Category: Cultural Studies


SAMBA: A BRAZILIAN AND INTERNATIONAL PHENOMENON© 

By Arose N Daghetto

 

Did you know that Samba music and its dance was created by African slaves who migrated to the city of Salvador, Brazil, which is one of if not the largest population of Afro Brazilians?  Samba is of several success story to come out of the African diaspora, for it is a culture that’s taken Brazil and the world by storm.

 

Samba came from humble beginnings, tracing back to the Salvador, Brazil.  The city of Salvador is also known as Bahia (which means, “Bay” and is also called “The Bay of All Saints”,  a place where not only Samba was born, but a place where Orixas and Candomblé religions were born.  These religions are rich in Congolese, Yoruba, Togo, Nigerian, Ghanaian and Benin cultural influences from Africa.  This is also where many of the African Slaves came from and this area of Brazil is one of the first places all African slaves were brought to before being dispersed to different parts of the South, Central and North America.

 

Salvador is also the birthplace of the famous Capoeira, which is a martial arts that combines dance and music. Capoeira was originally a self-defense mechanism the African slaves practiced to use against their slave masters. Capoeira was used by African warriors to prepare for war against rival tribes. Having such captured warriors among the community of slaves, they secretly used these moves to train one another for combat and protection. Capoeira involves kicks, head butting, acrobatics, leg sweeps, slapping, elbowing, punches all incorporated in dance. 

 

Whenever the slave masters questioned their act, they explained it was simple form of dance and celebrating with each other. It didn’t take much to convince their masters how innocent and harmless the dance was. Perhaps to each other, who probably endured a few scrapes and bruises in their “harmless” dance.  

 

Brazil continues to have highest population of African descendants, most of them live in lower middle class communities or Favelas, which is like African Americans who live the inner city, to put in a nice way or ghettos, to put in a not so nice way.  

 

Afro Brazilian singer, Gilberto Gil once said in an interview that Afro Brazilians knew more about their African identity than those of African Americans, because done so well in preserving their cultural and religious identity.  Slavery in Brazil had much more of an upper hand over their slave masters because they outnumbered their oppressors over time and was able to gain control over their freedom better than those African Slaves that populated the south-eastern regions of the United States.  That’s a fascination discussion that I will have to get into further detail on in another blog.

 

Anyway Getting back to Samba music, other cultural influences helped to greatly diversify the Samba identity in Brazil such as the descendants of Portuguese, Spanish Italian and Native American.  Today, there are many sub styles of Samba music, you got Jazz samba, rock samba, Samba R&B Samba, reggae Samba, hip hop Samba.  The music is undeniably a euphoric experience. You can see the joy on the musicians faces as they work up a sweat beating those various percussions and strumming those various sized guitars. The singers are smiling, laughing, hypnotized by the intense rhythms and lyrics.  It’s always a party anytime you hear the Samba.  Even sad sambas makes you want to get up and dance!  Samba is the antidepressant to the most depressed soul and hope to the pessimist. 

 

As time and generations evolve, Samba takes on new and different faces in the music genre.  In the more current decades, many Brazilians express their dislike for Samba music, claiming it’s old and out with the times. Kinda like Americans were with Disco music back in the late 1970’s.  Nevertheless, the number of those who love Samba music is outnumbered in the nation and many artists work hard to keep the beauty of this music genre very much alive.  Samba schools have been established to teach people about Samba music, dance, and culture.

 

Samba has long been enjoyed by not only Brazilian natives, but Americans, French, Caribbeans, Germans and others around the world.  Samba remains to be the Face of Brazil’s attractive and sensuous identity. So whenever you’re feeling sad and can use a little pick-me-up, or if you feel like listening to something culturally invigorating, pull up a Samba or Bossa playlist on your Pandora radio.  Once you listen to it, you will never look at music the same again!

 

Article (not pictures) © Copyright 2012 by Arose N Daghetto for Black Girl Down Publications. All Rights Reserved.

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND XMAS

                                                         Written By Arose N Daghetto

Did you know that Christmas and Xmas are NOT the same word?  Well… it was intended to not be the same word in the eyes of modern American culture. 

The difference between Christmas and Xmas depends on how Americans in particular, perceive the meaning of each word according to its spelling. 

