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English Department The Liberian Literature Project

Dead Days at the Waterside

The river roars as it flows
restlessly to destinations unknown
the river pierces the limitless expanse
and like the heavenly ball
it rolls along endlessly
above its angry ripples softly
the pristine wind whispers
fills the present with sweet peaceful fragrance
the sonorous sound of its flow
beats ceaselessly on the banks
its force gathers dead leaves and mud
on the bank
a lonely stone
rests boldly in defiance of solitude
and forsaken by time
almost forsaken by space
it seems suspended in
a void of mud and water
of forgetfulness
this ceaseless flow of the river
brings lost memories of forgotten times
when children innocently bathed
naked bodies in those clear, cold waters
when canoes slipped effortlessly by
on their continuous search for food and revelry
when mothers washed their suckling babes
villagers fetched the vitalising elements
of this overflowing river
and washerwomen purged their clothings of their muddied states
now the river is no river
it has disappeared
a black abyss of dirty space
supplants the beautiful and strong river
snares which trap the weary
unsuspecting beasts
wandering lazily
snares of beasts and men
this river
once the bounty giver
now dead and empty
lies dreadfully
its monumental mouth
ready to receive
a thing line of cold water
drips steadily from a high
steep rock
the river we once knew
the river we once feared
the river we once worshipped
is no more


Khasu, Kona. “Dead Days at the Waterside.” The Seeds of Time: A Collection of Poems. Mimeographed typescript. Monrovia, 1971. 35–36.

Editorial Changes

Line Typescript Changed to
8 fills the presence with sweet peacful frangrance fills the present with sweet peaceful fragrance

Weiterführende Informationen

The Liberian Literature Project

Project Editor: Martin Mühlheim

UZH English Department, Plattenstrasse 47, CH-8032 Zürich, Switzerland

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