Drawing For Survival:

by Kwame Aidoo

The caustic arms of fire-breathers bearing
the bald bones of creeds
dropping cold ash into our bleeding eyes blinking
between the gun and the pencil;
I ask, which of the two would inspire a dream
as the barrel does the opposite of dropping blanks

Do they hear the reverberating anguish
or dread not our immortal art and consciences?

Under the umbrella of vision of eternal paradise,
if a benevolent god or karma perhaps
would resurrect common consciousness
we could live amongst ourselves
and not bite the arm of another
but here the tongue is forced at day
to dip into the bile of death’s philosophy

at night we’re here
staring at bloody portraits in a dark gallery,
suddenly, there’s satire in the air that laughter cannot be addressed to
not to make mention of,
broiling flesh
wailing guts too
due to the putrid venom of extremism

We’re not human enough to shake hands
at home,
thousands fall at Baga
but the bartender is busy
rehearsing whisky-blooded speeches

I marched in my heart
I was a pedestrian when the streets went gay with agony
I saw the ripe hypocrisy when hands held contact long like
a randy photog’s gaze
the lens of cameras captured camouflaged faces
forgetting feet keep fighting..

Do they hear the reverberating anguish
or dread not the sharpened ivories of our teeth?

When there’s true freedom of speech
I will frog-leap and chant
Je suis human!
Kwame Aidoo is a 28 year old writer, cultural director and environmental activist who lives in Tema. He was long listed for the 2014 Golden Baobab Awards for Children’s Literature. He received a BSc Biochemistry and Biotechnology degree at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2009 and went on to found Inkfluent which produces the Vocal Portraits series of compilations featuring poets around the world, organizes slams for teenagers, poetry festivals, open mics, flash mobs and workshops. Currently, if he’s not working on his ‘spoken rap’ album; Public Verses Announcement, he’s either teaching poetry to teens or gallivanting about looking for interesting local spaces, art and independent musicians to blog about.


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