When I conducted research with refugees in Cairo, Egypt, I engaged the community in a youth music project. One night, I sat listening to the diverse musical traditions of Sudan, exhibited before me with unrivalled emotion. The room filled with traditional incense as we drank hilo-mor, a Sudanese herbal drink special during Ramadan. The lasting words of the night will forever echo in my head, when my co-researcher, a man from Darfur, asked his friend from Kordofan, a young singer, "Why do you sing your traditional music?" He responded, "Because when we sing, we remember where we're from, our place."
as the enlightening face of my old Israeli cousin, young of age, though old in memory blinks fearlessly in lieu of horizon’s edge, her eyes brighten in front of mine, a parallel daze, as she sends through her pupils an image of the bomb pattern of military flight
|House of Ypres by A.Y. Jackson|
and I see a Dutch friend, an emergent activist on the path to knowing her similarly, her pale face scans the leaping vigor of machine angst over the virtual land, upright in a jet, we scan the earth with the dotted map, bounding over villages destroyed at our mechanical feet as we leap through the air and finally touch down over a secretive hill, where green earth changes to beige desert
|F-16 over Pentagon 9-11-01 by U.S. Air Force|
and part of a caravan, we gather direction with locals, Bedouin men allies, as they guide us towards the perimeter of our land, and espionage fills our lungs with the hot breath of wartime lies
“Where in whose pleasing leisure does our stock grow and go bolder in fields of blank duress from childless talent, filling space and accentuating silent harmony in the ever-widening round?”
To believe in light, and the possibility to endure the ground’s own failing trials
With Her round nature, orbiting in the mess of experience
Without prior knowledge, except when I believe in Her as my own
...dreaming up beauty in the complimentary fold / with airy locks peeled over the dead / sick earth swells with an overwhelming decay of restraint from life / into a confident foray with spirit’s unidentified heights or doorways into the New World / cornered, lightless
excerpt from "A Songster's Realisy"