Time's Sigh Poem by Elna Nel

Time's Sigh

messages flow
from Africa
declaring defiance
of time
in the beating
of the drums
bare hands
keep serving the air
with sound

together I am
one person
a woman
not alone
my feet walk
this earth
by the mistreatment
of many hearts
the hearts
of the souls
of Africa

my eyes search
through the sound
of the few
for a beam of love
and compassion
for a tune unbound
but reach you not
the king's tongue
is further away
away from women-
and children abide
in beds of straw
in a land over there

where waterless cups
and power
without grace
could bind big hands
in disgrace
in the rhythm
of stones
and tripling bones
oh for the timely
sound of dew
on the tongue
of the moderately new

for while time
is ticking
somewhere feet
are slamming
ignoring the cadence
of the stone choir singing-
children are kept quiet
under leaking roofs
the beat of history
is a thudding of hoofs
on the white bone
of Africa's
reluctance for peace

softly a leopard
is waiting
on the back
of a bull
for nations
to see
the weeping
of Africa
on a landslide
where time
collides in coins
of dust

for all ways
take a day
in a thousand
or an hour
in a minute
is over
in a second

will you
surrender then
to the smoke
of people's rights
or keep on
dancing on needs
in the name
of change to
a better world
for all…

for there is
no ruling
over time
but Jerusalem

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