Monday, 25 April 2011

Music of My People

Image credit: google: mod.go.ke

That afternoon, music swept Kongelai
The rhythm of my people took me hostage
And so, adorned with abusibus and songol
Standing aloft my head like a steeple
Alado strangling my arm, kondi in my right hand
I whipped up a tune, a tune of my dead ancestors

The arena heated up, kirkiris sound
Gyrating its hips on people’s ear-lobes
Fire encircling the feet of undecided dancers
When the spark blew, O Kinsman, Kongelai
Was a ball of fumes, no fire-fighter could extinguish!

I ran round the Dancing Square,
With my breast beating, a song lilting in my lips
O Kinsman, how I sang in the way of our people
Soaked in sweat, my ardour scenting the spirits
Calling them to hum to the tune

I sang of the uncastrated white bull
That goered all bulls up to Karamoja
I was that bull, his horns were my arms
His hooves were my mud-bed, sacred
If I lost my voice that day, Kinsman,
That thought never crossed my mind

As the rhythm gathered pace
All I can remember is that Kongelai
Was a maiden, impressed yet
Concealed the excitement
Even as dust rose, women shrieked
The sky, in a surprise twist,
Released droplets of standing ovation.

C) Lorot Salem 2011

Notes:

Abusibus- A headgear with an ostrich feather worn by Pokots during Celebrations.
Songol- An ostrich feather.
Alado- A flywhisk tied to the arm used while dancing.
Kondi- A special horn used in Celebrations.
Kirkiris- Jingles tied to the ankles.
Kongelai- a place in Kacheliba, Kenya.

# From Jingle's prompt Poetry Potluck Muse Art and Music

 




10 comments:

Jingle said...

elegant word flow.
Thanks for the treat!

You Rock!

A++

tasithoughts said...

Amazing celebration.

JP

http://tasithoughts.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/breathing-up/

Salem Lorot said...

@ Jingle, as always thank you so much. :)

@ Tasithoughts, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your kind comments.

Ms. Rae said...

the final stanza is reminiscent of the dusty circle frenzy. it's night here, now, and i can remember the beating that lit a malian night ablaze with mosquitoes and feet in flight.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Again, a spectacular write. I was almost there, in the dust, the voices ululating, the feet moving..........singing in the way of your people, singing like the long ago.

Salem Lorot said...

@ Ms. Rae, first welcome to Lorot's Poetry. Here in Kenya, Africa we say "karibu" (welcome). You put it so well, that Malian Night. Mosquitoes? Ha ha.

@ Sherry Blue Sky,yes Koko. You were in the great land of your dreams, Africa. And how you did your jig, dust rose up and as the ground shook, somewhere far in the Pacific Ocean the tides rose too...Canada merged with Kongelai.

Weston D Fosdeck said...

excellent, glad i found this.

Salem Lorot said...

Thank you so much Weston D Fosdeck. Welcome to Lorot's Poetry. Glad you stopped by and for dropping your kind comment.

poetpost said...

Truly enjoyable and enlightening read. Great poem. Thanks for sharing.

Iris

Salem Lorot said...

Glad you stopped by Lorot's Poetry, @ Poetpost. I appreciate your comments. Welcome back to read more. I am happy to see you here.

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