Monday, June 11, 2018

The Deep

for Bra Ray Phiri

pluck the strings
amid the mkhukhus & tenements
along billboard-littered motorways, by grubby streams
via grass-topped homesteads
wending, winding, entwining, splicing
woven thread. the fabrics
from the sinews of the ancient folk
that still adorn
the broken school, chisanyama, spaza shop, the crafter's shed

pick the notes, brother
amid the jazz wizards, who cluster and eddy
faces floating in moonlit pools
the instruments, blackened walls, beer-stained tables
bitten fingers, chewed-out gum
standing by
the faces & barely-tied laces
present, struck, restless but unhurried
grainy as the blues

strum, brother, strum
a soothing embrace
to accompany those troubled dreams.
for seekers
that melody, coursing
like the fierce waters of the zambezi waterfall
along fault-lines & edges of love & broken skin &
cracked smiles

those visionary
those sounds with lips, tongue & vital throat
that body with notes
      spurting forth
      from grey rocks, hard sands, volcanic rock, silt, carbon

your guitar wails, sighs & sings
dances in the aisles
till we hear our own voice
calling out
from the deep