AGED SAVAGE

His age is that of the eternal rocks beneath

old dry bones under thick skin

Eyes with Body as black as a jar of tar

He must have been curved out of the African Ebony

chiseled out of the volcanic rocks

he who has rested on the bossom of mother Africa

he must have been there when the continents drifted.

He must have witnessed the rage of volcanoes

This dinosaur structure of a man is aged.

Had he any religion it was his own

had he any tenderness adversity shot it dead

All about him are tales of his conflict with nature

rough hands struck against rocks

scarred skin born of thorny thickets

clawed pendant of the beast of the savanna

A remnant of our forefathers

the pureness of early wisdom

the awe of ancient knowledge

How he knows of the earth this hermit

creatures that fly, walk and crawl upon it

direction of safari ants

the chattering of monkeys on the eve of rain

the soil’s aroma when it pours

the miracle herbs and poison ivy

the stillness of the dark night

a tamer of the wild who can not be tamed

too foul to be the seat of a soul

His kin must have fled to warmer caves

or to fight white aliens ashore

come to bring western civilization to this savage land

to their detriment a futile attempt.

This may be why he is so desolate

pitiful tortured cruelty in his gentle eyes

He the last of the old religion

stayed long enough to see civilization crush it

what is civilization to him but his perdition

they crushed his lair among the rocks down the hill

for precious stones a lot less special to him than dust

they fell the immortal buttressed boughs

the games of his childhood

the seat of his youth

I don’t think death scares him at all.

I have seen despair in his eyes

and a curve on his lips

that wretched smile that embraces death

the enigmatic smile that knows what you don’t

and pity that you wont

know the secret of the honeybees

the travels of the fresh morning dew

The sad songs of the dark winged Owich Kongulo

all these will be lost with him when he dies

the earth will lie lightest on his bones.

If I come across his bones by the riverside

I will make a flute of his ribs

that listened to the songs enclosed in his heart

I will make a goblet of his skull

to drink from the fountain wisdom.

 

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