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Daude Teel: Kandake


Pushed to the edge purpose,
once moved by passion,
removes itself, verily.
Colored doves burdened by
colorless crosses ferry us to
a room without a roof.
There we are reforged,

Hummingbirds hover.
Their silver wings flick
against the faceless sky.
A most beautiful mural.
Majestic, like mountains.

A soft knock nudges us back,
but not to what we remember:
a field of daffodils, a lover
who lies | lays | lived.
No, a subtle nudge knocks
us into another frame.

We kneel at the feet of serfs,
each with a sharpened sword
and an air of supremacy.
We kneel, hands cupped,
praying they make it quick

and beautiful, like the
forests of Oregon. Her rivers,
her crystal rivers, where
are their birdsongs?

Silenced by the clamor of industry;
silenced by men with hands of dust.

Lines of legions stretch, stretch, stretch into years:
One, two, five hundred—of night.

Civilization, that hellish gift,
built by fire and grace.

Come back to me, and let us
lie together on the grasslands of Kemet.
No kings, no gods, just clouds.
Come back to me,
+++O people-mine.

Seafarer, wayward seafarer,
where leaps your rainbow, that
color of many shades?
Collected and chained in the
beast called Babylon. Her whores,
her wretched whores, soulless
brutes who bloodlet our mother!

Seafarer, taken and stilled,
beautiful is thy skin.
+++ Yay – kissed by the sun.

whose power is infinite
still fights to lift lost languages,
buried by envy,
and bring them to our lips – to sing.

And the wasichu,
who so revalued, and
said the first shall be
last, and the last,
in all things,
shall be first.

Forgive them | our species.

Hurriedly we came, mothers
with bundled babes and
fathers raising spirits with
low hums to keep the pace –
peace, in pursuit of soft words
bouncing off the lush beige
savannah. The setting sun,
so beautiful against the Serengeti.
In haste we swept past herds,
frightened herds who heard
the story, and made
our way to what we
knew would change the
world forever. And there,
under a baobab tree

we look up at
the fading moon.
We look up – up – up
to see the face of God.
Speak, speak Haudenosaunee,
the seer’s dream undone,
where once you danced
against the green of
Gaia before the pale
faced flood felled for
roads—roads that lead
to a millennia of misery,
mayhem, and madness!

Speak, speak Hiawatha,
and we shall raise you up
higher than the flight of
a thrice-winged dove.
We saved you a seat,
and all who war on
His centuries above!

Sun-burnt and bleeding,
Christians grovel at the
feet of man-made
mammon. Help us
extinguish color!
Come their cries,
collared, corralled,
convinced by words
they never read.
Their masters prey
on we who stand
against a salted Earth.
Their suits sit on hills
of dirt, waiting – in wait
for the second coming
of a white messiah who
shalt shepherd hir
desolate sheep.

Pushed to the edge,
we finally found what we
were looking for: a future.
Lead us, O daughters
of Nubia, for the
wicked now hide,
and order is restored.

A five hundred year night—
But what are five hundred years
to a Negus?

Poem © Daude Teel
Image: Pixabay/Unsplash remixed

Daude Teel
Daude Teel
Daude Teel is a Mozambican currently living in the United States. His hope in writing is to resuscitate the verse drama and epic poem with the focus being on African history and its people's experiences.

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