Kwesi Brew – The Executioner’s Dream

I dreamt I saw an eye, a pretty eye,
In your hands,
Glittering, wet and sickening;
Like a dull onyx set in a crown of thorns,
I did not know you were dead
when you dropped it in my lap.

what horrors of human sacrifice
Have you seen, executioner?
What agonies of tortured men
Who sat through nights and nights of pain;
Tongue tied by the wicked sappor;
Gazing at you with hot imploring eyes?
These white lilies tossed their little heads then
In the moon-steeped ponds;
There was bouncing gaiety in the crisp chirping
Of the cricket in the undergrowth,
And as the surf-boats splintered the waves
I saw the rainbow in your eyes
And the flash of your teeth;
As each crystal shone,
I saw sitting hand in hand with melancholy
A little sunny child
Playing at marbles with husks of fallen stars,
Horrors were your flowers then, the bright red bougainvilled.
They delighted you.
Why do you now weep
And offer me this little gift
Of a dull onyx set in a crown of thorns?

Kwesi Brew was a Ghanaian poet and businessperson who died in 2007. In his later years, he paid tribute to Maya Angelou as well as other Ghanaian poets who challenged his Eurocentric views.

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