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Adjei Agyei-Baah

harmattan winds...
crossing the border
with leaves

haiku by from Afriku (Haiku and Senryu from Ghana) (2016)Report problemRelated quotes
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The Fallen Leaves

I.

WE stand among the fallen leaves,
Young children at our play,
And laugh to see the yellow things
Go rustling on their way:
Right merrily we hunt them down,
The autumn winds and we,
Nor pause to gaze where snow-drifts lie,
Or sunbeams gild the tree:
With dancing feet we leap along
Where wither'd boughs are strown;
Nor past nor future checks our song--
The present is our own.
II.

We stand among the fallen leaves
In youth's enchanted spring--
When Hope (who wearies at the last)
First spreads her eagle wing.
We tread with steps of conscious strength
Beneath the leafless trees,
And the colour kindles on our cheek
As blows the winter breeze;
While, gazing towards the cold grey sky,
Clouded with snow and rain,
We wish the old year all past by,
And the young spring come again.
III.

We stand among the fallen leaves
In manhood's haughty prime--
When first our pausing hearts begin
To love 'the olden time;'
And, as we gaze, we sigh to think
How many a year hath pass'd
Since 'neath those cold and faded trees
Our footsteps wander'd last;
And old companions--now perchance
Estranged, forgot, or dead--
Come round us, as those autumn leaves
Are crush'd beneath our tread.
IV.

We stand among the fallen leaves
In our own autumn day--
And, tott'ring on with feeble steps,
Pursue our cheerless way.
We look not back--too long ago
Hath all we loved been lost;
Nor forward--for we may not live
To see our new hope cross'd:
But on we go--the sun's faint beam
A feeble warmth imparts--
Childhood without its joy returns--
The present fills our hearts!

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Autumn, between the falling leaves, my longing

autumn
between the falling leaves
my longing

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The willow leaves fallen

The willow leaves fallen,
the spring gone dry,
rocks here and there.


Translated by Robert Hass

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If The Mahogany Leaves Are Hearts Then The Rivers Flood

If all the mahogany leaves
In Tabon mountain
Are hearts
Like the way I bleed
When you left
The rivers below
Will surely flood.

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Walt Whitman

Here The Frailest Leaves Of Me

HERE the frailest leaves of me, and yet my strongest-lasting:
Here I shade and hide my thoughts--I myself do not expose them,
And yet they expose me more than all my other poems.

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What I Like Most About The Falling Leaves Of Autumn

i like most the sound of the falling leaves
of autumn

just right after we make love
when my eyes lay wide awake on the ceiling

my mind travels like a falling leaf
it is asking: what for? where? and why?

and then i hear the hazy sound of silence.

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The Swallow Leaves Her Nest

THE swallow leaves her nest,
The soul my weary breast;
But therefore let the rain
On my grave
Fall pure; for why complain?
Since both will come again
O'er the wave.

The wind dead leaves and snow
Doth hurry to and fro;
And, once, a day shall break
O'er the wave,
When a storm of ghosts shall shake
The dead, until they wake
In the grave.

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The Wild Leaves

My lunch is supper when the sun surprises me
At noon. The dry leaves excite my being
In the ways of the season I experience.
This food we surpass darkens the life
Fully and utterly, like the odd absurdity of the night.
We are in the company of snatching and crunching,
In the company of leaves that sound too real.
My sweet shower of blessings incites the spirits
To be released into the wild, yet scared are they?

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Come With The Summer Leaves

Come with the summer leaves, love, to my grave,
And, if you doubt among the quiet dead,
Choose out that mound where greenest grasses wave
And where the flowers grow thickest and most red.

Come in the morning while the dews of night,
Which are fair Nature's tears in darkness shed,
Rim the sad petals nor are garnered quite,
Like my lost hopes untimely harvested.

Come to my grave--ah gather, love, those flowers!
Out of my heart they grow for your dear head.
These are its songs unwritten and all yours,
The love I loved you with and left unsaid.

