Wednesday, May 27, 2009

for henry dumas

for henry dumas
the hood of night is coming
up the river, down the river
the sky & night kiss between the wind
from “take this river”
those with greater gifts than
mine have extolled u, poet/
prophet, yr far-reach &
longsight, yr rhythmic
perceptors, yr sweeping range
& achingly sweet poetic
voice that tears into our
cultural viscera, reaches past
our shore-swimming shines
& signifying monkeys, past
our stagolees, sweet georgia
browns & erstwhile urban
legends, past the crass,
psychotropic atheism of the
infinitely inner city to touch
that something holy within
us, that something densely
african that resonates like the
spiritual forces placed within
the drum when it is made
sacred; that calls down the
òrìşàs & represents the
ultimate expression of god as
sound, as rhythm & as the
chief of trees planted by the
river of waters that talk &
makes us know roads we
haven’t seen before; that
speaks directly to our elastic
& elongated past.
i will not try to outdo them,
but merely make humble
ebo to one who has joined
the egungun, to one who
has touched me with his
song & offer nothing less
than my bittersweet poemfruit
& sing orikis to yr
spiritual lineage.

Joseph McNair; 2009

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