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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)

TITLE: Beat...Beat...Beat
By Verna Cole Mitchell
03/09/09


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Hear the drummers drumming
Pounding on the bata
And upon the dundun
Talking drums presenting
Rhythms intonations
Language imitations
Laughing weeping
Spoken words
Prayers and poetry
Praise to Shango
Ancient king
To Thunder god Orisha
And most of all to Eshu
God of chaos
Trickery deceit
Demonic spirit
Of circumstance and chance
With power over
Fortune and misfortune
Manipulator tempter
Pairing order and disorder
Gatekeeper of the crossroads
Between men and their gods.

See the dancers dancing
White teeth in dark faces
Colorfully masked
Yoruba interacting
With pounding pulsing rhythms
Of the beating throbbing drums
Swinging
Swaying
Swaggering
Shaking
Shrugging
Shuffling
Shimmying
Bending
Stepping high
Turning
Twisting
Tapping toes
Leaning
Leaping
To point with fingers
And with opened palms.

Sense the seekers seeking
Hungry hearts
Outreaching
To know the one
The only true
Creator God
Who sent His Son
To die for them
To bring to them
Bright hope for now
And for the afterlife.

Note
The Yoruba people, one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa, found predominantly in Nigeria, believe in many gods (orisa). Eshu, trickster god, is one of the best known deities of Yoruba mythology and related New World traditions.


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This article has been read 820 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Gregory Kane03/12/09
Part of me thinks I need to beat along on my son's goatskin drum as I read this poem. Wonderful choice of words. And I like the way you bring in a message of hope to contrast with the darkness of paganism
Joanne Sher 03/13/09
Perfect rhythm to this piece, and such a message. Excellent
Mona Purvis03/17/09
Certainly very creative. You can't read this without feeling the beat of the drums. Successful.
Mona
Karlene Jacobsen 03/17/09
I could feel the rythm in this.
Rachel Rudd03/17/09
There is a cry in every man's heart to know the one true God, even if they don't admit it. You have captured that here. Thanks for sharing!
Suzanne R03/18/09
I could just about feel the reverberations of the drums there as I read along. Love the alliteration too. GREAT writing, and a fabulous message of hope yet a stern rhythmic reminder of the need to communicate such hope.
Laury Hubrich 03/18/09
I could hear the drumbeats, too, and I could see their movements. Awesome work - as always.
Loren T. Lowery03/18/09
You have such a depth of expression and understanding that it always leaves me reading in awe and pleasure. I like the way you are able to view the world and bring it life in your words.
Henry Clemmons03/18/09
This was very fun to read out loud. Impressive, entertaining and educational.
Catrina Bradley 03/18/09
I really like the rhythm and subtle rhymes sprinkled throughout. I'm left saddened yet hopeful that they continue to cry out to a God they do not yet know - the hope being in the word "yet".
Diana Dart 03/20/09
Wonderfully crafted. Loved the God-light shining at the end, such great contrast.
Linda Watson Owen03/22/09
Verna, what a wonderfully authentic sounding and feeling free verse poem capturing the heartbeat of this primitive culture! Delightful and fascinating--You're such a skillful, master word artist! Your work is always a special treat!!