That Poor Old Girl

That poor old girl

She strips the buttons and bows from the discarded dresses

That poor old girl

She strips the zips

She strips the cuffs

That poor old girl

She strips the collar and hem

She strips the bodice and the skirt

That poor old girl

She strips the sleeves

She strips a nice yoke

 That poor old girl

 From the old dresses

She pieces a quilt

That poor old girl

Grows a big piece of cloth out of scraps

That poor old girl is braiding the selvage

That poor old girl coils and stitches the braids to make a hat or a basket

 That poor old girl saves for tomorrow

That poor old girl saves for tomorrow, today

Extracted from upcoming collection of poems “Value to Man” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

You have to get up so far

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

You have to get up so far

That you may study on your own

Get so far in reading as a child

That you may constantly read

That the world of books opens to you

You have to get up so far

In music

That you may read music

And study on your own a piece of music

That the world of music opens to you

That you will be able to make beautiful music

But  you have to get up so far

You have to get up so far

In writing

That you have the skills of a writer

That you may write on your own freely

That the world of writing opens to you

That you experience limitless potential

But you have to get up so far

His daughter didn’t make it

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

His daughter didn’t make it

When she was too sick to care for herself

Sick, with no place to go

His daughter didn’t make it

When her housing transitions weren’t smooth

His daughter didn’t make it

When finally her health problems overpowered her

And the bills she couldn’t cover

His daughter didn’t make it

When also, racists and thieves were pulling her down

His daughter didn’t make it

When she arrived young to old age

Her legs started to give out

His daughter didn’t make it

The accumulation of long-term neglect

By her late 40’s she was barely walking

His daughter didn’t make it

At 50 barely walking

Trying to finish a bachelor’s degree

His daughter didn’t make it

By age 50

All her teeth had rotten from dental bills too high

His daughter didn’t make it

He said, “That’s my unspoiled child”

His daughter didn’t make it

As a child they didn’t read to her

His daughter didn’t make it

“You know what,” she said

Probably if they don’t read to you

You won’t make it

“Probably” she said

“If they don’t read to you

They don’t know how to properly raise a child”

“Probably there’s no plan for your success”

“And, you don’t make it”

Some children are reading 1000 books a year

About 3 books a day

Those are the ones who make it

Daddy’s example was only so good

Daddy didn’t read or exercise or give or love to good

She didn’t make it

On her death bed

Can’t work no more

She calls him for money

His daughter didn’t make it

I have an open energy, I want to make friends

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

I have a closed energy

I do not want to make friends

Because my energy is closed

It has stagnated and festered

It is not flowing outward, it is trapped

It becomes a “negative” energy

Very often, for one reason or another, sometimes safety or criminality

You have a closed energy

You cannot choose love at the juncture

It is a dark and negative energy

It is an entrapped energy

You have a closed energy

I have an open energy

My energy is free flowing outwards

My energy is light and airy

I want to make friends

I have a loving and friendship energy

My energy is positive

I have chosen love at the juncture

I have an open energy

I have a closed energy

I do not want to make friends

I have an open energy

I want to make friends

There was a predatory energy at the school

Many students were competitive

Some copied other students course work

Even teachers used students course work or plagiarized them

The energy at the school due to the presence of crime

The energy is now a closed energy

Very often when energy is closed

There is a presence of crime

My energy is closed

I do not want to make friends

My energy is open

I want to make friends

Very often, in the presence of crime

One may close their energy

One may re-open their energy

By being alone

When one may trust in their own energy

Sometimes your friend must be yourself

I am alone

I want to make friends

I have an open energy

I have an open energy

I want to make friends with myself

Stay within contexts

Where you are free of crime

And you may have an open energy

I have an open energy

I want to make friends

Value and Service

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Value

Writing she feels is value and service

Myriad ways of value

She judges writing by its value or by its service

You can condense research then write a poem

Take the key points in a letter to condense it

Proverb teaches power

Program the buttons in poem

Think over them

A poem like a nuclear bomb

A consolidation of programs

Hire the picketers

An on page revolution

The main protagonist hangs a poster

Condense it, stage it, serve

Ultimate power

Excerpt From “Sago Palm”

The Acquisition of Devotion

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Swami so and so has moved to California.  He has a dark coffee brown, shoulder length, wavy, fluffy hair, parted in the middle and warm, thoughtful, and caring brown eyes that sparkle, as if a tear were imminent. The Swami has set up a spiritual center in the middle of town, including yoga instruction and within a few years has acquired many disciples. 

