Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

The Santa Ana Literary Association will be presenting a new poem by a local poet every week this year. This week’s poem is The First Drum (Black Love is…) In memoriam of Lucille Clifton, by Marcus Omari.

The First Drum (Black Love is…)
In memoriam of Lucille Clifton

from the first drum
struck in shame and sin (or so they say)
and so we sneak up on it like thieves in the night
the fight of flightless cygnets baptized out by the bullet
and lash we were taught we ought’ know better
if nothing else and some still fear the holy water
and some can’t swim to save they lives

come celebrate with me
an amalgamation of legacy
an appreciation of tribal currency
salvation’s riptide beneath the skin
lift imperfect starshine to the heavens
that a red clay sound found damned at our feet
might fall afresh upon the earth

a love levee breach barreling down wall street
drowning out a cacophony of colonial brass
in faith we hold hands and hold class
in percussive rhythm blood melodies
made in sun filled darker times – to guide our way
and we shall not lose sight or sound of ourselves in 2/4
4/4 – 808’s or otherwise known as soul

it’s a spiritual thing for non-believers it’s a rapture
for those willing to suspend belief and call it home
in the doorway we stand – a happily nappily
harmony of hues unashamed of tenor and tone
with neither model nor metronome it’s hard
to measure across time what it means
to be what it truly means to just be unafraid

come celebrate with me
a reclamation of intimacy
a people born romantically inclined
to overcome death on the daily and beyond all
moonlight we learn to love ourselves as ourselves
our gaze our own, we are known for this – freedom
children of the chosen behold

the only thing greater than yourself
within yourself – show and tell
the skin – the rope – the shell
refresh unabashedly at the well
as we gather once again
Kemet invocation begins
in the dark roar of a drum

Copyright © 2021 by Marcus Omari & the Poetic Reform Party

Copyright © 2021 by Marcus Omari & the Poetic Reform Party

Marcus Omari is a dedicated poet, writer and performer. Marcus has been a featured poet on VERSES & FLOW on TV One, has authored several poetry chapbooks and contributed poetic vocals for various multi-genre music albums. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Marcus Omari continues to teach, coordinate, and promote creative arts programming throughout Southern California.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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