Shortened or lengthened, the way one spells Christmas, with a C or with an X can easily offend the person receiving that message. While non Christians are more laid back on how the title is spelled, many Christians are less accepting of the Xmas spelling.

In the spelling of “Christmas”, there’s the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as the Alpha meaning behind the holiday…. “Xmas” was revised name created by someone, perhaps an atheist, who preferred to launch a war on the Christmas BY REMOVING CHRIST’S NAME out of the title. Therefore, giving non religious folk-such as atheists, agnostics and new age spiritualists who serve different gods- full advantage to celebrate the holiday without compromising their current way of life. Some acknowledge “Xmas” simply as a season of giving and receiving gifts with friends and family, followed by a formal dinner. Some work through “Xmas”, giving no reverence to the special day regardless of how it’s spelled. Regardless of the “religion” behind the holiday, believers and non believers alike pause life on that day to take part in the traditional gift giving and receiving event for the sake of their children who believe in the spirit of Old St. Nick and his reindeer hauling a sleigh full of infinite gifts to children around the world.

The image of Jesus Christ and his day of birth is buried under the ideal image of what Christmas or “Xmas” should be about. Worshipping symbolic statues that characterize the holiday season. They also tend to worship one another through MATERIAL means, such as gift giving, praising and singing songs to mythological figures that go by the name of Santa Claus, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman.

Children pay their alms to these practices to honoring these make-believe presence of FABLES by caroling and writing letters to these nonexistent “gods”, so to speak… The grown ups exalt these mythological characters while beaming one another up in the “holiday spirit” by consuming enormous feasts of food, wine, and worldly celebration.

Although many people think “Xmas” fully removed Christ out of the name, he still has a strong presence there.  According to Merriam Webster website and Wikipedia,  “…The “X” comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as “Christ”…. [and the “-mas” part is from the Latin-derived Old English word for “mass” (Wikipedia.org)

Therefore, whether it’s Christmas or by Xmas, Christ still reigns as the symbol behind the Christmas holiday.

The right to religious freedom is being challenged more and more in our always evolving American society. It was the Europeans who felt it was their divine duty to set sail across the seven seas, spreading the of God and converting whom they once called “savage” people to Christianity. The recolonization of America (which included the so-called extermination of Native American society) was built on what was supposed to be solid Christian standards. Now, centuries later, the same people who came to save the world by converting the world to Christianity is now on a mission to destroy the Christian belief system and rip away the rights of those Christians to celebrate the holiday season in a way that is pleasing to them and the God they serve.

The challenge is also felt in the multicultural areas of America where the integration of both non believers and believers join forces to recreating a divine priesthood of African descent. From the hood to the islands and abroad these community of people dedicate themselves tirelessly to the higher calling of “freeing the slave within” by reclaiming the lost legacy of their ancestors. They root themselves in the divine rule set by the kings and queens who ruled their ancestral land long before the European invasion. Some believe in a more Afrocentric system of Christianity while others believe in an ancient Egyptian system of divinity known as the Kemet. Others embark on other cosmic, “new age” forms of spirituality in African and Eastern societies. 

Regardless of the path of their spiritual walk, their “divine movement” primarily consists of “waking up” the oppressed, miseducated person of color as well as those victimized by the institution of conspiracy. Sometimes their mission is met on one accord, other times it erupts in a frenzy of exhausting discord.

Like the United nations, believers and non believers of color representing all spectrums of spiritual identities come together often to hold round table like discussions on the state of their community within and outside of their spiritual community. They the congregate online and off-line, exchanging philosophies about the most suitable direction for people of color, particularly those of African descent. They too protest Americanized holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter by educating others on the origin of these holidays through lectures and literature. Although their movement is not commonly televised like their mostly Caucasian counterparts, the mission remains the same: tear down the walls of (westernized) Christianity and the holidays built on that system of beliefs. In the Afrocentric group of non believers, neither Christmas or Xmas is warmly embraced.  

There was a time when the church was winning the war between church and state. Today, the state is winning the war. Leaders are failing the lost and wounded. The lost and wounded are prematurely leading other lost and wounded, tripling the affliction of many more broken souls trying to find their way to salvation. The Middle East, the birthplace of Christ, Christianity and the meaning of Christmas continues to be a conglomerate of war-torn nations and tortured souls.

