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In Me Grows an African Sea

by Curt Allday

There has always been this

love blossoming in the center
of a chest, left barren at
the beginning

built upon

and built upon

by movements


by rights


by fights

living in moments with you there
in the corner of that small hut

in the masai mara

the father of

the father of

the father

above

all that has come to be
was all I could see
through bloodshot eyes
through the brush
through that hidden heart of darkness
exposing our guns, our fright
a slow moving pendulum
perpetuating their plight
through our oil refineries
through our Jim Crow Laws
and the Tuskegee
emerging signs in me

were in the
pluck and tuck
of his guitar pick

but

as their smooth black skin
shuttled and swayed
over the soft, clay earth
i was immersed in their sounds
their voices
the love of all being
coming through
the bump of their bass
as my eyes lifted up in the african sky and all the whys
became dives into ocean skies
and
sighs from a
people
let
down
by
the promise of tomorrow
it seemed to them
a bribe
for a better future

but the suture will not come in big words and
no action
but by the deep meaning of togetherness
like
babe i look
deep and seep
in your diversity
and i see why love
was provided,
it was
to guide us

to the promised land
where our daughters and sons
can play as one unified cell
a bell resounding
and swaying as those Kenyans
did as they whispered into

my soul

“Let

there

be

Life”

and i picked up my feet

and i moved

i moved to this beat

living my life
beat to beat
street to street

as one

one

05/17/2006

Author's Note: I'd like to address the criticism below, bc I think, 1)it is way off base 2) I need to clarify what this poem means to me, bc it is very special in my collection. I wrote this for an African celebration at my university, and I was trying to show WHY I love this continent and why it changed my life for the better. So this person says, "it is overly didatic" and parts of it are off topic? Not so. This poem is discussing my trip to Africa as a white American visiting an area of the world where my very country helped enslave and oppress these African peoples for at least a hundred years or more. When I was there, this was in mind, I saw a progression from chains to the civil rights movement, and the obstacles AFRICAN americans faced. Whether or not it occurred on said actual continent is not the freaking point, it's some technicality that will lead you astray from understanding it. The point is that this whole thing is a continuum, the effects of African nations as being part of Earth essentially makes it relevant in the scope of all politics here or far away. That is why I cite these policies and injusticies as it pertains to my trip in Africa. This is not some linear, literal progression of ideas, but what that one moment in the little small hut in Kenya taught me about people, about culture, about music, about life. So to so casually (with probably one reading) cast my ideas as out of place and trite, well that made me present this statement to those reading. I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it and experiencing it.

Posted on 05/17/2006
Copyright © 2022 Curt Allday

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