Under The Dreadlocked Trees
His hair is alive,
serpents writhing, a man Medusa of the tropics,
as if he wore the demons
of colonialism and injustice on his head,
a dung-brown-and-black hologram of
the ganja-fueled reveries inside,
the broken record of fight and redemption in his ears
masked by an ancient face, all taut leather,
placid with a sheen of absorbed light.
Bloodshot eyes, not insomniac,
but from the weight of things that, once seen,
cannot be unseen,
scleras color-coding history,
the blood of dead slaves on white.
Yet the heat-chilled island calls a daily truce.
In the shade of the commodious palm tree,
the bleach of sun cordoned by a shower of shadows,
even the gluttony of Babylon
and the promise of Zion can share a siesta.
Looking out to the silvering sea beyond the beach,
exchanging a patois-scented greeting
with two passing brethren whose hair hang like roots,
he puts fire to a fat, white-jacketed spliff,
herb smoke curling up,
a slow exodus up into the dusty fronds above,
hung with the fruits
of a tender mantra as,
the spirit of Marley
Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2019