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8 | 11 |16

by marilyn sanful



A palette of living commotion--

scattered splotches of




Loud fervent negotiations amidst

intricate fabrics interwoven

by tired, calloused hands.


Whiffing through the thick

humidity, smells of alluring stews

and the sweat of proud work

on the brows of vendors.


This is the marketplace.


Living and breathing with life,

vibrant in its entirety and

complex in the slurry of activity.


To my right--


Metal towers of pots stacked up,

mirroring the intentment of the sun.

Shiny, new, they call out

to be taken home for use.


To my left--


An endless sea of handcrafted

beads and a stout widely

grinning man who has his grips

overflowing in a cascade

of rainbow bead bunches on string.


This is the marketplace.


Alive in the noise

and prudent spirit

of the customers seeking

a variety of reasons

for preparations.


As I swiftly move through

the crowd, children's squeals ring

in my ear and turning towards them

I see a puff of an ebony

cotton candy head being tightly braided into submission

from its wild rebellion.


In front of me a momma with a

stack of fabric cloth on her head,

one hand palming her child's

grip and the other holding a

basket of plantains. I watch

in awe as she gracefully scolds

the child and balances her load.


This is the marketplace.

I feel I am home

in my Ghana,

my Accra.


I've never been.


Nevertheless, my imagination

paints a vivid picture of an experience

I've only had through


I am mom who moonlights as an amateur writer.


Occasionally, my husband and I escape from our children and dive into the diverse culture found in Milwaukee.  Whether it's a night at the symphony, enjoying an eclectic meal, or admiring the visual delicacies of a local artist's pieces, we are there experiencing it.


Francis Annan at the Intercontinental Hotel. Immediately, I was moved with inspiration and emotion by Gallery MThis past week we stumbled upon Affotey's exhibition.  Is it possible to be instantaneously transported to a land you've never been simply by viewing artwork?  Yes.  Affotey's use of color technique and subject matter speaks volumes about his native country of Ghana and displays a celebration of life in poses of children, women, nature, music, and landscape.  My heart was inspired by the vacation his paintings took me on.  


A few in particular spoke to me and as he described his inspiration for these pieces, my mind went there.  Head porters are common in marketplaces.  They sit watching and waiting for customers who need help to take their groceries home.  In one painting, a child sits in a pot waiting for her next customer, in another a woman braids a girl's hair, and in another is a trio of shapely women carrying pots on their heads.  There are so many more special ones and my explanation won't do them justice, so I'll leave you with the words they impressed on my heart.

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