Eulogies for the Late Jerry John Rawlings


This week, final funeral rites and burial ceremony for the late former president of Ghana took place in Accra. Three of my writer friends wrote poems to eulogize President Jerry John Rawlings. Here is to the memory of a man who lived and left an indelible mark in the history of the political development of Ghana. We dedicate today’s column to him and we wish him a restful sleep in the bosom of the fathers. Hede nyuie, Papa J.

Sleep, Comrade, Sleep – by Elikem M. Aflakpui

sleep, comrade, sleep
it’s the end of your life’s quest
where your foes will no more molest

you slept several times
each time woken by purpose’s chimes
more mountains needed your conquering climbs

now sleep, Papa J, sleep
enjoy this slumber that knows no breaks
no fevered breaths, no bleeds and no aches

dream of fighting fields no more
firing guns will bring you no gore
here’s our 21-gun salute — to fade you off this shore

sleep, Jerry John Rawlings, sleep
have a rendezvous in your new home
extend your regality to the thereafter; there, experience shalom

Odumba – by Eben Ace

Indeed, ‘the great Odum tree has fallen’

A mighty storm sweeps the land

and leaves its people naked

under the burning sun.

Did doom whisper?


Did it whisper or we didn’t heed,

because we were engulfed by the stories

under the warm leaves

of the mighty tree.


Storms have come, left and will return

But this gloomy storm caught us

while our curious ears soaked

the wisdom of the grey.


Indeed, ‘the great Odum tree has fallen’


The fine dust has settled to moan

even when the atumpan beats hard

to announce the passing

of a true son


The old weep in the tracks of its shadow,

the young sob, yearning for more

of its fruits before it dies.

But mortals we are…


….no man sees death when it berths,

its silent footsteps when it steps,

its cruel agenda on this earth,

nor its next step.

Indeed, ‘the great Odum tree has fallen’


….and no branch, or bunch of leaves

can pamper our rain of tears.

RIP, President Rawlings – by Rosemond Nyansafo


One day, the chants of joy

that once escaped from our vocal cords.

Would be lesser than mere whispers,

In this life’s hurdles and lots.


We patiently await the moment with careful impatience,

When stimulus and empathy bear no resemblance to us no more.

Of that very time, where gravity shall bear us no grudge.


Death came into our compound uninvited

Unconcerned, it touched our ceiling.

The very part that sheltered us better


Death, you have no shame

Your venom is recklessly unbound

Untethered to that one thing which must be found

And we sit on our insect-infested three-legged stool

Waiting and watching as our hearts aches in tiresome leaps of pain


Devoid of feelings

You touched our Rawlings

Touched him in places where we’re unable to reach

And when we shout his name

To receive a response we know too well

Boom! Boom!! Boom!!!


All that our ears manage to hear is a fading

Hmm! Hmm!! Hmm!!!

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