RSS

Daily Archives: June 9, 2020

Knifophia, Mural and A Poem

A walk along Cliff Road in Falmouth overlooking the flat glassy sea of Falmouth Bay was very lovely this morning. The plantings beside the path are looking very dramatic especially the Knifophia, a word I love!

 

We drove past one of my favourite shops, Just Delights, still not able to open, where the new mural has been painted by Liz Perry. I love her work, changing with the seasons. The Tour de France was going to come through Cornwall prior to the virus and so the bike was planned for that . As it is, many people are taking to their bikes on the emptier roads and this painting is just perfect.

 

You can skip the next bit if you like as it is not a conventionally beautiful thing, I know, but a striking poem which resonates with me especially right now.

The pulling down of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol over the weekend of Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the revelations (to some) that he was a slave dealer with the most appalling record (See this article by David Olusoga) brought to mind a poem I used to read with my teenagers. It is so powerful and allowed the teaching that wasn’t included in the history curriculum of the horrors of the slave trade upon which much of Britain’s wealth was made. The poem and the history brought teenagers to tears. Try reading it out loud with a strong rhythm and imagine the slaves in the depths of the ship as the poem¬†¬†describes the similarity between a limbo dance and the transportation of African slaves into the West Indies and America.

Limbo by Edward Kamau Brathwaite

And limbo stick is the silence in front of me
limbo

limbo
limbo like me
limbo
limbo like me

long dark night is the silence in front of me
limbo
limbo like me

stick hit sound
and the ship like it ready

stick hit sound
and the dark still steady

limbo
limbo like me

long dark deck and the water surrounding me
long dark deck and the silence is over me

limbo
limbo like me

stick is the whip
and the dark deck is slavery

stick is the whip
and the dark deck is slavery

limbo
limbo like me

drum stick knock
and the darkness is over me

knees spread wide
and the water is hiding

limbo
limbo like me

knees spread wide
and the dark ground is under me

down
down
down
and the drummer is calling me

limbo
limbo like me

sun coming up
and the drummers are praising me

out of the dark
and the dumb god are raising me

up
up
up

and the music is saving me

hot
slow
step

on the burning ground.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: