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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Does Anyone Here the Song of the River Wending its Way Through the Jungle?


Make me a poetess of my people.

Let me too drink the sun that shines in early morning

Knee-deep paddy fields

Drinking droplets dewing on endless acres of cane

Their life is like a dark river that flows through the jungle.

No one hears

Or no one listens when a gurgled protest of beauty escapes its brown throat,

Civilization motors her way into the quiet songs of billowing cane leaves

The same gentle waters have diluted the blood of unnamed heroes –

Can tell its tale of quiet suffering never quilled on paper memories

These same quiet veins of water that flow through the land

Like blood vessels through the flesh of my mother –

Can tell of childless logies at the edge of fertility.

Nigga-yards barren of one single beat of a drum

British Guiana evening skies untampered by its silent surveillance of anguish.

In the full breast of the forest, there lives a hunter, his

wife, his sons, . . . his daughters.

By the fall of night, he and the jungle are one.

The logger has camped three nights among his trees.

But it rained.

Four years now… The porkknocker –

Seeker of unfulfilled dreams,

Seeks that golden materialism.

His dreams, borne on the black of the evening wind, is lost through the forest.

At harvest-time, the reaper in the field celebrates the harvest alone.

The sweat of the cane-cutter fertilizes next year’s groceries.

Their life is like a dark river that flows through the jungle.

No one hears the song of its wending

So no one listens.

Mahadai Das


(Courtesy of A Treasury of Guyanese Poetry)


Posted by jebratt :: Saturday, October 01, 2005 :: 0 comments

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