On Poetry (syrup for the soul)

A poet must be invisible to everyone including himself. And if one is completely honest with one’s self, one will find it necessary to sometimes hide from one’s own thoughts. 

What’s the role of poetry? What does it do? Why does poetry exist?

Like all art, poetry is there serving a function similar to religion except it makes no claims about altering reality. It heals injuries inflicted by reason. It reconstructs the damaged soul. It evokes passion, wraps the broken heart with balm. It gives wings to lovers. 

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Commercial Break: Don’t ever be bored!

Many of you who have been following this blog for long know that the last time I advertised my books was about four years ago. This is because I feel a little awkward promoting my own books. I honestly don’t write for money. To write is to present a case and you need a judge to assess if the case has merit. One cannot be one’s own judge. But until I find a judge, I have to do the awkward job of advertising my own books.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention for a brief announcement. Are you bored? Do you want to read something new and interesting. Do you want to understand other people’s experience of life. Look no further. Buy my books. I have written three books on literature (Anthologies) and one on business management (Research). All my books have paperback and epub editions and can be found here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/tawia_tsekumah

Why should you buy my books?

1. Because you will never be bored reading my books. My books are an antidote to boredom.

2. Because listening to me complain about my life in Africa will make you feel better about yours. 

3. Because my writing is honest and you will get new perspectives and insights into the common problems of our collective existence.

4. Because those who read my works said it’s funny and easy to understand and they enjoyed it.

5. Because half of the money from selling my books is donated to CWC Children’s Home, an Orphanage in Ghana. Which means you contribute to the betterment of humanity when you buy my books.

If you’re interested click this link: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/tawia_tsekumah to get a copy now. All the books you see when you click on the link are also available on other online book stores such as Amazon, iBookstore, Barnes and Noble and others.

Lastly, if you’re a literary/book agent, editor, publisher, or critic and for some reason you want to contact me, you can do so through this email: freedombooks2000[at]gmail.com

Thank you and enjoy the weekend.

The Pantheist Apocalypse

Last night I had a religious moment. Mother Nature appeared in my dream and I had disturbing visions of the Pantheist Apocalypse, also called the “Great Rebirth”. According to my dream, there will be terrible darkness on the surface of the earth. The moon will not give of its light. The satellites in space will fall and be dashed to pieces. The cosmos will suddenly begin to shrink and “civilization” will be rolled back and all nuclear weapons will be submerged under the deep blue sea. Man will finally be defeated. The last of men will run back into the cave where he belongs and black ants will have dominion over him there. This event spells the defeat of man (not the devil) and the rebirth of nature. But the exact date of this event is unknown to everyone except nature. 

144,000 People Will Enter Heaven According to JW

Jehovah Witnesses claim only 144,000 people will enter the gates of heaven and these have already been chosen. Great! I’m African and obviously not included since the 144,000 are all Hebrews- favourite sons of god from the 12 tribes of Israel. 

I asked one of them, “If I’m not going to heaven why do you want to preach to me?” I’m earth bound right? Then allow me to decide how to live happily while I can. I will much rather seize my happiness in the here and now since the candidates for heaven have already been chosen.

Am I the only one who thinks the idea of having only one tribe or group enter heaven is ridiculous? Anyway, I’m going to drink red wine this evening but I promise I will not get drunk. 

The Problem of Metaphysics 

The premise of the existence or nonexistence of a single supreme being as is postulated in philosophy is in, and of itself, an erroneous premise. This is why the theist against atheist arguments will continue perpetually. Pantheism has instead been relegated to the field of theology.

When asked whether there is a god, the indegenous African answers that there are spirits or forces. He does not specify whether a force is omnipresent, omniscient or omnipotent etc. This is because he believes spirit forces are metamorphous (what appears good suddenly becomes evil and vice versa) and are also associated with a particular tribe or race. The gods are brought down to the level of human understanding and they even partake in human activities. The indigenous African never conceives of or gives serious thought to the idea of an all umbrella spirit figure. He believes there could never be an all emcompassing spirit force who presides over such diverse life forms across space and time with myriad weaknesses and strengths, whose chief activities are characterised by brutal predation or the “survival of the fittest.” 

To the practical mind, metaphysics cannot solve any real world problem because it is an abstract conception and when elevated to the apex it completely breaks off from reality (observable phenomena). This is why I think as long as metaphysical arguments concentrate on a single all encompassesing supreme being there will be no end or solution to those arguments. It’s like trying to tie the lose ends of something that cannot tied.

Martial Law Against Miners

The Parliament of the Republic of Ghana is currently debating a bill, which if passed into law, will authorise soldiers to shoot rural native gold miners on sight. The government claims among other things that these native miners called “galamsey” destroy the land and pollute water bodies. But they are not in this alone. There are other nationals illegally mining gold in Ghana as well. It is even rumoured that some members of parliament have dealings in this illegal mining. Any form of authorization to kill or punish people without due process of law is undemocratic and synonymous with martial law. Only judges can pass judgement in a democratic state. Native mining though now illegal, has taken place in Ghana for nearly 1000 years. I think there are better ways of protecting the environment than killing people. 

What this bill means, if passed, is that anyone standing near a mining pit could be gunned down though she/he may not be an illegal miner. Once military and police officers are authorised by parliament to kill they are bound to err and shoot innocent people. I foresee something similar to the Marikana massacre in South Africa.

If these rural folks can find jobs in factories will they risk their lives mining in dangerous pits? There are more thieves in high places in Ghana than there are rural illegal miners. Yet we do nothing or only half heartedly tackle the problem of thievery, bribery and corruption. If this bill is passed into a law it will be the most undemocratic and unsound decision ever made by the parliament of Ghana simply because it undermines the principles of democracy and the rule of law. The following fundamental human rights are entrenched in the Ghanaian Constitution:

(1) No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally except in the exercise of the execution of a sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana of which he has been convicted.

(2) A person charged with a criminal offence shall be given a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court.

(3)  A person charged with a criminal offence shall be permitted to defend himself before the court in person or by a lawyer of his choice.

(4) ….In the case of an offence the punishment for which is death or imprisonment for life, a person shall be tried by a judge and jury and the verdict of the jury shall be unanimous.

Are you living your own reality?

Are you living your own reality or you are living those of your parents or friends? I’m saying this because it seemed 90% of everything I learnt right up to the age of 20 was not observable fact. Some were facts but they did not speak to my own reality – much like “the ugly duckling” story. I have realised that society offered me only half truths. I’ve had to find the other half myself and I consider myself lucky because I recognise the need. The average person moves on without the reconstruction process. 

Parents and friends may do their best but they can only teach what they know at any given time. If you’re interested in “truth” then your journey is even longer and harder because most don’t even bother about what “truth” is. They just go through life and do all the things regular people do and then suddenly the end is nigh.

Would you much rather live your entire life based on your parent’s or other people’s experiences or you prefer to try something new and learn from your own experience. Remember, once you accept other people’s perception of life, you also inherit all the weaknesses therein. So my question again is: “These realities which terrify you, are they yours or they were inherited/adopted?” If they’re not yours then crack that shell, step out and do what you’ve always wanted to do.