He danced the Mapiko while stary-eyed
women looked on in fear
walking the dusty streets
searching for a cuandeiros
the dengue fever pitched
to the blazing ball of sun
he rested his body while his mind wandered........
a simple thought--------- what is the first thing
behind the blue-green backdrop
of diamond-filled mountains
while children wondered of their futures
now that Maputo rules the land.
There was a time when Country was another word
they lived and breathed it
Their laws pertaining to the
earth and survival
their closest fence the tribal
boundaries of Sena and Makua
who's calls could be heard beyond the Mount
their poetry was in the day
written in the gaze
behind their eyes
their songs sung for truth not perfection.
He sat mesmerized absorbing the culture
understanding himself for the first time
by measuring his differences to those
now welcoming him into their womb.
They feel the need to build cities....................
Where universities will teach them
to be followers.
Where obtained knowledge
will lead them to conclusions
They will learn of classic poetry
but, in forgetting the dance of their fathers
they will kill their greatest poem.
He trades twenty dollars
for three days in a makeshift clinic
thinking about this place
Where the Cokwe
speak better Portuguese
than the Manyika
Where the Makua
joined hands and
became the majority
Where the poets walk the streets
carrying the truth of their ancestors
in ryhmed steps behind black eyes
They may not yet know of Homer
But they know of poems
that pulse their veins
sliding down the Limpopo
headed for the hash runners