Literary Zone

Poetry: Kperterkple Serenade

17 February 2012 at 05:23 | 1952 views

Kperterkple Serenade (excerpt)

By Atukwei Okai, Accra, Ghana.


make room in your inn for me –

I know:

when karl marx grabbed his bibliography
and ballpen and pocketed his toothbrush
and his shaving stick

he went and bought a ticket to london

when ghandi girded his loin cloth, it
was london he had in mind.
when lenin fled his beloved motherland
his final haven-crashpad was london.

but america

your address book too has memories that yield

the names

of von braun and charles dickens and
marcus garvey and amerigo vespucci and
christopher columbus who boarded the wrong bus
and maxim gorky and mayakovsky and uncle
einstein and mr. carnegie and rockefeller

even your ports


report how
the mayflower moved in to deflower at night
the virgin land
of the red indians –

jesus christ it seems and judas did not make it


you are a funny girl…
everybody dreams of kissing you

* Atukwei Okai (photo) is a renowned Ghanaian writer and educator. He studied at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow and graduated in literature with a Masters degree in 1967. He also studied at the University of London. After his return to Ghana Okai taught at the University of Ghana, Legon, as a lecturer in Russian literature. He later joined the faculty of the Institute of African Studies and was at one time president of the Pan-African Writers Association.