Negasi’s Song

(Negasi is Ethiopian for ‘Royalty’)

The jungle rains

make smooth

the tracks of

his journeys,

and hide away

his bones

 

His kingdom

long emptied

of treasure

and people

and time

 

His throne

succumbs to

the loving embrace

of encroaching

tree branches

 

Vines of ivy

and small berries

the birds glean

in high summer

spiral round his

decrepit scepter

in

vernal abandon

 

 

Snakes

burrow

in the

holes

of

looted

gold

 

Drums

Dance

and

Ululations

of celebration

have turned to

morning

birdsong

 

The moonlight

Dirge

sung

as he passed

through the

mourning throng

has become the

chirring

of crickets

and the

croaking

of toads

 

But the

Strength

of his

Spirit

has

forever

altered

this land.