Roots and Ancestors, Voodoo and You

Wed, Mar 19, 2008


in america, life and death are paralyzed,
kept captive by modern silence
between women and men that brush shoulder
in combat and soul/less religions.
giving/killing birth
to/of lonely souls throughout city plantations.

educated and of material stature
many have lost their way
never calling invocations
for the living/dead
that frantically dig at coffin and soil
you can hear the whispers of regrets
“I was wrong…there is life after…”
and this pile of sorrowful corpses grows
destitute and desperate for healing
a day too late.

in america, afraid of pagan stigmas, and savage bloodlines
Black people speak of voodoo and sankofa
like they got dixie on their minds
“blk magic and that bird with the bent neck”
is as deep as their shallowness gets
they say Blk pride, but who tries to return?

in america, death is a self fulfilling prophecy
of the END.
too busy to insure their life with spiritual work
the Suits and Bankrolls grimace
“I have bigger fish to fry”

rich folk point to the backwater Old South
labeling it “impoverished and superstitious”
with the typical air of superiority
but at least here some spirits see life
in the soulwork of humble children
whose habits echo like a transplanted African heart

there was some food and money on the shrine
that souls never beg
flowers for innocence and beauty
water for thirst and rest
candles to light dark terrain
white cloth to remind us of pure character
-a spiritual retiring home.

My Auntie Clara’s ghost would declare
america is not so advanced!
there is no hono or respe
she know that Ancestors do not speak
in appreciative tones
for Black people that forget
their spiritual legacy and debts
and she in the type
to laugh uncontrollably when asked
“who will dance in raffia
for those that forget?”

it is better to be poor
living on your grandmama’s tinctures
and superstitions.
contemplating moon and star
than moving around Purgatory
in big motorcars
“you mean …I didn’t make it to.?”

you should have known that it is better
to be simple and country
in these deadly times.

- Olokuntogun Ifasehun Ojedele

Please do not reprint, post, or share my poems in any venue (on or offline) without my permission.

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