson (another in a long list of Ghanaian poets I can find no information about), which seems perfectly fitting:

Let the Rains Come

(On the Winneba Plains:
From the spy-glass of the Manko Hill)

Let the rains come
that human dirts be washed away
dragging them along gutters and gulleys
getting them buried into yonder sea-beds of limbo

If the rains shall come
these fungied grounds might not stay
those spirogyraed drains will seek refuge
so the debris of the roofs’ top

The rain shall burst relief
brushing yellows and browns with somber bright greens
dropping loose the belly-protruding breezes of fertility
enforcing deadly decrees on the sterile harmattan

Shall the rains come
general malaise shall dwell no more
tears be memories of yesteryears
laugter the bed-mate of the morrow’s birth

Pray let the rains come
that hunger be filled
thirst assuaged
honey drip, milk flow.

- Koomson, January 22nd, 1987

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