The Students and the Lecturer
with apologies to Lewis Carroll
The Students and the Lecturer
Were now no longer free.
Because exams were drawing near,
You could quite plainly see
The strain of work was hard on both;
As hard as hard could be.
"Come Students" said the Lecturer,
"Let's have a little chat.
Let's talk of surds and medians
And simple things like that."
The Students rushed up for the treat
And at his feet they sat.
The lecturer gave lots of notes
For them to learn by heart.
And every little detail had
A special graph or chart.
And comprehension did not seem
To matter at the start.
The Students studied very hard
And memorised by sight
Every single formula.
It did not ease their plight.
Because they wrote it all by rote
The could not write it right.
The Lecturer took care to set
The paper they must sit.
The paper came, it was a shame
The questions did not fit.
Oh how they tried, they almost cried
But could not do one bit.
And so the work of many years
Was sadly brought to naught.
The students found they had not learned
Although they had been taught.
In pedagogic's deadly trap
They had been truly caught.
"Oh Students" said the Lecturer,
"We've had a lot of fun.
Will you be coming back next year?"
But answer came there none.
And this was scarcely odd because
He failed them - every one!
Coming to Ghana
I came to Ghana from the winter snows
Of cold but festive England in December.
Yet now it seems I hardly can remember
The touch of frost that bites at ears and toes;
The scarf and hat and muffler when one goes
Into the street. No need here to worry
About the time, or if one should hurry.
Here is the quiet peace the mystic knows.
Far from the diesel fumes, the warming sun
Makes gorgeous flowers bloom amongst the trees.
Here I can see a gentle lizard run
And sometimes feel a welcome cooling breeze.
Life is unhurried. As day turns into night
The crickets chirp and drive away the light
THE BARIKESE DAM1
Will water still be here for us to drink
When dry harmattan2 dust begins to fall?
The engineers have heard our urgent call.
With sweating men and bulldozers they sink
Concrete foundations and lay plans to link
Kumasi to the dam. The rock-fill wall
And concrete towers make dwarfs of us all.
Yet they exist because the brain can think.
There where the Offin flows are blown up trees.
A wilderness to be changed to a lake,
Stretching away as far as the eye sees.
From it our daily water we will take.
Yes, fifty million gallons every day.
Hard to achieve, but very quick to say.
1. The Barikese dam was built in the 1960's to improve the water supply for Kumasi,
of Ashanti and Ghana's second city.
2. The harmattan is a dusty wind that blows from the Sahara desert
during the worst part of the dry season (December-January)
Lagos to Accra in less than an hour.
This shows us all the jet engine's power.
Dreaded malaria need never kill,
If you remember to swallow your pill.
Great buildings rise up where once there was bush,
With cranes lifting loads as bulldozers push.
Telephone wires bring your friends near
Telling you news that its urgent to hear.
Many diseases we need not endure.
Water for drinking can all be made pure.
We can now banish the darkness of night,
Since we can switch on the electric light.
Technology can give us the power,
So we can make new industries flower.
Come then and join me in singing this tune,
Now men in a rocket have been to the moon.
1 Technology is also a local nickname for the Kumasi University of Science and
Technology, in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
The Lament of Age
With the passing years I find I am old.
Death must follow birth, yet I have been told
The crowd in the market place keeps the same age,
As a life-long battle with death I wage.
I resent the past and what might have been.
Time flows swiftly by and changes the scene.
I call on my friends to heed this advice:
No man can bathe in the same river twice.
A children's poem
Mogger-do and Mogger-don't
A MOGGER-DO is kind to you.
He does such lovely things.
He comes to play, and stays all day.
Sometimes, he sings.
A MOGGER-DON'T just says "I won't."
He is a naughty laddie.
He moans and cries, and never tries
To be good for his Daddy.