Bareface Pickney Excerpts >>

When I write a poem

When I write a poem
I breathe the sour smell of the day
and taste the trials of the day.
I feel the ferocity of unchecked anger
and see the relentless stress
of the seedlings of disaster
take root in a wasted world
where no one seems to care
about tomorrow.

When I write a poem
I lose all sense of time and play
for with a world a blink away
I float above the reality of what is
and what could be
and write a poem about what
encompasses the true reality of me.
For when I write a poem,
I write about me.

I am the Djembe

Nothing can erase or replace
the unrestricted freedom
of me throwing back my head with eyes closed,
arms outstretched, palms receiving what the rain brings

as woollen plaits saturated with life
pull the skin of my face to the desired pitch.
While my neck - the base of the African drum
proudly balances my head.

I am the djembe
on which the mallets of rain
beat a rhythmical tone
too resounding to be ignored!

I am the djembe!
I am drum, dance and song.
And in the rain I prance barefooted
through puddles brown with what earth has become.

The world in which I stand
in which I wade among leaves and branches afloat
has become my playground

And while the rain bathes me with a freedom
that the organized world has curtailed,
my shaft becomes responsive
to what the mallet on my head has to say

And I am conscious only of the rhythm.
The pitch is perfect,
the tone speaks to my very soul
and I am soaked to the bone for the music has start

I am a demigod today!
And at this moment
when I hear all that the djembe has to say
I feel like I am experiencing a spiritual foreplay.

I am wrapped in the arms of nature's song
I relax, I have nothing more to say
for I know that it is the right moment
to give in to uninhibited ways.

For one more time I throw my head to the sky
My plaits pulling like nylon strings.
I close my eyes,
Feeling only the beat of the rain's fingers on my head

And as the rhythm travels down to my base
and as the music encompasses my being
I release all that I have within,
For I am the djembe!
The African drum, is me!

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