call me black gold or handsome devil
CALL ME THE BLACK GOLD OR THE HANDSOME DEVIL
How did you find me, my undeterred and awesomely daring love?
When I flew away into time years ago like a dove.
And you sat upon the cold rocks of a lonely seashore
Waiting to know what would become of my jaw.
I silently watched as you searched the nooks and crannies to find me.
In my authority I would have stayed ,
But in destiny’s hands this wish delayed.
The earth continued to swallow me into its belly,
Until I was finally turned into the black jelly.
Never thought I’d be so important,
That is why I kept so dormant.
It is not that I don’t know my worth,
But that you know it better than the rest.
I knew my back was covered when the sea took me in.
And I thought never again our eyes would be.
But you defied the dangers of the deep blue sea.
And wended your way to this place to see my face.
I have seen the sea swallow gigantic ships.
I have seen the piercing storm of the sea whip the mighty,
And the daunting teeth of the sharks slay the lousy.
But you defied all the odds and came through thick and thin for me.
You jumped the hostile roars of the tides to rescue me.
This time it is not because you love me.
But because you need me,
You cannot do without me,
That is why you’ve come for me.
But my form has changed now,
And I am very unpredictable
I was worth less the price of a barrel of water,
Ere I made Rockefeller the wealthiest.
But I can be as evil as Loki, ask the dumbest.
Call me the handsome devil,
I would be your mystery to unravel.
Now that you’ve found me, take good care of me.
Don’t hasten to join the oil party, because things can go nasty.
Ask the Netherlands how I infested the Orange with the Dutch disease.
Ask Angola how Cabinda wonders her body has been torn asunder after my rupture.
And Congo follows not long ago with sorrow as her economy hollows, though I’m better.
I have become the blood of your life.
I give power. I give wealth.
What more do you desire? Let me enquire.
You will do everything to get me.
See how the East Asian Tigers are doing well
Yet they search ingratiatingly for me.
Your world is in my hands
I am your beginning and your end.
I am your life, and you are nothing without me.
See the wars fought over me;
The gulf war, the two world wars find their roots in me.
I am the problem of the world today, and the solution the same way.
But don’t paint me all gloomy,
Sometimes I get seriously moody, ask the Himalayas.
I turned the peasant fisher folks of the Emirates into rich men,
Who can now boast of the Burj Khalifa and artificial palm islands. Whoever thought?
The US wields so much power and influence because I gave her.
Canada, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Libya acquired their wealth from me
Qatar and Brunei as though minnows are making the moolah.
Finding me is such a fortunate mistake,
But leaving me would be an unpardonable disservice.
Don’t be overjoyed into a hefty pandemonium now that you’ve found me.
Celebrate me with cautious optimism,
For I can be the crock of gold you find at the end of the rainbow,
Or the handsome devil you see at the back of your window.
Duodu Kwame Tweneboah
Copyright © Duodu Kwame Tweneboah