The Griot Of An Urban Ghetto

by Baba Olutunde Olufemi

    In a vacant lot behind a junkie's alley the griot sit

    Humming an ancient Igbo lullaby as faces watch from the shadows

    Darken with years of oppression and a sense of emptiness


    At dawn in the ghetto, the griot squats on a wooden crate

    Beneath Caribbean blues and African reds

    Surrounded by garbage and rat infested condemned buildings


    He sits where 40 ounce bottles of Colt 45 and Red Bull

    Clutter around his wore shoes that blanket his tried feet

    Hundreds of five dollar crack bags decorate the ground


    He allow his eyes to hunt the hood for victims of hunger

    Those seeking for a message without a bottle

    Those looking to have their deepest thoughts elevated


    No longer drowning in a community of love he once knew

    He sits in a strange land with strange people who looks like him

    This is his home now, the guttural of an urban ghetto


    Of captives locked down in prison reds in concrete cages.

    The griot's eyes reveals what no one else knows or see

    He slaps in time to his heart beat with his zebra skin drum


    He is a news bringer, Orisha singer, storyteller and poet

    Carrying the word that the revolution is not over.

    Warrior spirits are moving and preparing for battle in his shadow


    He is the voice of the voiceless, the pages of dead sea scrolls

    He is a living walking oracle, a concept beyond imagination

    The torch bearer and the temptation that will never give up


    Patiently, the griot sits humming songs of the past and future

    That is embedded inside his deep dark eyes

    As he waits for seekers to come and continue the tradition.

The Griot Of An Urban Ghetto by Baba Olutunde Olufemi

© Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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