Monday, 23 September 2013

Sometimes, even the sunset puzzles, as we look for the lines that propel the clouds - Professor Kofi Awoonor


ACROSS A NEW DAWN 
Sometimes, we read the
lines in the green leaf
run our fingers over the
smooth of the precious wood
from our ancient trees;

Sometimes, even the sunset
puzzles, as we look
for the lines that propel the clouds,
the colour scheme
with the multiple designs
that the first artist put together

There is dancing in the streets again
the laughter of children rings
through the house
On the seaside, the ruins recent
from the latest storms
remind of ancestral wealth
pillaged purloined pawned
by an unthinking grandfather
who lived the life of a lord
and drove coming generations to
despair and ruin 
*
But who says our time is up
that the box maker and the digger
are in conference
or that the preachers have aired their robes
and the choir and the drummers
are in rehearsal?

No; where the worm eats
a grain grows.
the consultant deities
have measured the time
with long winded
arguments of eternity

And death, when he comes
to the door with his own
inimitable calling card
shall find a homestead
resurrected with laughter and dance
and the festival of the meat
of the young lamb and the red porridge
of the new corn 
We are the celebrants
whose fields were
overrun by rogues
and other bad men who
interrupted our dance
with obscene songs and bad gestures

Someone said an ailing fish
swam up our lagoon
seeking a place to lay its load
in consonance with the Original Plan

Master, if you can be the oarsman
for our boat
please do it, do it.
I asked you before
once upon a shore
at home, where the
seafront has narrowed
to the brief space of childhood 
We welcome the travelers
come home on the new boat
fresh from the upright tree  

From “Promises of Hope: New and Selected Poems,” selected by Kofi Anyidoho, University of Nebraska Press and the African PoetryBook Fund, 2014. Professor Kofi Awoonor, a Ghanaian poet and diplomat, died after sustaining injuries during the terrorist attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not.- Vladimir V. Putin

President Obama meeting with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in Northern Ireland in June. U.S. lawmakers and human-rights groups praised Obama's canceling talks. (AP File Photo)



Excerpts: 

Relations between us (Russia and America) have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

Read: Statement of the Africa Forum on the Situation in the Syrian Arab Republic

We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. 

The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.