Dilantha Gunawardana


Kunta Kinte


The galvanizing torrents of the Gambia,
In these backwaters of a luscious Casamance
The Mandinka mettle reverberates to a sashay of currents
A heritage unspoilt, unscathed and pristine in its bounty
A colossal iceberg parched by the African sun
One in spirit with the ferocious surge of a Gambian princess
Roar of a primal Lion, pitter-patter of a lone tribal warrior
Lighter than a feather yet rooted to her legacy
The bough of a Baobab, standing regal and tall
Against the ferocious presence of an omniscient Ra
Tirelessly exuding her radiance in an act of a sweltering defiance
At the icy façades of the palest of hues, marching with barking canines
Hollow ungainly barrels clasped in hand, fedoras burning on the crown
As the copious backwaters were transformed to a trading colony
Where humanity was anchored to power-wielding collars and the clatter of chains
As a precious destiny was swindled by sweeping winds of subjugation
As the roaming white man, tainted white water with sanguine smears
As the supreme heritage of a foolhardy warrior persona
Died a million deaths, to rise back up again two centuries later
As she, the Mandinka heritage levitated from the ashes, like a dexterous Phoenix
To conquer her terrain, to soar yet again, like an emancipated feather

Submitted: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Edited: Thursday, October 25, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A poem spanning slavery and emancipation

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