In Thanksgiving - for ethno workers

Written by: David Smalling

Thank you, for excavating from dead tongue
Under midden of lies
The archive of our own history
The outlines of identity
So we under obscurity white sheet
Could find resurrection of self
In another voice oppressed
But unconceding of its comeliness.

Before I grew old I was only school
Afraid to be nobody unless I conformed
To class, and status and creed.
I could not see then how I consented
To condone the designation of a weed.
Before I was old
I did not even know weeds were revolutionaries
Resisting the pharmacopia of gods
And heal me in the old ways again.

Let this vernacular, this dialect
From in between the interspaces of existence
Reworking the problem of my preservation,
Let it flowers like weed
Gushing from unexpected places after rain.
Thanking you for understanding how to spade
With it the introspection of itself
Match with veins, leaves and flowers
The pattern of remain alive.
The tongue is archive of the soul, and language
The repository of all the culture holds.

Sure, folk songs are sweets, but our stories are more
Than words. Babel has no meaning
If it confused only words to flock in nearer trees.
Something deeper there was lost
Perhaps the lens by which we tell who we are
The frightening part of God,
The vision that must be consumed in hell
The staircase that if we trod
Would tear the scream of worlds from us
Making a new dilemma out of dust.
I sing not for Babel heights but the rights
To flock the founding tree of truth.

Thank you, for permitting me to speak again
To taste the lilt and roll of visceral sounds
Wearing glottis masks and labial screens
Spreading the germ of belief
And the sanctity of self in an ubiquitous air.
Folk people, balmyard man, healer
Kuminah giver, obeah veteran
Abeng blower, anancy teller, long spoon cook
Your anthropology will be the first page
Of my exumed biography, my life given back
Like raft to me. I am going to dig the moon.