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Winds bend the brown green grass of fall

Winds bend the brown green grass of fall
Whether in current age or decades past
Landscape gazers catch creatures storing seeds
Scattering yellow and white capped weeds
Preparing for winter their pattern unhindered

Winds bend the brown green grass of fall
Constant marker as mankind races
Ploughs terrain staking claim
Highways vanquish sod and plain
Yet tuffs of the brown green grass remain

Winds bend the brown green grass of fall
Off roadways geese settle and call
Despite cluttered asphalt the landscape recalls
Natures evolving, preparing and readying
For ice glistening cold when life sleeps through all

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When Cold Winter Winds Gripped The Air Between Us

When cold winter winds gripped the air between us
And howling storms vexed the calm of my elongated nights
Driven to the extreme of painful delirium and lust
I strolled around your place with heavy heart

Who would assemble shame stricken to an offending banquet attire
Under such heavy incense beg this occasion spare an acquire
Once feelings unblemished luster bloomed no lose their pride
But once shaken their cankered buds blushes burrowing to hide

What breaks cannot be fixed the way it was any more
What have been lost will none be re-established into a gain
All efforts tears and toils are wretched in vain
And nothing can bring back the happy hour glamour

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In The Fall And When The Autumn Leaves

In the Autumn
When the beauty of the leaves begins to fall
One keeps on raking
Not to think about the beauty nature calls
One keeps on raking
Bagging leaves and wanting to get one and all,
One keeps on raking
And raking
Until their back is aching

In the Autumn
When the beauty of the leaves begins to fall
One keeps on raking
Not to think about the beauty nature calls
One keeps on raking
Bagging leaves and wanting to get one and all
One keeps on raking
And raking
Until their back is aching

One keeps raking
And raking
Until their back is aching
One keeps raking
And raking
Until their back is aching

In the Fall and when the Autumn leaves
Begin to lose their grip from trees
One keeps up raking
And raking
Until their back is aching
One keeps raking
And raking
Until their back is aching

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The Falling Leaves

it is not the leaves you care about
but the falling
it is not that the trees have become leafless ribs
or that the thorns and scabs have become so visible
it is not

but the falling you want to know
how does falling fall how does this falling feel
the past that pains you
the present that you do not give space
the future that you refuse to dream

i see you falling falling and falling like the leaves
that you are seeing this summer afternoon
for whom you love
they leave like birds flying away from the lonely tunnel
where you have long resided

i see you hugging the fallen leaves
feeling what falling means
treasuring the failures unnecessarily

tonight i see no stars like you seeing none in the skies
black night silent night dead night
i got this last stick of this match
i light this cigarrette i sigh i live some more

i sleep i dream i have this candle still
that tomorrow i may begin to light

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Even the Winds and the Sea obey

SAID the Poet, I wouldn’t maintain,
As the mystical German has done,
That the land, inexistent till then,
To reward him then first saw the sun;
And yet I could deem it was so,
As o’er the new waters he sailed,
That his soul made the breezes to blow,
With his courage the breezes had failed;
His strong quiet purpose had still
The hurricane’s fury withheld;
The resolve of his conquering will
The lingering vessel impelled:
For the beings, the powers that range
In the air, on the earth, at our sides,
Can modify, temper and change
Stronger things than the winds and the tides,
By forces occult can the laws—
As we style them—of nature o’errule;
Can cause, so to say, every cause,
And our best mathematics befool;
Can defeat calculation and plan,
Baffle schemes ne’er so wisely designed,
But will bow to the genius of man,
And acknowledge a sovereign mind.

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Keeping The Peace Leaves Me Desperate

Keeping the peace leaves me desperate..
When thinking my peace,
Might cease to be.
Yes...
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Yes...
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.

I don't want thoughts of an enemy,
Taking my peace away from me.
No...
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.

Keeping the peace leaves me desperate..
When thinking my peace,
Might cease to be.
Yes...
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Yes...
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.

I don't want thoughts of an enemy,
Taking my peace away from me.
No...
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.

I don't want thoughts of an enemy,
Taking my peace away from me.

Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.

Keeping the peace leaves me desperate..
When thinking my peace,
Might cease to be.

Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.
Keeping the peace leaves me desperate.

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Clarity

Yesterday
the fog bound-up the dying world
in white gauze,

but truth shred the fog,
would not permit
white lies,
inconsequential slips
to ease the passionate leaves'
passage into night.

Righteous winds ripped
the despairing leaves
and sent them twisting joyfully
high over my house,

to the yard
several over.

I got my neighbor's leaves
so it all
worked out
in the end.

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Strive to Revive After Every Fall (Somnathpur, Gujarat, India)

We were winging our way
on the coast of Gujarat from the east to west.
Hardly had we slept a wink
than we stepped on the blood-stained soil
of Somnathpur past midnight.
Some stray dogs woofed at our friend, Baskaran
whose suitcase-wheels were making
the rumbling noise of a bullock-cart of the past.

Seeing the choppy waters of the Arabian Sea
at the back of the temple-wall,
we were wide-eyed in surprise.
and we were comforted by a spanking breeze.
Our votive offerings were some coins
but God would bless us all as we were from the far south.
Some marauder of a jungle tribe from a far off hills
had looted the gold of the temple
umpteen times putting the people to swords.
He is no more but the ill-will he created remains
and it is inherited by the descendents, thanks to History.

