Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Talking Drums


Last Thursday was my Mom's birthday and in African dance class through Coyaba Dance Theater in DC they dedicated the class in her memory and at the end I sat in front of the room as the entire class encircled me and danced for me and Mom.

It was so beautiful as the drums grew louder more and more of my sistas and brother's did solo's. We celebrated her life and my teacher's daughter's birthday as well. Her daughter cried and said she felt the love between Mom and I and even her presence in the room that day. From the mouths of babes.

In honor of Dance Africa kicking off this weekend in Brooklyn, NY I dedicate this poem to the dancers, drummers, musicians, artists, teachers, costume designers...everyone that embraces the African culture and traditions.

Talking Drums

Hands hitting the djembe drum
Arms flay in the air up and down
Like a bird flaps its wings
Talking drums shaking the stress and tension off of me
Conga drums shouting my name
Dun Dun drums playing a game
In my soul as it smiles
Dancing on my feet
Jumping in mid air
Loving me
Head bobbing up and down
Dipping down to the ground as if I’m picking food for the harvest
Ancestors surrounding me
Telling me I’ve won
And done my bid of being sick, depressed, heartbroken, stressed and hurt
Dance child
The drums are now shouting old sayings,
“If you can talk you can sing, if you can walk then you can dance”
Skipping around in a circle feeling too damn good
Everything I went through, all my battles, stir crazy thoughts, dreadful relationships, family lost
Now I can celebrate
Times that were once my most down points
Deep as the ocean floor
Built the bridge for me
Piece by piece
Wooden plank by plank
So I could once again dance
Laugh
Grin
Smile
Knees to the ground as I give praise to the talking drums
Hands to my chest
Swaying them out again to the drums
Back and forth the drums talk louder to me
Telling me to praise Him because I made it
I regained momentum and speed
Spirit awakened
Dreams lived
Glass that was stained is clear
Mind is no longer in mental bondage
Tears have faded to the back
Hurt is let go
Turning in circles with my arms wide open
Feet moving a mile a minute
African dancing
Movements passed onto me from generation to generation
Exhaling and inhaling
Sweat pouring off my body
Exalted praise I give thee
Talk to me…
Beat those drums…
Shout and tell me to dance more…
Talking drums playing the beats and rhythms
Until I’m sore
Sankofa bird come down on me
Grant me with wisdom
Learning lessons from my past to help build my future
You gave me back my mother
My life
My future
My mind
Rebuilt my foundation from the ground up
The foundation that I now dance on
Drums are a talking…
Play those bata drums
Djembe, my friend conga, bang on the cowbell
Let me dance some more
Until I can’t dance no more

Written By: Serena Wills

February 8th, 2010

Copyright Serena Wills 2010

1 comment:

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