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Nim Lee


Ndyukerman


Dutchman, Dutchman, Ndyukerman
Dark like the Earth,
Dark like the Night
Dark like Secrets

Stamping your naked foot on the bare earth
Making the anklets rattle

Help me, help me, help me.

You know the secrets of Earth.
You know what she hides in her belly
You know the contents of her bowels

Tell me, tell me, tell me.

Where is the gold hidden?
Where are the diamonds?
Where did the people of old bury their treasure?

Dutchman, Dutchman, Ndyukerman
Dark like the Earth,
Dark like the Night
Dark like Secrets

You never hauled a punt, never cut the cane
You never felt the lash:
You lived a free man in the forest
Making your own trash hut
Hunting your own meat
Remembering the old Ways, the old Language,
Retaining the old Powers.

Help me now.

Dutchman, Dutchman, Ndyukerman
Dark like the Earth,
Dark like the Night
Dark like Secrets

You have the knowledge.
Share it with me.
Are we not Brothers?
You are the older Brother, I am the younger Brother.
I need your help.

You are happy in your trash hut in the dark forest
Hunting for your own meat
Stamping your naked feet on the bare Earth
Remembering the old Knowledge.

Tell me the Secrets that will set me free.

Submitted: Thursday, December 02, 2010
Edited: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This poem is about the Ndyukerman of Surinam, who were brought from Africa, but escaped slavery and went to live in the forests making their own villages. The Guyanese of the Corentyne believe that these people have knowledge of many things, and posess great powers.

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