Tuesday, July 21, 2009

yemọja (34)


the steps came easily,
naturally. how easy this dance, how eloquent the drums, how comforting the rhythm –
gege of the seven strokes –
a cool & undulant rippling of rhythmic waves, so like the sea, so deceptively pleasant ‘round the place where u wade or bathe, but treacherous ‘neath the surface, dragging u down down down.
yemọja gives with one hand
but takes with the other
one with those rhythms the woman sinks down into their blue-green mystery. into successive, changing symmetries of fish swirling in multicolored schools, into vertiginous bits of coral & sea shells & kelp, planckton & ocean stones surrounding her, protecting her, loving her.
the goddess comes
revealing herself –
half woman,
half fish, taking her hand,
drawing her down into the
deepest of depths
into a timeless realm
where all human acts play
themselves again & again
without ceasing
yemọja gives with one hand
but takes with the other
attached is she to memories; pleasant & painful, always in her mind. she forever reminisces, looks back into the past & remembers distant things: distant things still close to her. the goddess takes her head makes her dance; makes her face a deep dark shame, an every woman’s fear & shame, replete with conflict rising from her separateness, from desires & strivings for separate love.
random rape, real &
imagined; indifferent
battering; physical &
emotional; incest in word
& deed; neurotic self-undoing,
purging &
concealed larceny &
autistic detachment –
acting with convincing
politeness; abrading a
young girl’s soul..
makes her look at her secrets, her loss of innocence again & yet again, until she can bear to look no more,
yemọja gives with one hand
but takes with the other
until the dead space in her spirit begins to stir. giving way to a murderous rage, which subsides into caustic anger. the goddess does not relent, but takes her back to that place again & yet again until anger gives way to resentment; gives way to boredom & she grows tired of seeing the same old scenes.
“look until u see something new
& interesting,” yemọja demands,
taking her back to look again. the steps come easily, now. how easy this dance, how eloquent these drums, how comforting this rhythm –
this gege of the seven strokes –
the epiphanic laughter announcing – like green trees bending announce the storm – the abrupt, invisible/electric mediating force of yemọja, a healing hilarity reducing the prurient discharge of spirit decanted from a woman’s open psychic sores to pure élan vital, transmuted by the power of forgiveness.

©Joseph McNair;2009


  1. R u omo Yemoja. I am. I like the two poems you did for her. aboru aboye

  2. Oba si se. I am omo Obatala. Thank you

  3. Ire Alaafia......Ase O Iyawo Obatala O!!