excerpt from ‘Pelt Yuh Stones Nuh…’
Love, secret syllable behind the predictable sentence
of the face, in the deep green zones, untroubled
and clear, look on this ripe head that has exhausted
centuries of hands that hit on it like thunder!
Love, look into my head, come
let me greet you, fill its cup with water…
Enter my heart, where on an abrupt turn
in its forest, I meet you, waiting, balanced
on the margin of this world, a stalk in a lake
of wind, untouched…
Kiss these eyes that are the good clear rum
of horses sweeping across the length and breadth of skies
in search of your dark round face, lift gently
from my shoulders these solitudes of raw lightning.
There is a terrible hole in my stomach,
a vast savannah without a single bird.
Underneath, I have cherished your smile and,
by eating words from your lips piece-piece, I survived…
…because I have never not loved you woman because the very
light of my brow carries the shape of your breasts because the
blood in my veins has not lost its way in deliriums and fantastic
tides of future because these fingers have traced the zodiac
that map the earth because I have not slept and my dreams
are my only flag because I have not eaten except to feed the
great famines because I pour water lifted from the rivers of the earth
on stone and draw light from its seed…
Pour your water on my head. See
the Blue-black surveyors circle the round,
lift the rivers, divide the mountains…
Let me plunge my hands, my fingers, my toes,
the prick of my single root through backward regions
cemeteries, factories, desolate evenings
sliced by the cry of one child; through smoke and foam
Let me arrive again on slave ships, carts, trucks—no!
Let me walk across these immense seas of misery—no!
I will be the pulse of their sweat, I thirst,
I am a huge crust, a calloused hand,
I am raw indigo and its wound of melon,
burnt cane, the ashes of my temple, I plunge
through the eclipse of man on man, through
naked lights, nights of alcohol and conspiracies.
I plunge with adze-like rage into wood and stone,
lunatic carver within a void of splinters
I go on limitless scintillas of memory
to collect the fragments of my spiritual one by one.
Pour more water on my head, woman
with her round face and coal
aflame in her eyes. Put the mountains
and rivers together again.
Carpenter, shoemaker, dancer, wirebender,
let me be the Artist-Poet-Farmer.
I will fork this earth, with my tongue
let me plunge into your ear
through syllables of violet, the science of turquoise,
through populous ochres and energetic reds,
through fathomless greens, through supplicant blue,
through the arterial vegetation of the rainbow.
Up through the untouched zones of your body
thrown far by your thighs;
let me rise and fall in the seasons
of your breasts, gather me in the cool waters
of your breath, lick my broken body
with your tongue of ocean and wind and earth and fire;
breaking from the barriers of this world,
my race will wake,
staunch ebony mahogany, poui…
Leroy Clarke, Douens