Collectively, non believing Americans of all spiritual backgrounds are writing off the celebration of the birth of Christ, a.k.a The Lord and Savior, a.k.a The Good Shepherd as “offensive”, “assaulting” to non believers.   They protest the rights of other believers to peacefully celebrate the traditional meaning of Christmas among fellow Christians and keepers of the true meaning of Christmas. Although non believers have a right to NOT celebrate the original meaning of Christmas with other believers, they feel the need to launch a crusade remove all the symbols and services of the holiday from society period.

I feel there is a double standard in America’s cries for civil liberties. Where there are largely supported campaigns on the acceptance of gay and lesbian culture and marriage, why is there not campaigns launched on respecting the right to freedom of choice in ones individual religious beliefs and culture? Why not support the right for Christian Americans to believe in Jesus Christ and celebrate His birthday publicly or privately if you support the gay and lesbian parades in every community? This is what TRUE tolerance is all about. All people having a right to being a part of any social or sexual identity of their choice without being socially forced to conform into a lifestyle the do not feel comfortable with being a part of. To push for tolerance of one part society is to push for tolerance of ALL portions of society. Christians should have the right to celebrate and hold festivities who and what they believe in… Civil rights and equality is for ALL people, INCLUDING Christian people… not just one particular social, sexual or racial class of people. 

Daily, television and newspapers continues to report the progress of Anti-Christmas crusaders and their petitions to take away Christianity and their right to worship their Lord and Savior in schools and other parts of the communities. Their highly publicized ventures grow more intense each year. People forcefully trying to pressure government officials into eventually “outlawing” the Christmas and Christianity period. If you could peer into the spirits driving most of these angry protesters, you’d might see that many of them are fueling their “mission” with unresolved issues and bitter pain that continues to accumulate in their hearts. Many of them are protesting their cause to make Christmas solely a “gift giving” holiday minus the display of the nativity scene, church services, prayers before dinner, Christmas plays, and showing of biblical movies.   

Most of these “Anti Christmas” crusaders are using their own personal disappointments and spiritual complexities to take away their innocence of the real blessing of Christ based on some very unfortunate things that’s happening in the church, such as sex abuse on children, infidelity among church leaders, betrayal of trust and persecution from church members, unanswered prayers. They’re fighting hard to thoroughly remove the halo of nativity scenes, angels and cross symbols and raise up the horns of these age-old myths that shimmies down chimneys and eat cookies, “flying” reindeers whose nose glows in a BLOOD RED color, a talking snowman that melts to his death then resurrects himself over and over again through the hands of children who builds him up in the chilling cold holiday snow. They sing of these songs and revere these figures every year, however most of us don’t realize what they are submitting ourselves to, rather intentionally or unintentionally when they gather up our family and friends to partake in these “ritualistic” practices. They get so caught up in getting those cookies and milk ready for Santa, obsess over how many gifts when can get or give their loved ones, bringing Frosty back to life.

For good measure, these people try to balance out their gluttonous, selfishly obsessive behavior by taking a second out of their materialistic world to drop some loose change in the Salvation Army kettle or a few hours working at a soup kitchen to feed the homeless. A gesture to show society that they’ve done their “good deed” to the less fortunate for the holiday season… but starting New Year’s, everything goes right back to the more comfortable, convenient lifestyle of serving the lust of self and the greed of selfish things. Charity is not a one a year, holiday season only thing… charity can be done year round for as little as a few hours a week and it don’t have to always be about money. For those who sincerely cannot afford to give money to the cause of their choice, they can give their time. Of course one should enjoy the luxuries they were blessed to have in their life… but it should be enjoyed with responsibility and with self-control, never taking anything for granted because within a blink of an eye, any of us could become the very people we volunteer in soup kitchens for or give loose change to in that Salvation army kettle.

NO I’m not trying to ruin everyone’s “holiday” spirit. I am only expressing my feelings on this whole hostile take over to remove all Christian undertones and symbols behind the Christmas, or “Xmas” holiday season.  Everyone, including you who is reading this post has the right to your own beliefs and opinions. This is not a post to persuade but rather a post to inform and to some extent entertain the intellect. You have the option of what belief your want to pursue. 

