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On the Gallows Once
I crossed quite a few of your rivers, my gods, into this plain where thirst reigns I heard the cry of mourners the long cooing of the African wren at dusk the laughter of the children at dawn had long ceased night comes fast in our land where indeed are the promised vistas the open fields, blue skies, the singing birds and abiding love? History records acts of heroism, barbarism of some who had power and abused it massively of some whose progenitors planned for them the secure state of madness from which no storm can shake them; of some who took the last ships disembarked on some far-off shores and forgot of some who simply laid down the load and went home to the ancestors
Kofi Awoonor, born on March 13, 1935, was a Ghanian poet, novelist, and political activist. He is the author of Until the Morning After: Collected Poems 1963–1985 (Greenfield Review Press, 1987), The House by the Sea (Greenfield Review Press, 1978), and Ride Me, Memory (Greenfield Review Press, 1973), among others. He died on September 21, 2013.