A Poet's Poem

by Mwatabu Okantah

He knew the feel.
Like an old
Love, he never knew
When it would come,
Or, if it would come again.

The time between poems
Was never the same.
Hard time.
His people had forgotten
They had given poetry
Its first name.

He wondered about the poetry.
Amongst the poets
Rumor had it
Poetry had been executed,
Her remains left
To the walking

She appeared as wordwork gathering in
His late spring storms.
(without warning)
The changing in his seasons
A mystery to him;
The poetry was there
Somewhere in between speech
And talking in tongues:

Who was this woman with
Lion poetry
Roaring out of her eyes?
Poetry healed him.
He could look
Into its window,
Into his reluctant self:

She spoke pictures to him.
She came cloud-filled.
She came stories to tell.
She came clear visions.
She came water words
Rushing over
The dry well of his being--
She satisfied his need
Of a walk
In her early summer evening rain.

It was happening again.
He knew
This must be the way it had always been.
She came a sign.
He became poetry.
The poets were
There to breathe new life
Into an unwilling
To word-craft them into an old oneness--
A new creation song.

The poets were there,
Keepers of the sacred lore,
Charged to be
Guardians of eloquence,
Of the 
Soul of the nation;

They had been there all along ...

        New Afreeka

A Poet's Poem by Mwatabu S. Okantah

© Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

TimBookTu Logo

Return to the Table of Contents | Return to Main Page