My Friend Harold Smith has written this poem and created this painting. He is running a ebay auction selling the painting right now at the following link.

do you hear it?
the voices of the motherland
of the home
i can never return to
stripped from me
in the cataclysm of ethnic cleansing

do you hear it?
sometimes muffled
but unmistakable
sometimes loud
but gently nudging
sometimes acidic
but soothing
as it is
searing into the consciousness
of a people
a lost people
a lonely people
my people

do you hear it?
rumbling like some
primitive beast
raging and foaming
tearing asunder
ripping a path

do you hear?
the duke heard it..

and because he heard it
he was accused
of making
jungle music
and miles
was called hateful
they never understood coltrane
but i love
to listen to
cassandra wilson
strange fruit
i think i hear it
do you?

do you hear it?
the clanking of shackles
and sounds of saltwater
slushing against the rotting slave ship
muting the screams
the child raped by the captors
(now i know why my brother’s skin is darker than mine)
and the silent resignation
the father castrated and thrown overboard
simply because
he fought for her honor

an example
he became
that reverberates throughout
keeping the masses in bondage

do you hear it?
in every gunshot
and every wail
of the mother burying her teenage son
and the sound
of mama till’s pain
mingled with
coretta’s grief
and betty shabazz’s loneliness

i hear it
coming from the horn
the tribal horn
that floats above the bass
and descends into the drum
around the saxophone
like a wisp of smoke
creeping up the the microphone stand
out the speakers
and into my ears
and into
my consciousness

i hear it
the pain
the agony
the faces of the gods
etched in soft congo wood
and the tears of
fertility dolls
in an european sea

i hear it
i hear it
i hear it

do you?

copyright 2007 by harold d. smith

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