Africans have always been a spiritual lot, before the advent of Christianity or Islam. Whether one agrees or not with the traditional gods the African worshiped, there’s no denying African religious traditions are as deep as those found in Ancient Rome or Greece. Communication and relation with a higher being is at the core of the African life … One that exists till today. In this poem, Kwesi Brew, a Ghanaian poet, records an instance of this interaction, where the creation meets the divine.
A Plea For Mercy
We have come to your shrine to worship –
We the sons of the land.
The naked cowherd has brought
The cows safely home,
And stand silent with his bamboo flute
Wiping the rain from his brow;
As the nestle brood in their nest
Awaiting the dawn of the unsung melodies;
The shadow crowd on the shores
Pressing their lips against the bosom of the sea;
The peasants home from their labours
Sit by their log-fires
Telling tales of long ago.
Why should we the sons of the land
Plead unheeded before your shrine,
When our heart are full of song
And our lips tremble with sadness?
The little firefly vies with the star,
The log-fire with the sun
The water in the calabash
With the mighty Volta,
But we have come in tattered penury
Begging at the door of a master.