Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Torrent Called Katrina

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Torrent Called Katrina

Article excerpt

Sometimes this world seems a supine staircase of inevitable trials

as limitless and unfathomed as those torrents called Katrina were once

all consuming and devoid of affirming geysers; fluidly serene muse

and the long liquid play of copious reward

The rains came without filling wishes or bowls

or the belly of this extravagantly dark earth

They reached for dry/ for light/ and their hands wrinkled like chittlins

in the sour vinegar of flood/ in an unauthorized baptism

pronounced by a people's hastened mortality/commandeered by ravines of flesh

running to underworlds/The floating of dark bodies like rancid debris

like human rafts of desecration in profaned lagoons/So drifted my sister

over there my son/my lover/ my brother

my daughter/ my neighbour/my kind

Assemblies of inflatable lungs/choked out of recognizable life/a rebel's

reticence to ceasing/ as they cried out to canoes of mercy/rowed through canals

of men with guns/as they cried out to the helicopters/ hovering ominously

above their beloved communities/as they cried out save my grandmother

my uncle/my auntie/ my babies/The repressors of their very movement

they implored to find a human ringer/in the biliously murderous waters

and even further appeals/ to secret emissaries authoring this snivelling siege

of decriminalized killing/they resigned also to cry mercy

Displaced and secreted away sub rosa/ to encampments of unspeakable agendas

Spirits upon high burst into conflagrated chorales/ the global conscience spins

in mass ascensions of unfettered souls/ pin pricks of moans like slave violins

distilled through the marrow of illumined rebirth/ and fated continuums


Believe some when they say/the rains will fall and they shall come the rivers

Believe others still of earth-song/breath and human composition

that in the time of the living/we will have known

the remains of gutless tyrants/in the pyres of rejuvenated rainbows

and mellifluous vamp of critical resistance

in the aromatic flow of our unwavering revolution

we will only recall their polluted stench/ . …

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