For those who believe in the Christmas season, you have many options on how you chose to go forth and celebrate the Holiday season, based on your own personal beliefs. You have that option to choose between slipping into the hol “I”day spirit or the hol”Y”day spirit. The process is similar, you still have the Christmas tree, the dinners, the enjoyment of family, the presents…. but you also have CHRIST first and foremost above all those things. You have CHRIST at the HEAD of your table and not just a fancy spread and idle toast recitations.

There’s nothing wrong with supporting the “innocence” of childhood by decorating the house with these nursery rhyme like images like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman. For me, as  a believer, as long as JESUS CHRIST is in the midst of these activities because after all He IS the REAL MEANING of  the word CHRISTMAS… not “X”mas.

KNOWLEDGE is POWER… Always know who you serve, what you serve and why… whether it be Christmas or Xmas.

Happy HOLYdays,

Arose N Daghetto

 

Red girl ©

      Written by: Arose N Daghetto

 

Rebel girl, skin like fire

Tell the Lord your heart’s desire

 

Dancing doe, blazing tornado

Stirring sandy winds of smoke and shadows

 

Fire manifests in your human form

The rage of God in the image of a child of corn

 

Crimson child with hints of scarlet

By product of the Holy Spirit, cosmic starlet

 

Passion is your paternal, Beauty is your maternal

Elemental in the spiritual, extraterrestrial in the physical

 

Fleeting blood voyaging through the vien of life

Symbol of a beating heart, pulsing strife

 

Nature’s princess, the world’s empress

hindered by labor pains of grief and injustice

 

Red girl wilderness burns like wildfire

As you dance into your Rites of Passage full of desire

 

Red woman, dance on…

Dance on, Rebel, dance on…

Yell if you must but dance on…

Scream if you will, just dance on…

 

Carry on in that warrior’s ancestral dance

Until your barren land encounters the tip of chance

 

Dance with all your might until you find

The Holy Grail and favor of the Divine

Dance until your wilderness is disturbed with light

and the rustling of the trees invades your silent night

and the stomping of your dancing feet ignites

smoke signals over the black trees in clouds of white

 

Dance strong in the rain, dance through the fall

Dance harder through the snow but most of all

 
Dance until daylight breaks

and the birds sing

Dance until you achieve your full reign

Dance until the shimmering trees refrain

And The Great Man emerges, saying your name…

 
Breathless Red child, you survived the storms of womanhood

God has given you a Helper as He promised He would

Now when you dance, you don’t dance alone….

You dance in Holy matrimony…

two warriors plus one.

 

 

Poem (Not Picture) © Copyright 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. 

All Rights Reserved.

WAR STORIES OF A SINGLE WOMAN ©

                                      By Arose N Daghetto

                                       

It’s not easy being a veteran soldier

battling on the frontlines of single life…

The longings, the urges,

the wanting to be wanted,

the needing to be needed,

the loving to be loved…

Living life solo doesn’t compare

To living life spoken for…

There are no purple hearts

only broken hearts.

There are no salutations,

no tributes to my victories

or my fatalities…

See my wounds?

I got this discolored one

across my stomach

when I was a POW:

Prisoner Of being a Woman.

I got this other one along my side

when I was MIA:

Misrepresented In America.

The long welts all over my back

were the number of times

I’ve been whipped by karma

in Vietnam.

The footprints all over my body?

Well, that’s when I was

pounced on by chauvinism

in Kuwait

and strung up by my own burka

in Afghanistan.

I was sentenced

to female circumcision

In Sudan,

Sent back to my homeland

castrated by a man called Black…

I’m caught like a deer in headlights

Trapped in a den of wolves…

Some have HIV

Others have another STD

They’re out to get me…

If I make it out here alive

I’ll reconsider

Proposing to abstinence.

This ugly scar between my breasts

is from all the open heart surgeries

performed by the Great Physician.

He had to exhume my blackened heart

and replace it with a new one…

It was a long process

that took several operations

in order to be reconciled with my body

so I could make it out of intensive care

and into recovery.

People say I’m not missing out on anything

I’d like to see them say that

when they put themselves in my shoes.

I want to see how tough they are

surviving days without the very people

who make their identity;

Their husband and their children.

Let’s see if they can make it twenty-four hours

Being manless, sexless and childless.

