Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Jamala at the Empty Tin Can Reading season 2

at the Empty Tin Can 2 reading:

Enjoy it!

Portrait of African wisdom

I seat down caressing
The skin of the universe
It heart beats and blinks
Through the canvas portrait
Of a Surma old man
It is a naked soul of a pure life

The old man’s face rekindles
The emotional birth of time
Millions wrinkles on his face in
Millions paths to hidden treasure
Earthed in journeys crossed
And battles fought and won

I try to deeply touch each line
Feel each tear of his eyes
Touch each smile of his face
It is a flesh of a soulful quest
Buried in sight of crossed centuries
That thrills the pace of my blood

It is a wheeze of an African wisdom
That yells on each facial hump
That roars in each façade I touch
A soothing breathe of savannah wind
Shaking coconut trees on African shores
That transcend in blinks of the old man’s eye

The man is a colour of history
With a skin of fermented years
Layer of ripple marks of Kingdoms
And Africa breathes in his nostrils and
Africa sings and speaks through his mouth
It is a portrait of African wisdom
That stands like a baobab in a savannah

© Jamala 2009


  1. Hey Jamala,
    that's a really beautiful poem about Madiba. He is really admirable and unique man and admirable is your poetry. Keep it up man!

  2. hey Milan, thank you very much!! You know what is beautiful and magical about poetry, each person sees it in his or her own eye. The poet does not have answer to all the questions but each heart finds in answer between the verses. That's exactly what happens here, this piece was not writen for Mandela but it answer the question. loving it, Thanks again Milan!

  3. Hey James,
    Why can't u translate this poetry in French?


  4. thanks for your comments, Jacq.
    Well i can but it will loose it power.
    " la langue ne peut pas traduire une autre". C'est ca le problème.