The context for devotion is said to develop from three things:  1) when one gives good advice, 2) the quality of one’s teachings and or 3) one’s ideas, research, or writings. There may be other cases where one acquires Beatle-like mania, or Rockstar status or immense fame and acquires a great many fans, but this story speaks exclusively to the acquisition of devotion.

There are multicolored fast-paced changing traffic signals that run the tempo of New York City. With great desperation for peace, New York City could be the Yoga capital of the world.  There existed a popular small yoga center on the upper east side, where one teacher emerged as superior.  His ascension could be documented. Each student that arrived one of his yoga classes, ended as one of his disciples.  So much so, that when he moved to a new nearby yoga center, a few blocks north, his students as they heard of his departure and relocation, like a wave followed their teacher. 

What he had that was so special for students that made him so insanely popular in the city, he gave precise advice, his descriptions were precise and connected, he gives you exactly what you need in a moment.  You ask, he answers.  He had minimal work for maximum result. He had a style where the students held their poses for a specific amount of time to maximize the impact of the pose.  Even after some time, one realized that he had reshaped and sculpted their bodies, he had lifted their buttocks, he had aligned their spines.  In the new yoga center where the yoga teacher taught his students, they left drenched in sweat, feeling elated, limber and purified.  It became an ecstatic yoga feeling of elation, even one associated to him.  He came to have many followers of his teachings and their subsequent devotion.  Even other teachers fond of his style, became his disciples.   

He often wore a simple divine looking handkerchief or scarf tied to his balding head.  It came to spiritualize the way a turban or headwrap would.  Perhaps it placed emphasis on his head, and in some strange way on God, it may have comforted him or placed him within the spiritual context.  He looked like a gypsy or a pirate. Souls waited for his words. He was energetic and magnetic. 

Some students say, “the whole class had reached a plateau.”  He struggled to make sure everyone of his students graduated to an advanced level.  What could be deduced from this description is that devotion is not necessarily given to preachers or ministers casually, but is actually a thing of “teachers.”  Most often, one comes to “worship” when someone has touched their soul or imparted a great teaching, one may then be their master.  It is for masters, or for teachers-devotion.

Down is the Tightrope

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

You left me on the side of the road

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

The storm has kept me from work

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

The rain has come inside

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

My back has gone out again

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

The doctor has not called me back

Down is the tightrope my friend

Down is the tightrope!

Oh fortunate one,

I slept off my pain today

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Excerpt from upcoming book, “Value to Man” collected poems due out in November 2020

“Long Marriage” Excerpt from Sago Palm

Long Marriage

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

He planned the conversation

That one needs to have at the start of their marriage

To have a long marriage

He planned to hold it together

To keep it fresh

To even rehearse intimacy

To maintain respect and nonviolence

He made a deal with his wife

He asked himself and his partner, “Are we a forever marriage?”

If you do not say it, “Are we a forever marriage?”  Perhaps it is not.

Some cultures have real steady men that mate for life

Some are circulators, vacillate, some grow tired, some do not, some marry more than one

Some have tested ways for maintaining relationships

For taking care of their match, preserving them, educating and teaching them, beautifying them, grooming them, making them happy, pleasing them, romancing them

Some develop ways for coasting holiday to holiday

Some want social matches, even socialites, prepared for culinary and a lifestyle of entertaining

Some want many, many friends, some want a homemaker and a home

Some want a premium wife or a sophisticated housewife

Some want a match with good taste and good tastes home

Some want a head of household

Some want a mother, some want a father

Some want a parent that is a teacher for their children

Some will build a children’s schoolhouse

Some will garden

Some will fill the house with flowers

Some will collect recipes and fill binders and plan

Some spend summer here and winters there

Some plan family trusts, philanthropy, community building and children’s trust funds

 

Excerpt from upcoming poetry book “Sago Palm” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

 

 

Between two cones

Between two cones

She measured the distance between two cones

Then calculated how many times back and forth to achieve a mile

She walked a mile

Between two cones

How fast can she walk a mile between two cones?

In this small space, a distance

Between two stones

She walked a mile

How far, how fast?

How can she create peace with her steps?

On the way to the right stone

She thought blue

On the way to the left stone

She thought green

Blue she thought can be water

Green she thought can be trees

She purified herself with simple meditation in this way- water and tree

The small steps that make up a great distance

How to create a context of peace within oneself

Excerpt from upcoming book, “Sago Palm,” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu