RSS

Knifophia, Mural and A Poem

09 Jun

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: , , , , , ,

3 responses to “Knifophia, Mural and A Poem

  1. Arkenaten

    June 9, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    My son and I discussed Colston over dinner. I had never heard of him until yesterday and it was quite an eye opener after a brief read about him on Wiki.

    I believe they may try to raise the statue at a later date and stick it in a museum?
    I recently discovered that my old home town of Chester was also once a slave port.
    So much dark history. And all I ever learned about the city of Deva at school was from the Roman perspective. Humans, eh? While often brilliant and beautiful we can also be quite loathsome.

    Cute painting. I once witnessed the Tour while on holiday in France as a 13 year old. It passed through the town of Castres. After the entire pack had gone a lone delivery boy on an old butcher’s bike turned into the street the cyclists has just left. He got the loudest cheer of the morning. It was hilarious and magical. A memory I have never forgotten.

    Love the Knifophia – or Red Hot Poker as they are also called. Have a few in the garden and most of the species are from South Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • mybeautfulthings

      June 10, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      What a lovely memory that you have of when you saw the race. We were looking forward to seeing it through our town – maybe next year….

      I did know the name Red Hot Poker but I much prefer the other name!

      We do indeed have a very dark history, much of which is hidden, or has been. I think it will open up more now. Can you get BBC tv at all? There is a brilliant series on at the moment called A House Through Time and David Olosuga is telling the tale. It is fascinating and some slave history is coming through. I learned a lot when I was teaching that poem.

      Like

       
      • Arkenaten

        June 10, 2020 at 7:04 pm

        I did know the name Red Hot Poker but I much prefer the other name!

        That’s because you’re posh and I’m a hooligan! :
        😉

        We have satellite, but I don’t know if that BBC series is available. Not a big tv fan.I usually watch soccer or the occasional comedy.
        I shall have to investigate.

        Like

         

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: