I dream I saw an eye, a pretty eye,
In your hands,
Glittering, wet and sickening
Like a dull onyx set in a crown of thorns.
I did not know you were dead
When you dropped it in my lap.
When horrors of human sacrifice
Have you seen, executioner?
What agonies of tortured men
Who sat through nights of pain
Tongue-tied by the wicked sappor,
Gazing at you with hit imploring eyes?
These white lilies tossed their little head then
In the moon-steeped ponds;
There was bouncing gaiety in the crisp chirping of the cricket in the underground,
And as the surf-board splintered the waves
I saw the rainbow in your eyes
And as the flash of your teeth.
As each crystal shone,
I saw sitting hand in hand with melancholy
A little sunny child
Playing at marbles with husks of fallen stars;
Horrors were your flowers then;
The blood-bright bougainvilleas,
They delighted you.
Why do you now weep
And offer me this little gift
Of a dull onyx set in a crown of thorns?
The executioner’s dream was written by Kwesi Brew. This poem effectively captures the dark side of human sacrifice, using the traditional African example as means of making a universal statement.