carnivalling (a tonal drawing written in poetic form)

carnivalling

in rings they sing
at the walls of this thing
they sing and they sing
Lord knows they sing
and here there comes another ring
in streets down there they left there bare
black topped and striped to give them flare
and hardly ever swept who knows who cares
hair weavened heads swinging from homemade vines
they getting high on the sound
of them endless rhymes and syncopating mimes
dancing bare footed sweating in the winter time
and ‘round and ‘round and ‘round and ‘round
in the shadow of things they never win
before it comes back it done n gone by again
amen amen amen
in rings they sing
at the walls of this thing
they sing and they sing
Lord knows they sing
and here there comes another ring
in church how they sweat
and while they praying and yet
the preacher hustling some blues
‘fore dancing feet in they shoes
there’s heaven under one shell
but then you never can tell
just where the sweet smell of hell
they turning ‘round and ‘round and ‘round and then
they jumping outa they seat
there sitting down again
amen amen amen
in rings they sing
at the walls of this thing
they sing and they sing
Lord knows they sing
and here there comes another ring
inside they head
where all they know is they said
and what they make believe
divide’em here from the dead
dark shadows they greased and on they stroll
left in there wandering into growing on old
going along those roads like it been foretold
they swirling they dabbled with Africa traces
made up borrowed from they kin in jungled places
laughing they laughing at they small dark faces
spinning ‘round and ‘round and ‘round and when
they running away there over yonder
they standing right here again
amen amen amen
in rings they sing
at the walls of this thing
they sing and they sing
Lord knows they sing
and here there comes another ring
when help it come it on the run
it always something it never done
somebody proclaim they holy name
for fame and pockets full of bubbled gum
driving big white boats through desert lands
pouring sparkling sands in begging dark hands
and basketballs in tiny food cans
going ‘round and ‘round and ‘round they been
they keep coming on back so’s to go again
amen amen amen
in rings they sing
at the walls of this thing
they sing and they sing
Lord knows they sing
and here there comes another ring
tomorrow it comes and it never nears
eyes they dried by their falling tears
brown bottles scattered and emptied full
of checker games and the silver bull
in vacant lots under old shade trees
rolling dice with no eyes under bended knees
frozen there waiting for the end of something
that’s always never come
looking ‘round and ‘round and ‘round they grin
always there at where they been
amen amen amen
in rings they sing
at the walls of this thing
they sing and they sing
Lord knows they sing
and here there comes another ring

Copyright © 1995 Asili Ya Nadhiri

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