Poetry by Joshua Enam Semanyoh


I cannot write a poem about home

and forget the land that raised me

Sugar – how can a place I left

for years linger on my tongue so?

The liquid in my heart still flows there

Pour me water to drown this thirst


I cannot dream about home

and forget the anguish it brought me

Salt – what taste is left

in the land that buried my brother?

I can no longer identify my father’s door

Pour me a river to drown the memories



The resurrection of Aflao

Death is like a broken tooth that won’t give way for a new crown

You cannot taste wine on a tongue that doesn’t dance

God is the music they taught us to play

And yet they danced to the beat of other gods

It is not fear that makes the fisherman say

Don’t go close if you cannot stand The smell

of sea on the night the moon smiles


My brothers gave up on

The land that swallows

The land’s shallow

The music resounds the cry

that plagued our ears

Can Aflao give birth to kings?

Perhaps it will again try to bury her princes

Yet those who are buried don’t die.

God is the music they taught us to play.


Joshua Enam Semanyoh is a Ghanaian poet who lives and works in Ho, Ghana. He regularly posts short poems on his Instagram account @kosi_semanyoh and enjoys singing. Occasionally, he indulges in spoken word poetry too.

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