Tell me if they won’t crack up

if they don’t drop dead first 

from a massive panic attack.

I can handle those things

because I was born to be a soldier…

preparing for combat is my specialty,

fighting to the death is all I know

I was cultivated that way by society.

I learned the hard way

how to speak up for myself,

and how to handle men

Who like to beat on women.

I take pride in being a soldier

because I have the ability to go without

longer than anybody else can.

There are times I wish I can be a civilian…

I heard a lot about the benefits

to being a lady.

I try to conduct myself as one

but certain circumstances

won’t allow me to be one for long…

I have to cuss people out

after being stood up.

I have to live with being the target

for lovers to execute their PDA in front of…

I spend more time being Superman

than being Superwoman.

I have a lot of Lois Lanes to rescue…

I’m beginning to think I really am

Superman.

Who has time to be a woman.

when you gotta be the trinity:

mother, father, breadwinner.

That’s how I earned the title Superman

‘cause I can do it all and do it well.

So I must really be a man

wrapped in a woman’s flesh…

a veteran soldier designed for combat

who has plenty of ammunition

(in my mouth and my fists).

There is only one more thing I need

to make my look complete…

and that’s a pair of cast iron balls.

Poem (not pictures) © Copyright 2008, 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

SLINGING IRON ©

                                 Written By: Arose N Daghetto

I’m in a chain gang…

standing in a single file line,

singing the same old love songs

along with all the other

iron slinging women

while pounding on iron hearts

trying to get in

but he won’t let me in.

Back to back to the broke down back

the new man becomes the new enemy…

Status Quo is yelling in my ear

about my biological clock,

torturing me with images

of women in my age range

and younger who been married

or engaged to say the least… 

This line of women slinging iron

is getting thinner and thinner…

I’m wiping the sweat off my brow

noticing I’m doing most of the work

By myself…

My muscles are sore

but I got to keep pounding

and grunting

and singing

much more than complaining

trying to make Status Quo happy

because Status Quo says I don’t get paid

unless I meet it’s expectations,

I don’t eat unless I break through

the very last iron on the crossroads track…

I don’t get revered

unless every train coming and going

comes and goes softly,,,

and smoothly.

Lord, I don’t want to disappoint

Status Quo

I got an ego to find

and reputation to defend…

I’m still working

While seeing my former iron slingers

leaving the tracks for a better life…

They’re being celebrated

for the work they completed

while killing time

on these broken down tracks…

I’m trying to catch up with them

so I can get to where they are…

but I’m losing sight of the goal

and I can’t do that

’cause Status Quo hates

when I take too long

doing the work laid out for me…

Status Quo is watching me like a hawk,

hissing at me everytime my gung goes ho

and my head ’em up goes bottom down

and my grunts turn to groans

and my groans turn to cries

and my cries turn to screams

Lord, why did You create my body

to work slower than everyone else?!

Why did you create my brain

to catch on to things

slower than everyone else?!

Why did you create my features

to fall below the standards of beauty?!

Why did you create me to fail

the paper bag test?!

Why did you create my name

to be associated with words like

least deficient, most imbalanced, truly unfit,

definitely unqualified, a little “off”

and a bit “out there”?!

Lord, why am I still slinging iron

while the rest of the women

are sitting on pedestals

in the finest gowns

sipping champagne

throwing their heads back

giving one of those Miss America laughs

and thanking God they’re not where I am

anymore…

I make up my own song

since I have no one to choose one

by starting off the first verse

and everyone else follows suit…

I sing through my tears

sing through my aching muscles

sing through my worn out bones

sing through my lust

sing through my loneliness

sing because I got an ego to find

a reputation to defend

and a very impatient Status Quo

to satisfy.

Poem (not pictures) © Copyright 2008, 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

Hunger ©

                                                      Written By: Arose N Daghetto

Feed me

not with food or wine

but with words of knowledge,

a heapful of philosophy.

My mouth is open to receive

the tiniest morsels of science

with an ounce of musings

and a slice of scholastics.

I want raw, homegrown

organic truth

with a twist of theory

and a harvest of reason.

Saturate my mind

with juicy academia…

Interdiscipline me with culture

and probiotic rhetorics

That will strengthen

my immune system

to fight off ignorance

and resist inflammation

of free radical lies.

