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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, 
unforgetting,
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, 
rising,
rising,
a slow exodus up into the dusty fronds above, 
hung with the fruits 
of a tender mantra as, 
ever,
the spirit of Marley 
sings.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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Date: 5/15/2019 11:19:00 PM
I love Marley; he could really write a song; nothing like him! So mellow and cool,and spot-on. Thank you on behalf of Bob and his family and his fan, me.
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Bernard Chan
Date: 5/16/2019 12:50:00 AM
Marley fan here too. Yup, nobody can make angst sound as good as he did. Thanks a lot, Caren! :)