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

Songs from across the Ocean Divide

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

Songs from across the Ocean Divide

Article excerpt

1

There

you watch African Magic

an hourly addiction for many

or Super Story

on Thursday nights with light

here

I am racked in fantasies

of the interdependence of men and women

and the complementarity of light and dark

a human narrative

and when you switch channels

to Chelsea or Real Madrid

scoring fabulous goals

with hat tricks

I will still be staring at your photo

an untiring sport

waiting for you medicine-woman

to turn here your magical attention.

2

Over here, it's neither dream nor vision

the sort in which the sokugo possesses you

to be a wanderer on an unending road

nor the sort in which the more water you throw

at the fire-engulfed the more irate the flames;

no, it's not launching into a compulsive storm

that the rest of the world sees as a suicidal venture

but to you proffers only solace rather than peril.

It's not the warring waves into which the swimmer

hurls himself to be helplessly lost in cosmic rage;

what transpires here is neither dream nor vision

of a fantasy that belies life as one knows it

in which in protest for denial of one's desire

one takes the inevitable path to self-immolation-

either all or nothing; supreme peace or total war. …

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