Thursday, April 05, 2012

Poem 3 of 30 - April 2012


In the very still of night when folks are asleep

And the devil’s angels fight making spirits weep

I’ll be in the cemetery with horns on my head

I save a cross and two big pony invoking the dead…

Mighty Sparrow – Witch Doctor

This is the moment the boy has been waiting

for. This, the canopy of night black enough

for everything he’s ever wanted to say. This,

the corner, the crossroads where the magic

is right, where the voices are loudest. He calls

on the clairvoyance of women. He calls

to their skins and the wellish laughter

of their throats. He calls to the duppy

in him that unnames his own will

when it rises up to meet them. He begs

for a potion, a spell, extra time, whatever

it takes to unlock the genie in his bones.

All he wants to know is why all his roads

have turned into rivers. Why all his spirits

have begun speaking in different unrecognizable

tongues. It’s not that he’s complaining

but there was a time where everywhere

the ghosts spoke in pianos. They spoke

waist music. They spoke in a pore-stippling

staccato. And now this. All this river road

and him without a way to know if to cross

or be carried downstream.

So he consults the night. It’s worked

before. He can’t sleep anyway.

The night is where the answers

used to come. So many portents –

pigeons wheeling and turning –

an old calypsonian walking the streets

with a trophy in his hand – Frida

Kahlo laughing in his living room –

a douen of a woman stealing

his spirit in a foreign city –

all when the day is just black

enough to begin the song towards

blue. He knows enough now

to show up at this corner

in his shiniest black skin

and wait for some word.

It always comes – a talking drum,

a child, a dream in which

an animal sings

the most mournful

ballads – and nearby


To schedule a reading or an appearance please contact Ofer Ziv at Blue Flower Arts at 845-677-8559 or email


Post a Comment

<< Home