Issue 2 : Spring 2011

About Author:

  • Donna Aza Weir-Soley

    Jamaican born Donna Aza Weir-Soley received her PhD in English from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently an Associate Professor of English, African & African Diaspora Studies and Women's Studies at Florida International...

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Ayiti: UnCommon Beauty

 

My beauty was never the common beauty of the pampered whore

Whoever seeks such beauty deserves whatever weakness that he finds.

Tepid and tasteless like watered down coffee.

 

My beauty is my strength

My strength is my beauty

My steady gaze,

broad back and

uncommon grace

these will endure past time

and beyond history.

I am Ayiti,

Africa transplanted to the Caribbean

I was here from the beginning

I will endure.

 

I am blackness uncompromised

Original blessing and original sin

I am the pure white of forked lightning

I speak with a forked tongue

I am Eden before the fall

I am Paradise after the fall

I am the venom and the wisdom of the snake-god

the treachery of the serpent and

the transforming colors of the rainbow.

 

I am woman blessed and cursed

I give life and I take life

I am the mother of them that bless me

And the mother of them that curse me

I am Freda and I am Dantor

I give birth to the favored

I give birth to the despised

I am Africa, transplanted to the Caribbean

I was here from the beginning

I will endure.

 

I am your wealth and your poverty

I am your glory and your disgrace

I am your fierce courage

I am your shameless cowardice

I am your strong black manhood,

I am your proud African womanhood,

I am your dignity and your vulnerability

I am an untouched well of Black diamond

Seething deep beneath your surface

Waiting for you to find me

To see me, to claim me, to finally know me.

 

My beauty was never the common beauty of a pampered and petted whore

Whoever seeks such beauty deserves whatever uselessness he finds.

Tepid and tasteless like watered down coffee.

My beauty is so fierce,

so dark, so thick

so ancient, so strong,

you will have to grow new eyes to drink it in.

 

My beauty is my strength

My strength is my beauty

My steady gaze,

broad back and

uncommon grace

these will endure past time

and beyond history.

I am Ayiti,

Africa transplanted to the Caribbean

I was here from the beginning

I was here from your beginning

I will endure.

 

Festival of Diwali

Feast of Diwali

Festival of lights, tiny pinpricks of stars

 

Candles in brown paper bags of sand

Line the walkways of every house on this street

 

The howling of dogs and the low clicking sounds

night makes, eyes of strange creatures shining in the dark

 

A feast of burnished, blazing suns

 

Father, I am coming home to your arms

Mother, I have lost my way

 

Clouds gather, heavy snow drifts down

The sky is awash in blue streaks of sound

 

I need your touch like I need sleep

I need you, like I need sunlight and air

 

Let the night gather itself

Let the dew break in our faces.

 

Ten thousand pin-pricks of dying stars, a festival of lights.

Afrobeat Journal - Article

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