African Poetry: Believe Me Not

Believe Me Not

Believe me not

Studying our cultural dance

A blissful excitement when we had the chance

With our old ball which we did patch

Even with our little touch

Holding clothes which never match

We appreciated what we had

Not envying people’s past

For we knew we had travelled from afar

Believe me not

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Believe me not

Slaves we are

Taking knowledge from the aged

In the midst of torments and boldness

Reciting their story as predators

Walking and hustling on the street

To fight monsters and sometimes lawbreakers

Just to get something to the hungry soldiers

Believe me not

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Believe me not

I have a story to tell

A slogan to sell

But rumours and gossip make it tall

Thinking that will let me fall

Like a toddler that sweeps the floor as it crawls

Not knowing the journey to adulthood was short

Believe me not

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Believe me not

As I carry wisdom and thoughts

Passing through a valley of deadly rocks

With fearful roars

Sometimes going with hops when I was knocked

And finally but gradually I came to the shore

To persuade monks

With rhythms of dangerous songs

As we untie the knot

Believe me not

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Believe me not

Grazing the land as flocks

Sometimes our skin gets rot

Being shy of our odds

Society becomes shocked with our struggle

Thinking we are too young

And also because we never gave up when we fell.

With our last breath, we pushed on

Surviving hunger with the last gourd

With our wounds we never mourned

Because we had a healing God

Who always comes to our door anytime we call

Believe me not

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Commentary On Believe Me Not

The poem ‘Believe me not’ depicts the daily struggles people have to undergo just to succeed in life. The struggle involves dreaming good dreams, attempting to achieve the dream, falling sometimes or achieving out rightly. All that makes life worth living; all that makes one get a story to share about how the past used to bleak.

The poem touches on a number of lessons knitted carefully in the poem

The God factor

“Because we had a healing God

Who always comes to our door anytime we call”

The poet connects with the darkest scenes in his life where God make a way. Like a phone’s battery, many people are pass through this life disconnected from their source of energy, power, ideas and revitalization.



“And finally but gradually I came to the shore”


Gratitude and Contentment

“We appreciated what we had

Not envying people’s past”


Summary: And the poet eulogises the struggles in life, people’s negative expectations and how all of that translated into landing at the ‘shore’ place of rest. People would be in amazement when you are able to get there and that’s where you get a story to tell.

Don’t give up.


A Believe Poem By Mohammed Nkansah Barnes 


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