We surveyed the havoc wrought
in northern Gujarat by the quakes.
But the Somnath in the South stands tall
amidst fatal falls of towering skyscrapers.
Strive to revive in life and thrive again
though hit by misfortunes countless.
That is what people feel seeing the salty winds
peel the stony leaves off the rocky walls.
---------

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Urara

Euroka, go over the tops of the hill,
For the ~Death-clouds~ have passed us to-day,
And we'll cry in the dark for the foot-falls still,
And the tracks which are fading away!
Let them yell to their lubras, the Bulginbah dogs,
And say how our brothers were slain,
We shall wipe out our grief in the blood of their chief,
And twenty more dead on the plain -
On the blood-spattered spurs of the plain!
But the low winds sigh,
And the dead leaves fly,
Where our warriors lie,
In the dingoes' den - in the white-cedar glen
On the banks of the gloomy Urara!
Urara! Urara!
On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

The Wallaroos grope through the tufts of the grass,
And crawl to their coverts for fear;
But we'll sit in the ashes and let them pass
Where the boomerangs sleep with the spear!
Oh! our hearts will be lonely and low to-night
When we think of the hunts of yore;
And the foes that we sought, and the fights which we fought,
With those who will battle no more -
Who will go to the battle no more!
For the dull winds sigh,
And the dead leaves fly,
Where our warriors lie,
In the dingoes' den - in the white-cedar glen
On the banks of the gloomy Urara!
Urara! Urara!
On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

Oh! the gorges and gullies are black with crows,
And they feast on the flesh of the brave;
But the forest is loud with the howls of our foes
For those whom they never can save!
Let us crouch with our faces down to our knees,
And hide in the dark of our hair;
For we will not return where the camp-fires burn,
And see what is smouldering there -
What is smouldering, mouldering there!
Where the sad winds sigh -
The dead leaves fly,
And our warriors lie;
In the dingoes' den - in the white-cedar glen
On the banks of the gloomy Urara!
Urara! Urara!
On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

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Amid The Winds Of December

(On The Departure of December,2008)

December departs from us,
But is unwilling to depart,
The winds blow,
They shed; they blow the yellow leaves,
And they waft with the gusts
As if weightless, straightness,
And sightless too.

The blows drive them to and fro,
Now they move ahead, then they stop,
As if they stop to relax or look behind
With wonder and coyness,
To Nature undressing like a nude,
Uncovering, exposing a bitter reality:
Pleasing to the lascivious hearts,
But pungent to the ascetics.

They are reluctant,
Hesitant in stepping ahead
As if they are imagining
That the known world is sweeter
Than that of the unknown,
Whether wrapped in the shroud of doubts,
Or in the silky sheets of faith.

They whisper in rustling sounds,
To one another,
As if they discern the secrets of
Mortality and immortality,
Finity and infinity,
Certainty and uncertainty;
But amid the winds of December,
Man stands all alone with murky thoughts,
On the bare rock of the world,
Indifferent, unconcerned to the change,
With ever increasing craze
And fear of future,
Heaping around Himself
The piles of wealth, the mounds of weapons.

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An Ode To The Detached Leaves

Ah! The blows of autumnal wind,
Cold and callous, have encroached at last,
They have made the leaves their victims.

Look! they fall like drops of rain,
Bearing no strength of their own.
They move with the gushes of wind,
Without their own consent,
They oscillate on the wings of some invisible agents,
Who possess the secret powers,
To dispose what one proposes.

I recall once they were attached hard,
To the branches and boughs of the shadowy trees;
And sap ran into their veins,
As blood runs into the human network;
And they fluttered resisting each coldhearted gust.
They were resolute to go through each ebb and flow,
Establishing firm relations to the nourishing limbs.
And Mother Nature came stealthily to give them wash,
At the moonlit nights with the drops of dew.
While they fluttered, they produced symphony,
Unknown even to the ancient master musicians;
And they whispered in mysterious sounds,
Only understood by the cuckoos or nightingales:
The singers and agents of the feral world.

Now they rustle with each move of the autumnal gusts,
Or crackle under the feet like too crispy dried petals;
And some float on the stagnant water with green surface.

Ah! 21st century is the dawn of autumnal winds,
The blows and fatal gusts have diverted the civilizations,
And they now move on the tracks of conflicts,
Human beings fall like leaves, waft along the blows,
Detaching themselves from the nourishing boughs
And shadowy branches of faith, love and tolerance.

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