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11.01.2014 Feature Article

For Amiri Baraka 6 (1934-2014)

For Amiri Baraka 6 (1934-2014)
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They will be there,
the whole township of them,
they will be there,
the whole battalion of them,
they will be there
to welcome you
into their fold...
dear old soldier,
you have done
a yeomanly job,
you deserve
the peaceful rest
of the honest,
brave and
strong -
your errand
and mission
have been
fulfilled...
they are already
at the door...
Langston Hughes,
Robert Hayden,
Zora Neale Hurston,
Doctor DuBois,
June Jordan,
they are already
at the door...
they will conduct you
to your specially
prepped berth
of quilt
and down,
all yours
to enjoy
for endless
climes to come -
brave soldier,
you have earned
your keep -
Uncle Langston
will be there
with a solid stash
of blues scores
and scripts,
there will be
rafter-raising hell
to raise to
the high
heavens
the likes of which
has yet
to be seen...
and, oh,
so will be
Jimmy Bee,
the genius
queer craftsman,
all petty
squabbles and
impertinence
forgiven...
laid out for you
will be a new
clean slate
of goodwill
pebble-smooth
like the butts
of a newly born...
your aunt
Maggie Walker
will be there
sashaying
among the throng,
backing up
your post-Nation riffs
like the high-priestess
of rap
which she was
ere rap
even
had a name...
time to harvest
the vintage fruits
of the clan,
time to mold
the minds
of those
yet to come...
Toni Cade Bambara,
as usual,
steaming up
countless vats of
bambara beans
in a goat-meat
broth;
time to feast
on the generous gifts
of painters
and poets;
Uncle Max,
jazzing it up
on the talking-drums,
thumping up
the souls
of the once
depressed
and oppresed...
too many
stories to tell
in a frenzied bid
to catching up
with the times,
enriching the blue-flames
of times and tales
yet to unfold,
more black berries
to lick between
palate and
tongue,
Johnnie Killens
working it all up,
raising raucous laughter
like dust-bowls -

1/11/14

Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., © 2014

The author has 5328 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

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