LASANA M. SEKOU
a lawyer said
military police invaded the house
of a peasant farmer,
raped his daughter
forced the family to watch
and made him,the farmer,
whose father could as well have been a carpenter–
carry a heavy cross for four miles
until he collapsed
you mean to tell me
that you have not seen the nazarene?
before the triumph of the revolution
and before madre mariana’s conception of maceo
lived jose antonio aponte
who rose phoenix-clad macheteros
against the death-white tyranny of slavery
in a sparkling sun-dawn battle
they called the conspiracion de aponte
he was captured
he was quartered
his head placed on exhibit
and his hands nailed to a tree
and you will tell me
that you have not heard of this
of this messiah who came
and lived till death for us?
and did you not see
when we people
like flaming tongues of palm sunday branches
raised a savior on high
passing over the streets of st.george’s
proclaiming the science and faith
in the fifth year morning of a second coming
before the sadducee sentence
festered a thorn-crown of bullets
and nailed maurice to a bitter cross?
did you not weep then too,
stinging-nettle-laced-tears of vinegar blood
when green beetle soldiers,
the imperial horde
and their impudent soiled spots of oecs,
gairyseaga and the other failures too
made buzzard swoops
and cast treacherous lots to see
who would wear
the seamless innergarments of that christ?
and when they stabbed
jesus christ in guyana
wasn’t it father darke who bled to death?
then when they slaughtered the archbishop in san salvador
was it not the son of man who lay there
riddled for our silence?
and when they shot lionel laine
did you not hear how jesus
was gunned down in a haitian slum?
and when they bombed him to kingdom-come
didn’t we bear rodney’s body from the cross?
and when che passed over
didn’t you hear
how they tortured the christ in higuera?
so when they hanged poet malaise
in south Africa
didn’t you see adoni
and when they killed sandino
whose father was a small farmer
whose name could as well been joseph—
didn’t you hear him say
tyrants do not represent nations
and liberty is not won with flowers?
unto caesar what is caesar’s then
and unto the people the wealth of their labour
and when jacquiline fell
under the crucifix of mutinous guns
didn’t you see christ fall
and grace the thirsting earth
with blood and water?
and didn’t you hear the child,
as a rainbow arching from within her womb,
the child people said she carried for him, within her,
didn’t you hear that child say:
it is done
still, i&i live
to come again
like a thief in the night
like a guest-unannounced
like a double-edged sword
like a light that shineth into the darkness
the glory of true liberty
to sing the peoples’ praises
to shout showering hosannas of living rain
and still you mean to tell me
that you have not yet seen
the likes of the nazarene?