Buxton Shippy

(7-27-55 / Montego Bay, Jamaica)

African Rhythms


Jumping on strings
bending time,
they created blissful futures;
stripping metaphors and similes,
making realities clear.
With palms facing skies,
they praised Jesus:
speaking in tongues,
they revived ancestries;
smiling under suns,
on toes,
on soles,
on heels.


Beating drums,
ripping garbs,
flipping dusts,
they danced in circles
with glistered scalps.
Alternating in lines,
they raised knees;
smiling under suns,
on toes,
on soles,
on heels.


Women and girls,
adorned in red,
green and gold robes,
gold necklaces,
gold bracelets,
diamond earrings,
diamond anklets,
and scented perfumes;
smiling under suns,
on toes,
on soles,
on heels.


Men and boys,
attired in black robes
and red, green and gold headbands;
moved back and forth,
with wood spears,
held in right hands:
chanting, as they feigned war;
smiling under suns,
on toes,
on soles,
on heels.

Submitted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Edited: Thursday, July 14, 2011
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