Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mother's Child #2

#2 of Maafa cycle

Mother’s child

Eyes caked shut
Eyes are met by newborn cries and warmth.
A corpse straddled by a nuzzling babe with a searching mouth,
Lies next to me.
Somewhere between the haze of tormented
Sleep and raucous waking hours, my neighbor gave up her child – laid
It gently on her chest and slipped into death.
Here in the mouth we are slowly chewed
This new young thing exists- now its life
Belongs to no one until his cries are heard
And here I have heard them.
He is mine – I reach my hand
Heavy with iron toward the child
He slips easily from the cold body
He is mine- this fresh skinned cherub.
He is mine – in this mouth we are chewed, prepared for digestion
He is mine – I have no milk
He wails – I am without. 
I can only hold – He wails – I cannot –
I will send him to the waves.

All rights reserved © 2009

Dance #3 of Maafa Cycle

#3 of Maafa cycle


Rocked in this tomb cradle, skin beneath me grows soft and marshy
Muscles tight stone from having been lain out straight and forced
Taught – soaking in human brine.
Eyes have grown used to the darkness – even still when the single cone of damask
Sunlight makes itself known
Light starved senses reach
With every fiber of being – here is hope. The Sun and Moon
Debemos ejercitelos
(we should exercise them)
I know the gods have not abandoned this world.
No han movido en un rato.
(they haven’t moved for a while)
Even though everything has spun loose.
El capitan necesita una cuenta
(the captain needs a count)
The light is still here.
Si nos libramos de algo del peso podemos estar en puerto más pronto.
(if we get rid of some of the weight, we can be in port sooner.)
My body is numb – but I focus my mind and live in the light.

One hand and then another –
White marble fingers split the weak column of light descending toward
The bowels – for a moment certain the
Hands belong to the ghost of my father
- They curl and twist as the hands
- Of a fisherman pulling in a great net
Deftly the lock is twisted –
a thud on the wood braces above
Us – could this be my moment of release? – a powerful spirit can wrest a soul from its body.
Consígalos hacia fuera en cubierta.
(get them out and on deck)
Haremos que bailen - Tienen gusto de bailar.
(we’ll have them dance – they like dancing.)

a tug
And then another
A shock of pain like silver spikes thrust through my thigh
-We are being moved.
Links of metal chain are heard
-they pull after them the living and the dead together
So that the living must bring the putrid remains of their neighbor into the light
My eyes tear from the shock of the light of day
They betray me before the fraud of
The white hands.
They belong to one of the
Thieves who have us purchased here. They are
Laughing, and punching, and yelling at the weaker ones among them.
They rip off the remainder of our clothing and
Two the size of boys run toward us with buckets of water – it is salt ocean water – it burns into rotting wounds on the flesh – and causes us to jump.
Parecen listos ahora para bailar
(they look ready to dance now)
One laughing red face pounds a crude rhythm
Meaningless –
He mimics the tamma – but says nothing.

¡Muévale los perros negros! ¡Movimiento!
(move you black dogs, move!)

a whip – this whip talks

¡mueva, al diablo negro!(move, black devil!)

big man yells, his face redder than the rest grows redder.
The whip licks the top of a man’s foot and his leg pulls back – jerks up
stumbles and attempts to balance – down, - move right
bumps, neighbor
the rest chained to him fall right.

Esso correcto. Enseñe a su amigo. Usted ennegrece al diablo.
(That’s right. Teach your friend. You black devil!)

The whip lands soundly on the back of a man
Screams rise from all on deck and they begin to shift and shuffle
The ones who fall – are pulled from the line and
Tossed over.

A woman – naked and holding rags – refusing to believe
Her child is a seal -
Kufa! chekundu mashetani! Kufa!)
She screams obscenities at the red faced devils
Ones who know scream as well –
Red faces rip the rags from her arms – across the deck slides the seal body of a once human child. One grabs a bucket and sea water
Chases the seal child to the ocean depths – a scream peals from the women’s soul – catches in the sails of the ship and lurches the boat forward
She follows her child. She takes wing and flings herself over – follows her long dead sealchild.

Perra loca (crazy bitch!)
Danza!Danza!(Dance!, Dance!)

The crude rhythm begins again – we know now, they want us to shuffle. They must keep the cargo alive – and yet they send the weakest among them forward to thin the herd.
As we move – some legs do not anymore
They are too tight
Flesh too split
Too marshy
Flesh too briny
to stay on the bone it peels from beneath
The metal cuffs.
Slowly they are relieved of their chains
The raw flesh and tendon come into view
He is pulled from the line.
She is pulled from the line.
I check my own.
They are scarred over.
Made leather.
And I can move –
I move, move, I move disjointed
And the rhythm and stumbling- but, I move
And the screams of the dying sing to this counter syncopated song.
- We are doing our death dance.

All rights reserved © 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Hear the peace of water melted against the heat of too warm body lying restful in the sun. And toasted even browner than the earth--surrounding body partially shaded by trees gently swaying overhead. Slowly tilting in reverence, more the wind than the human.
--Soft breezes across skin and the gentle scent of Apricot rises from flesh—covered misty and salt.
Arabesque, arabesque, arabesque – gathered dust swirls mindless indifferent the bird high aloft seeks shade or prey—forlorn –and without mate or nest.
Crystal glass of water, lemon-in with ice, casts fresh prism grown rainbows against newly oiled thighs—shift. Open. Shift. Restless. Hopeless.
Wondering, useless and the sea water gently laps against the shore, nature with clear pace pounds out the true rhythm.
--The body seeks reprieve from the passionate sun—rises toward water slips gently inside sea curling first around feet, legs, thighs, stomach, breasts—welcome tepid.

All Rights Reserved © 2009

To be cont’d . . .