for the ruins of mali
for the remnants of amina’s walls
for the resistance of the vanguard
who never die, and always multiply
for that struggle that was thrust into the face
of every new-born noble
for growing up a seedling between the world and me
for the falconers who have never heard the falcon
for the centre that has never held
for the family crest that is not cotton, that is
instead iron, for iron teeth
for iron souls, housing iron wills
for skeletons propping muscular bodies, fortified
for the cadres and the comrades, the flesh
that passed through cape coast
for that flesh too luminescent too honourable to remain
for our long long antennae, for the
promise of summer,
for keeping my eyes glassy and
for me east facing a blood orange sun
for waiting on that first fist
from beneath my feet
Soukeyna Osei-Bonsu is an African writer and poet born in Bordeaux, France and based in London, UK. A SOAS Anthropology and International Relations graduate, her work explores African belonging and identity as well as Tasawwuf / the spiritual dimension of Islam. Soukeyna is involved in Black activism and runs several projects for the Black community in North London. She is co-founder and EIC of MZAB magazine, a quarterly online publication which explores adventure, culture and spirituality, and in her spare time has a keen interest in global healing practices, ritual and film production.
This is a book which excavates identity and self-knowledge, a journey from the spiritual realm which also attempts to stitch whole the frayed fibres of diasporic belonging. The areas explored range from Africa to spiritual awakening taking the reader on a journey to self.
Soukeyna Osei-Bonsu's verse evokes the beauty of the earthly and spiritual realms of human experience, navigating a poetic course from London to Ghana through themes of belonging and faith.
Her poems dance at the intersection between the mundane and the sacred, weaving the everyday through with perceptions of the eternal, the ancient and the evanescent.