Wednesday, May 27, 2009

hush that now

hush that now
for robert hayden
hoot-owl calling in the ghosted air,
five times calling to the hants in the air.
shadow of a face in the scary leaves,
shadow of a voice in the talking leaves…
from “runagate”
connected u were, immediately & intimately,
to a seductively lyrical mistress, some might
guess cerridwen but most probably it was isis
or iyami àjẹ given the fragrant scent of blood
in yr poems; poems well-wrought, carefully
conceived & painstakingly revised, poems
that moved me to tears, made my neck hairs
stand on end, sent shivers down my spine.
beaten to yr knees & almost exiled for a time
by critics, u never lost yr vision, never lost yr
clarion voice that oracle spoke, a ku jlople
from rocky, subterranean caves, an orunmila
advising thru’ ikin & opele ifa, to a larger
human culture. yr poems, like u, never
sacrificed themselves, have lives of their own
grown out of yr life, stripped of their
selfishness & connected to the supernatural,
that powerful runagate spirit force movering
thru’ swamp & savannah that mitigates the
machineries of history.

Joseph McNair; 2009

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