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Raining Seasons: Of Organized Chaos, Floods & Death

Sun, 11 Oct 2015 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

*Akadu N. Mensema

** After a long absence, I am back with the hope of trumpeting the challenges and prospects facing Ghanaians. And no subject is sacred. Long Live Nkrumah! Long Live the CPP! Long Live Ghana! And “Long-Disgraced” to all Pen-Armed Robbers or Educated Thieves who use pen, official paper, and their vampire signatures to rob, impoverish, and marginalize the Ghanaian masses!

*** This poem is dedicated to Mama Pat and her four kids who died in the flood on June 3, 2015. Mama Pat, in a typical Ghanaian fashion after an ad hoc ceremony with speeches that out-distance the truth, you have been forgotten so soon. Another rainstorm has washed away your tombs. RIP even as the majestic and self-assured Odaw River and its coterminous others, which have been turned into filth-gilded urban gutters, continue to mock the lethal ingenuity of our corrupt and clueless leaders who only like to steal from the masses to buy mansions and cars.

“Hours of torrential rains in Accra since Thursday night have led to parts of Accra and other areas flooded. Hundreds of residents are displaced due to the heavy downpour with some major streets experiencing gridlock. Homes and offices in communities including Abeka Junction, Dome Market among others have been submerged in water. The Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Lapaz, Kaneshie among others were also flooded in what has almost become a normal occurrence even at the slightest downpour” (Ghanaweb October 9, 2015).

“Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur yesterday June 8, 2015 led the nation to begin the 3 Day National Mourning for the more than 150 lives claimed in last Wednesday’s flood and fire disaster” (Ghanaweb June 8, 2015).

“Many parts of the capital, Accra, have been completely submerged after hours of torrential rains on Wednesday left many residents homeless and roads impassable. The rain began around 5:30pm and stopped at around 11:15pm but left in its wake a disaster of unimaginable proportions. Many houses have been inundated by the water with residents climbing on roof tops in a desperate attempt to save their lives” (Ghanaweb June 4, 2015).

Pristine rivers, ponds, streams, lakes, lagoons

Ah! The Odaw River and its families

Sites of purity

Sites of ontology

Abode of gods

Sites of ritual negotiations

Sites of ritual performance

Sites of ancestral reverence

Sites of life-giving water

Sites of food production

Innocent

Regal

Noble

Pure and unpolluted

Free-flowing in nature’s valleys

We have reconfigured them all

The Odaw River and its families

Ah! Such majestic waterways

We have turned them into gilded gutters

Gold-platted urban gutters

Ah! The habitation of the living dead

Come the dry season

Triumph of lawlessness will prevail

Come the raining season

Triumph of cesspools of disaster will flood us

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

The self-assured raining season will come again

The floods will come again

Releasing the fury of the choked gilded gutters

The Odaw River

Freed by the rains

Will find freedom once again

Its valley filled with gilded debris

Its waterways filled with garlanded garbage

Smothered at its watershed

Suffocated in its midstream

Strangled at its downstream

The majestic Odaw

Our gilded gutter

Will look for freedom

From excreta

From debris

From garbage

From illegal structures

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

Reconfigured by Ghanaians

Into majestic gilded gutters

That have at all

Gutters that have it all

Of pampered filth

Of potted debris

Of practiced excreta

Of prearranged junk

Of planned scrap

Of premediated trash

Of plotted illegal structures

Of preserved sewage from the poor

Of perfumed sewage from rich gated-communities

Oh! This our manicured national filth

Governments that supervise putrefaction, decay

In massive majestic gilded gutters

Gutters with rich grime

Gutters with symphonic flows

Gutters with regal islands of refuse

Gutters meandering around trimmed garbage

Crowded

Congested

Clogged

Crammed gilded gutters

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

Ah! The time-tested Odaw River

Will look forward to its freedom

The Odaw will flay, flow and flee

From the sad expenditure of politicians

From the twisted sympathy of politicians

From the pathological empathy of Ghanaians

The vultures in the dry season

The vultures in the raining season

The Odaw will flay, flow and flee

From MPs’ photo-op tours

From Ministers of State’s superficial visits

From the President’s opportunistic commiseration

From Chiefs’ diluted libation

From the press/media’s messy incantations

From religious leaders’ depressing prayers

From trotro passengers’ din discussions

From the rich people’s narcissistic gifts, donations

From three days of evanescent national mourning

From victims dancing to drumbeats

Of drumbeats of theater of death

Of drumbeats of ruined belongings

Of drumbeats of shattered lives

The Odaw will flay, flow and flee

From all Ghanaians dancing to drumbeats

Of drumbeats of failed and archived promises

Of drumbeats of corruption & mismanagement

Of drumbeats of traumatic national histories

Of drumbeats of organized, orchestrated chaos

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

The Odaw River knows it all

Come the dry season

The debris will be built

The garbage will be built

Excreta will be built

Illegal structures will be built

In its waterways of adaptive vitality

The Odaw River knows it all

The raining season will come

Cacophonous cries will be heard

Ad hoc measures will be heard

The Odaw River has heard all before

Cacophonic promises on the eve of raining seasons

Fall on the eaves of shattered seasons

The Odaw River knows it all

The Odaw River

Will free itself from our tyranny

Of debris

Of garbage

Of excreta

Of junk

Of illegal structures in its pathways

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

Under our tyranny of orthodoxy

Of babying filth, debris, trash, rubbish, refuse

Of nursing filth, debris, trash, rubbish, refuse

Debris-ing land, rivers, lakes, and beaches

Of plastic waste, polythene bags, broken bottles, computer parts,

Of pollutants from Agbogbloshie and Sodom and Gomorrah

Of human excreta now called Lavender Hill

Of garbage at the Arts Center Beach named “Borla Beach”

Plastic, polythene bags, broken bottles, computer parts

In watersheds

In waterways

In our homes

In our streets

In our hearts

In our communities

Through our organized chaos

Through our dazzling mess

Through our triumphant lawlessness

Pristine rivers, ponds, lakes, streams, lagoons

Colonized as gutters

Recolonized as urban gutters

Massive rural-migrationed gutters

Slums in their valleys

Slums at their watersheds

Illegal structures in their pathways

Ah! These slums

Impoverished, benighted slum inhabitants

Ah! They call it Sodom & Gomorrah

Ah! The place of filth and “sin”

Ah! Agbogbloshie

The hold of unsanitary alluvial gold

Gilded filth

Of industrial sewage

Of human excreta

Of imported debris, junk

Of discarded computers

Of discarded fridges

Of discarded TVs

Of discarded vehicular parts

Of foreign-used second hand items

Dumped in gilded gutters

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

Time to prefer a clear glass of rainfall

Time to discard a tinted glass of sunshine

The Odaw will tell us once again

We have rights to make garbage

We don’t have the right to be ignorant

By dumping garbage

Debris

Trash

Refuse

Waste-matter

Excreta

Depositing our wealth of trash

In glided gutters

Pristine rivers, lakes, streams, lagoons, ponds

The Odaw and other waterways, waterbodies

Have become cultural orphans

Gilded gutters

In our vast desert of mismanagement & lawlessness

The tidal rains will come again

The floods will come again

The annual floods will come again

The rivers, streams will find freedom

Freedom to flow and course in their valleys

Ah! In the habitation of the living dead

Come the dry season

Triumph of lawlessness will prevail

Come the raining season

Triumph of cesspools of disaster will flood us

Submitted by Akadu N. Mensema October 10, 2015. Can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.