Africa Africa, Poetry and Love African Music night poems

Night Poem: The Messenger and His Gong

Kokookoroko kokorokoro
A greeting calls from afar,
Children ran out excited
As if the message was for them
But then, who knows?
Heads up, let’s listen

Kumkum korookom
Another beat rings out
Pushing the mild hit
Into the ears of the heaviest village sleeper
‘Oh how cute, it is the King’s messenger’
‘A tall and fine one for that matter’
A group of young women chatter

The morning of a market day
Even before the sun sets on a journey
The gong may go before the man
A metal gong tells the whole clan
The new tidings of the hamlet
The days not to visit the rivulet
The day to farm the deep forest
And when service the king request
It tells of boxing day, vengeful day,
Of the long brooms stalked away
Up the roof barns where fish is smoked
And men who show teeth tobacco soiled

When the messenger arrives
Mama will whisper to bright little ones;
‘Listen attentively, listen with your ears
They might have a message for you or you
From the king or the brave hunters
Come from across the seven hills
And seven rivers of Far Away Land
So you must listen, and attentively
There is wisdom in every muttering’

Then each time it all comes to me
Even now I on my face keep beards
I still listen when all is very quiet
To hear the gong go Krooko kom kom!

Commentary: The town crier circulates messages to the villagers. He is an important personality and is well respected.

Korokoom: As in the sound of the gong.


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