The photo above is “Rhythm of Life” taken by award-winning photographer Chester Higgins Jr.

A vision of an elder emerges. Face written with time and resilience- he still plays the sax on rainy evenings and flowered mornings. There is a song that plays in his head and it echoes beyond waters he has never seen, depths and spaces that only lineage remember. These are the utterances that were cached between the folds of his aging hands and released unto the atmosphere.


dripping from the jagged,

rough, unembellished

ceilings. They sing no more lies

no more lies in the night. no more

tattered explanations for joyous sobbing.

let it happen. one more night

until the holes in the earth are filled. one

more fight until the sea consumes

itself and the indigo is permitted

to traverse on ground level.

you know what is so frustrating?

feeling all of these at once

prancing around you. teasing the upper 

labyrinth into restless commotion. too many sentient 

images, ideas, and all that you would 

consider the fabric of life breaking in

or breaking through.

the heart is a volatile drum

set into activation by smiles, by dreams,

By words, by what the eyes choose 

to savor and swallow whole 

or swallow in pieces

to construct an eternal mosaic.

this is open wide fields of sunflowers

that can make the sane cry 

this is a room saturated with

piano rounds and chords- pictures moving, 

trembling, against the wooden walls.

this is taking a step into the Atlantic

and feeling the hands of all those who 

came before who joyously leaped into

the tumultuous oblivion –

having reclaimed autonomy

even in death.

© AfroetryWorks 2019

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