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An Idyll of the Past

I am of Maroon extraction, dear My grandmother's grandfather fought Without surrender or tanant of fear And two times with Boukman caught And twice unlike him escaped To die in a rocky cliff, proudly brave While the freed slave escaped He held the pass alone unto his grave. But my grandmother, mixed his blood Gave me a half German grandfather, good! At evening when oral tongues tattle truth These stories were the pomegranate Juice that fed the worthiness of ragged youth. My father from aboriginal state Rose and span his flight from teacher To banker's clerk, and then to police Against the national disorder of labor Hankering for a new identity of peace. He found his, a veterinarian, at last But for his broken wing there was no cast To compensate, he dreamed of children Into whom all his resources were poured Rising to the top of government, send Them to colleges far away, they bored With the magic of his island never returned. And I, he died when I was fourteen Before he carved me from ash for his urn Dote on his past like a child unweened, While suckling from the simplicity of mother Whose clothes on the line reeked of heather. O but mother too, was only half of Africa And yet despite the latent Spanish in her I am your ebon tree, your chocolate or sepia And when I dream there in the unblur Stands my ancient, my vast begining, pride Like a Serengeti from Ashanti to Zulu lure O this child has many kings in his inside And yet no kingdom did I claim but the bush That surrounds my Canterbury with its hush And the braod pastures on Knoxwood's plain O to reign there in childhood still Running in and out with swallows in the rain To eat the pulp of fruit from every hill That balmed me I was bruised. Too harsh Were schools for the vision in my skin My teachers were lilacs, things in the marsh My student eyes eclipsed by the fins, things Still bright, or a sudden gasp of wings.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2009




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Date: 5/14/2009 7:51:00 AM
Simply marvelous my friend! '...tongues tattle truth,' '...the worthiness of ragged yout,' '...for his broken wing there was no cast,' ...outstanding phrasing! Superb imagery, rhyming and cadence, and richly descriptive language... Well done!! Best wishes, Keith
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Date: 3/21/2009 6:50:00 PM
Very interesting reflections on your history, Shango. Your writing talent is well displayed here!
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Date: 3/20/2009 9:45:00 AM
Brilliant imagry L'nass,one for my favourites I think.Thanks for your kind words.Rgds Brian & have a good weekend The word is German for experience,so roughly translates to the English in poetic terms.
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Date: 3/20/2009 5:36:00 AM
This is wonderful and deep, truly one of the best I have read. You paint wonderful pictures with your words and the sincerity is strong and beautiful. Loved this. Love, Amy
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Date: 3/19/2009 4:49:00 AM
it is such a pleasure reading your poems! your prespective... is unique and wonderful! ~ Arany
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Date: 3/18/2009 3:46:00 PM
There are no words that would do this justice, L'nass. only light. light. that last verse...my teachers were lilacs...me too my brother, me too, and all there is to see that breathes, is born. God bless them every one and all they tell me. amazing!!! Love, Kristin P.S-that first line...i have hundreds and hundreds of poems, but deleted most of them here last month to to publishing stuff...but one was called, on being maroon and it reminds me of this one. :)
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