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The Sea Eats the Land at Home

Here's part of a poem by the Ghanian poet George Awooner-Williams (born 1935):

At home the sea is in the town,
Running in and out of the cooking places,
Collecting the firewood from the hearths and sending it back at the night;
The sea eats the land at home.

It came one day at the dead of night,
Destroying the cement walls,
And carried away the fowls,the cooking-pots and the ladles,
The sea eats the land at home.

It is a sad thing to hear the wails
And the mourning shouts of the women,
Calling on all the gods they worship
To protect them from the angry sea...

It was a cold Sunday morning,
The storm was raging,
Goats and fowls were struggling in the water,
The angry water of the cruel sea;

The lap-lapping of the dark water at the shore,
And above the sobs,
And the deep and low moans,
Was the eternal hum of the living sea.

It has taken away their belongings,
Adena has lost the trinkets that were her dowry and her joy,
In the sea that eats the land at home,
That eats the whole land at home.

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