African Relics Poem by Dominic Windram

African Relics

Rating: 5.0


These relics are odes to creation:
From planets to fragments of atoms.
Certain turning of the sun; crooked fork
Of the trees and their sprawling branches;
Flowering knot, water curve, living roots;
The stern murmur of ancestral spirits;
Divine drumming that once boldly declared;
The radiant, resplendent rose pink dawn;
That once proclaimed the tribe's soul blood,
But now sealed up in solemn glass cases,
A vibrant universe lies paralysed.

Cold, colonial eyes framed and reined in
This continent's abundant mysteries;
Where black was once the scorned colour of sin.
Unruly, ferocious flames of conquest,
Created a spurious enigma.
Now we continually interrogate
The tainted beauty of the wreckage.

These relics are not merely icons to
Be righteously revered and worshipped,
But precious prayers to the elements.
Although they have been brought closer to us
They remain as remote as evening stars,
We might want their mute eyes and mouths to glow;
Speak directly to us like oracles.
Yet they will never submit their secrets
To our crude, secular consciousness.

I sense the vital dance of life traduced
To grey, utilitarian matters
In the guise of curious inspection
I sense obscure mysteries
Trapped in an expedient age
Where we freeze their grace and power.
I sense the murmur of ancestral spirits:
" Yamaya - mother of tender blessings
Yamaya - boundless womb of creation
Your poetry is lost in translation."

African Relics
Sunday, November 26, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: historical
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Aria Ligi 26 November 2017

I love this poem. It packs a punch illuminating all that is lost whenever powers subvert the voices that will never be heard. The end line referring to Yemaya is exceedingly relevant as she is the goddess of sorrow and water. Well-done!

3 0 Reply
Dominic Windram 29 November 2017

Thanks once again Aria!

0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 27 November 2017

A witty reflection on rich African heritage set aside for honest contemplation. A profound piece of piece nicely brought forth in good diction with conviction. Thanks for sharing Dominic.

3 0 Reply
Dominic Windram 29 November 2017

Thanks so much Chinedu for your kind comments!

0 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 26 November 2017

Certain turning of the sun; crooked fork. Divine drumming was once declared. This is a thought provoking and thoughtful amazing historical poem wisely drafted...10

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 07 July 2021

African RElics, written on Sunday, November 26,2017 and yet for me still 5 Stars fullest on Top! Wonderfully put!

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Bharati Nayak 22 July 2020

I sense the vital dance of life traduced To grey, utilitarian matters In the guise of curious inspection I sense obscure mysteries Trapped in an expedient age Where we freeze their grace and power. I sense the murmur of ancestral spirits: " Yamaya - mother of tender blessings Yamaya - boundless womb of creation Your poetry is lost in translation." - - - A great write about Africa.

2 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 10 July 2020

When in Rome do as the Romans do. And when on PoemHunter, it's best to reread and rate highly superb poems by gifted poets.

2 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 30 June 2020

Great poems need to be reread from time to time. And if there is no time, then make it.10++.

5 0 Reply
Shaun Cronick 29 June 2020

A mesmerizing poem indeed Dominic. One so richly detailed of land, nature, human and ending on a religious deity of which the spellings vary. And Africa being the birth place cradle of humanity. 10++ and added to my favs. A great write and a joy to read. Thank you Dominic and take care.

5 0 Reply
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