Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Rain, Art and Figures in the Clouds

In the city of Accra, the cold and wet weather slows the people down! In the city of Accra, the hot and humid weather slows the people down! What kind of weather is Accra city looking for?

When we were little children, and Accra was greener and smaller and cooler, my siblings and I loved the rainy season.

It was not just for the reckless chance to play in the cold darts falling aplenty and, in no time, pricking our tightening skin with tiny sharp needles. The lovely rich rainbows were free and frequent. And the rain clouds flaunted a tapestry of bright, luxuriant colours. The fibrous white threads of lightning were at once frightening and exciting; the booming thunderclap was only terrifying.

The pitter-patter of the raindrops on the asbestos roofing sheets, eddying between rhythmic sharp and lulling hum, was, and still is, an eerie experience. The first few drops, on splattering against the ground, raised the distinct sweet smell of white clay and wet dust, and made you want to cup the cold, muddy soil in the cone of your little hands and give it delightful, long licks (why can't somebody invent ice cream in that fragrant flavour?) Frankie's, are you reading? :)

But the greatest gift of the season was changing the ordinary ice blue sky into a master artist’s canvas. We would stand outdoors for very long hours allowing our imagination to run with the wind. We saw shapes, figures, effigies straight out of our fairy tales and everyday life.

Jesus Christ’s profile was everybody’s favourite – the picture of him in children’s books, long hair, angular chin and aquiline nose. Then, there was Jerry Rawlings, president at the time. We also saw the animals, lots of them – eagles, ponies, great lizards, elephants and humble rodents. A mythical creature would sail along every now and then – unicorns, Pegasus, dragons. But my favourite little moment, tucked away in my memory, was when my very little sister swore that she'd espied a mean and massive dinosaur. It is a tearful moment for me to think back to that time.

Now, I only look for the clouds to tell me if the rain will come, the thickness of the homeward traffic and if the “weather will bring herself” when I arrive home or at a friends house (a complete topic in itself, to be explored at a later date).


  1. beautiful , just beautiful. you words paint the most amazing pictures in my minds eye. Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words obviously didn't read your poetry

  2. But, Bentuma, your comments are always very beautifully written too. Do you realise the talent you hide in you? :) Thanks

  3. bentuma, nana yaw: take it easy you two. just take it easy.

  4. Martin, Martin, Martin, ain't nothing going on! :)

  5. hi Nana great stuff u writing about here, its absolutely fantastic and would take u places.keep wring.can u write a book about me pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaas? these stories are all so factual and they rock! Meeda.

  6. Meeda Baby :) we'll write your book yet.

  7. Nana Yaw... You said you like my writing? Yours is phenomenal! Fantastic stuff, I'm going to keep coming back here now to check what you've got up.

    Would you be interested in publishing some pieces in a new monthly publication? Get in touch and let's see what we can arrange.

  8. Thanks, Toks. I might be interested in this publication and will get in touch. Thanks again.


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