Poetry Critiques : seaside stories

Discussion in 'Black Poetry - Get Your Flow On!' started by carsonh, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. carsonh

    carsonh Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    where my ancestors were killed
    i am sadened
    where my ancestors died
    i am enlightened
    where my ancestors lie
    i am empowered
    and to explain my mission
    this is about my ancestors,
    abused and martyred
    now at rest in the atlantic ocean.

    In the breaking waves I hear whispers,
    whispers of my ancestors.

    When I listen they tell me stories.
    Stories of kings and heroes,
    empires and Gods.
    Stories of Kemet and Kush
    and ancient Ethiopia.
    They tell me stories of the guerrilla warrior queen,
    Nzinga of Angola,
    on the battle front well past sixty,
    taking no subordination from the Portuguese army.

    They tell child’s tales of Anansi
    in rhythmic voice over congo, bongo and djembe
    'bum ba ta tum tum bum ba ta tum tum'
    and I can almost feel the crackling, flickering fire
    that illuminates the griots face
    as he tells his tales with rhythmic pace.
    'bum ba ta tum tum bum ba ta tum tum'
    and though perched on a shore of the Caribbean sea
    Afrika is a part of me,
    deeply, consciously,
    spiritually, eternally.


    Morbid though it be,
    it holds a certain comfort for me
    knowing that I am never alone by the Atlantic sea.

    The rhythm of the breaking waves
    beat like talking drum and djembe,
    awaking that ancient future
    deep within my recessed Afrikan memory
    and set ablaze my conscience like a raging bush fire.

    Whispers turn to screams,
    the ancestors cry out,
    Afrika cries out,
    her children stolen
    her womb left barren

    Stolen in the night.
    Stolen in the fight.
    Stolen by rivals,
    stolen by brothers
    working under white man’s orders
    themselves trying not to be taken
    not to be stolen.
    Hands bound behind our backs
    connected in a human train
    by ropes around our necks
    physically bruised and pride in pain.
    There is no hope for return
    pass the point of no return,*
    scarcely fed, beaten and tossed around
    that is the treatment in a slave fort
    while stored in darkness underground.
    we tried to resist
    by fight and by song
    but more torture would come to keep us down
    but storage in slave forts would not last long.

    We were taken through the back door
    and persuaded to shore
    by guns and whips
    to be crammed and packed into slave ships.
    Shackles on our feet,
    stored shoulder to shoulder to shoulder.
    Urine and faeces around us as we sleep,
    people got sick then sicker and sicker.
    They took us topside for an hour each week
    but we got no better, no better, no better.
    The sick got worse, the life force got weak,
    so we became few then fewer and fewer.

    Some of us scared and some of us brave,
    took our bodies, shackled and chained,
    and jumped overboard among the swells and the waves
    to die a martyr at sea
    but to never live a slave.

    in the breaking waves i hear whispers
    whispers of my ancestors
    "look for me"
    "remember me"
    "respect me"
    ("we are the brave who jumped to the deep.
    we are the souls of the weak who died on board and were tossed to Davie's Keep.
    we were martyrs and examples and now you will see,
    why we are your comfort, your power, your spirit by the sea.")

    Now some of you may think it is in my head
    because you do not know about spiritual continuity.
    To you my ancestors are dead,
    but oh no, there is more,
    my ancestors are stored in me,
    ancestral knowledge and power make up my core,
    it flows through my blood
    and as if carved and honed, it is written across my bone
    and when the waves break my ears become a Rosetta stone
    translating what was hidden and internal,
    into language - silently audible,
    tuning me into knowledge ancestral,
    spiritual power eternal.
    Selah.




    *point of no return is a reference to the front doors of the slave forts along the West Afrikan coast, pass which there was literally no return for captured Afrikans. Once in the fort Afrikans would be stored underground until they were to be transported to the Americas and Europe at which point they would be carried through the back door and loaded on to the slave and merchant vessels.
     
  2. watzinaname

    watzinaname Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I was so engrossed in this read. Through your words you take us back to that journey, and to the voices that still speak to us to this day. So well posed, powerful piece.
     
  3. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    great write and deep with depth ...nice going poet
     
  4. carsonh

    carsonh Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    thanks family..i do not know why but im feel dissatisfied with it...like it could be written better..more effectively.
     
  5. PLATINUMILLITY1

    PLATINUMILLITY1 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It was a WONDERFUL READ!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I mean it was great!
    Although I think that I see what you mean, and it is possible that if you broke it up just a bit more that you may get what you are looking for but regardless bro...
    It is POWERFUL and a scribe of life
     
  6. carsonh

    carsonh Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes family just made a few changes to the piece, feel free to re-read it now or read for the first time if you havent yet read it, and the comments/critques are welcomed and wanted.
     
  7. asimplepoet

    asimplepoet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Wow this was really well witten and I can feel all the emotion of this exquiste write
     
  8. HSF Moe

    HSF Moe Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    a powerful epic indeed! well done! :terrific:

    i'd love to read more!
     
  9. Antwan

    Antwan Member MEMBER

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    Excellent. An amazing picture painted with words. Thank you.
     
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