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

African Communion

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

African Communion

Article excerpt

On the altar

memories bejewel my history,

some bright dreamscapes,

the defiant brilliance of my early creation -

not only the monumental wonders,

blocked huts to vanity's kings,

obelisks piercing redolent skies;

memories of round circles

where griots sifted history

before books stole remembrance.

memories of the gathered family

huddled, protecting

generations of treasures

woven into timeno

rituals recall their magnificence

purity's simple majesty.

the movement of my feet

sings in the movement of my hips

the drum rises from my stomach

to my signifying ear

speaking colors of words

with new vocabularies

borrowed from my distant memory

mixed with my cadence

an echoing symphony of my old self in my new self.

my memories dare to talk to God

like a familiar house guest.

I wear dark jewels, too -

screaming depths of bone and blood

where my children dance voudon

drowning the people snatchers

who uprooted me.

the altar is made of strange wood,

broken branches

tossed about the white currents,

reaching through the treacherous terror

of separation;

bearing hybrid fruit in hard earth,

invoking again the sap of creation

in dark city neighborhoods

off dusky country roads. …

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