Vol.3 Issue.1

Artist Statement: Beyond the mechanical constraints of rhyme’s reasons and rhythm’s oftentimes obsolete obstacles, there is a region of pure experience where companion seekers of The Light congregate. There, they suddenly find out that words—at least our old words— are not enough to project what lies beyond night and day, beyond hope and fear, beyond peace and war; beyond the many binary pairs that hold us earthlings in perpetual thrall. A poet’s lifetime burden, and the culmination of his art, it seems to me, is to find the quintessential form of expression that articulates the throbbing newness of the regions beyond our arid categorizations. My own poetry, until now, has straddled the dual boundaries of loss and gain, of hope and despair, of night and day; but its ultimate vision is to transcend them all and embrace what lies beyond these ephemeral categories. Following that, “Circle of Life,” “A Dirge Too Soon,” and “A Farewell and a Defiance” may be read not simply as explorations of the contradictory binaries of the contemporary physical world as we know it, but more importantly as baby steps on the stairway towards transcending all that which holds the human ideal in bondage. All three poems are related to death, and oppose the life-wish to it, but collectively, they are also the “burning prodding bother” that seeks to tickle the navel of a realm beyond all that we currently know, or are content to limit our discourses to.

A Farewell and a Defiance

Prince Kwame Adika

 

for Linda, for Atiabah

  • The Farewell

There are songs so deep

That try the human heart

There are fears so foul

That set the soul afire

Tonight, I must sing one such song

Tonight, in the company of a thousand torturing thoughts

I must yet again make meaning of the chaos of new beginnings…

But parting, for you and I

Need not be the disquieting call

That brings distress home to roost…

Parting, in our unique case

Must not tease

Treasured, delicate memories

Into the vulgar marketplace

For chroniclers of woe to record

Ours, my dear

Is that transient interlude

That gives us time

To savor the sweetness of the past

And sample the future's beckoning joys

So, let this passing vision

Mute your incipient doubts

And serenade your heavy eyes

Into the happy valley

Of the emerging DREAMWORLD.

  • The Defiance

Let the flitting images pass

Let the dangling dazzles daze

Let the tingling tangos tear

Let the snoring masses sneer…

But let this song of midnight

Release in you, in your heart;

A new resolve for life….

Let the jarring joints jeer

Let the dizzying doses dance

Let our new dawn hopes hurt

Let the sun desires of youth yawn

Let us mourn the dire death of the other

But let this, my song

Be a kiss, a searing fire-feeling

A burning prodding bother- on your lips

Let it lure the sleep out of your eyes

Let it hurt the acceptance out of your sigh

Oh, let it raise

Let it raise death song-war song

Let it raise- oh let it raise

New desire, new embrace-image

Of fear-hope, fatal-fervor

(Even if the needling needs near)

And allow the blue-bird song to burst

Just allow the blue bird song to burst!!

 

Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790