“Yaa” by Nana Nyarko Boateng

Libation pouring is a thing in my life. During my childhood, my grandfather poured libation (he was a chief); my mother poured libation (for special events and also when a new bottle of something was opened); my mother’s friends poured libations (lots of late night discussion on leftist issues and on no-vision leaders).  Ghanaians poured libations a lot more than we do now (Monotheistic beliefs have us abandoning a lot!).

These days, I pour libations whenever a wine o’clock means new bottle. I pour libations when the Black Stars are facing a tough match but even the ancestors despair, so…  We pour libations to pray.

I love Nana Nyarko’s “Yaa”. Its simplicity, its openness, its honesty; its supplication: everything.  “Schnapps and words”!


On the red soil
my feet are bare
with prayers
as I pour down
unto earth
spirit from a glass
to spirits
who make things fall
like rain
on a Thursday night
when schnapps and words
are everything I have left
to believe in.

– by Nana Nyarko Boateng

With permission from the poet.

The poem is published in The Prairie Schooner ‘s latest edition, Fusion #9: Libations, which features poets from Ghana.




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