Monday, May 22, 2006

Untitled Poem

It makes sense that our first post from a volunteer should be from our first volunteer, Carissa Guild. Actually, she sent it to me a while ago and said I could post it.

A kanga is a piece of cloth the size of a sarong that almost all women wear here. They have designs and a proverb on them.
Asante Carissa...........


an elegant wisdom
wrapped up in
dirty colorful kangas

skinny girls in beauty-filled
hole infested
dresses with swollen feet and penetrating glances

intoxicating incense of trash that’s
burning ash
is hovering in the air captured by the

sun’s setting dancing drums carried on a
salty breeze
unreadable faces silently questioning

carrying thin children
wrapped up in
dirty colorful kangas.

gracefully stirring a meal above a fire chin raised with
indignation a subtle violent nod

erupting from an inside her head regally
wrapped in red
cloth distorting her fragility fighting with immunity

a child’s playful nobility watching as if torn from
a vibrant
erased painting--yet breathing

the song’s a conversation, the hope
has hardened
unbelieved, their laughter remains uninhibited

lying in hospital beds
wrapped tightly
in dirty colorful kangas.

black arms hugging bones of shoulders
ripped and tied
back together blue t-shirt standing in the sand seeing

overfed and manicured tourists drift
in and out
and by down along the seams of ocean and his

life? something a little unnerving for feeling too
to see too needy for lack of receiving outside his own

twelve year old body like the caged bird’s bars
by society a broken shell wildly escaping oxygen
then forced ashore by the tide just
child mchanga malaika

wrapped up in
a dirty colorful kanga
or torn t shirt.

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