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Eternal Soul

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I sprang forth from the

Intricate merging of human souls

My story has been told before

Right under the withered baobab tree

The crackling raspy voice of

The grandmother griot

Whipping the attendants of the night to a standstill

 

My song has been sang before

In times when warriors spread their big black hands

Pressing favours from the velvety concreteness

Of my heart

And the dancers curved their delicate bottoms

In the direction of my favourite delicacies

Brought to placate the silent anger

That makes the frightening thunder

An ally

 

Then again

The umbilical cord that binds me to my mother

Tells the prologue of a new chapter

Tells me the loud miseries

Of this time where eyes

Cannot see the beauty

Of a sun called to rest

And noses fail to smell

The rushing springs that beckons

The spirit to Mother Nature’s cave

 

Ears no longer hear the secrets

Of the trembling tree trunks

On the dark nights when the owl

Sits on top its branches

And hands no longer feel the soothing

Messages of the soil so close

To the heart of the earth

I hear the wailing of the weeping moon.

Even this fluorescent orb

Cannot comprehend the workings

Of this strange people

 

Today

Humbled by the apparel

That graces my slender frame

Misunderstood by the loud voices

Of repression

Misinterpreted by the wisdom

Of these blind ones

My voice failing now

Must rise again and shout

In the face of ignorance

Born great before

I must achieve greatness now

 

Made by the powerful hands

That eyes cannot see

This mind covered by the deceitful

Softness of a woman’s body

Seeks a willing and listening audience

I am a voice that must be heard

A name that must remain

 

And if tomorrow

This chapter closes

This eternal soul will live again

Through the mystery of the eternal man

 

 Taken from ‘Inside My Head

Winner of the 2012 ANA Poetry Prize

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