I want to prime the pulp

of history

where evolution flows

and feast on logic

handpicked from crops

of certified research.

I want to savor a mouthful

of slow braised direction

that’s been simmering all day

with a pinch of patience…

If you do this

I will be full and satisfied,

but come tomorrow

I’ll be back

for a second helping.

Poem (not picture) © Copyright 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved

COLLARD GREENS AND RUSTY WATER ©

                                                 By: Arose N Daghetto

They used to call my mama Miss Laura Green Jeans

Because she made the best damn pot of Collard Greens

Turnip and mustard greens also set the ghetto scene

Finger lickin’ good greens that always reign supreme

Tender greens seasoned with one or two ham hocks

Pressure cooked ’till the steam shot out that big ass chit’lin pot

Just one wiff of the aroma would draw an instant flock

Even the pushers and pimps formed a line from around the block

Everyone wanted a taste of Mama’s home made collard greens

Like dope is to an addict, her greens made you a veggie fiend

She didn’t need no competition to crown her the Soul Food Queen

Just a sample of her greens makes you wanna holler and scream

One day I had to ask, “Mama, what is the secret recipe?”

She said, “Baby ask me that question when you turn twenty-three.”

I asked her why I had to wait so long to find out the mystery,

And she said, “Because at seven, you hardly remember your ABC‘s.”

So I waited and waited as my birthdays came and went

While I enjoyed Mama’s greens that continue to be heaven sent

They were the main attraction during New Year’s, Easter, and Lent

Wowing every guest that filled the table from ladies to gents

Sixteen years, a high school diploma and a college degree later

A corporate bred nine to fiver is made out of this Mass Communicator

Mama’s now a retiree but continues to be the #1 Soul Food caterer

Preferring to cook as a hobby rather than a means of making paper

I said to her, “Mama, today I turned twenty-three,

Now are you gonna reveal that secret recipe to me?”

She said, “My last born baby girl, how proud am I to see

Your loyal heart keeps you so close to your daddy and me.

You could’ve run away to marry that funny talking New Yorker

But you chose to remain my happily unmarried daughter

You deserve to know my secret recipe, every ounce, every quarter

What makes your mama’s collard greens so famous is a pint of rusty water.

*From the book, “Anger Management: A Collection of Urban Poetry

Poem (not picture) © Copyright 2008, 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

JUMP OVER THE MOON ©

                 By: Arose N Daghetto

I turn the knob

On my FM dial

And start Dancing in the Moonlight

To this classic station

I put on my dancing shoes

Grab my boom box

And dash up the stairway

Leading me to the rooftop

I shimmy my shoulders

And Do the Hustle

Underneath the stars

I give these crowded buildings

A show they would never forget

Carnegie Hall favorites

Live from the rooftop

Of inner city USA

I do the meringue and lambada

To Oye Como Va

I’m a lean mean dancing machine

As I shake my body and do the Conga

While Rufus and Chaka Khan

Tell Me Something Good

I do the bump

And the grind

With the brisk night air

Then I get down and Boogie

In my aero Wonderland

I switch from FM to CD

And put on a little Ollie and Jerry

There’s No Stopping Us

I roll, bounce

Skate and break

Pop, lock and bottom rock

Like I was Ozone and Turbo

I do the backspin

Then strike a pose

For the stars to take my picture

If the moon was closer,

I would be Jennifer Beals

Dance like a Maniac

While unexpected rain

Pours all over my pumpin’

thumpin body…

Soak and wet

Working up a sweat

I would run off the ledge

Jump over the moon

Never touching the ground…

____________________________ 

 

Poem (not picture) © Copyright 2010 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

THE RUNNING SWORD ©

                  WRITTEN BY AROSE N DAGHETTO

My long sterling blade cuts the night

Severing the branches of oppression

Killing its roots with one swift thrust into the earth

Grazing hell and all of its evil menaces that lurks

My long sterling blade slices the winds

Dividing terror limb from limb

I cut the ropes that bind peace

Freeing her from the clutches of havoc

Hear the whip of the sword coming from the east

Heed to the far cry of its enemy coming from the west

As I lay down trauma by the night

And slay nightmares by the daylight

I traveled from sea to shining sea

Searching for a peace of eternity

Weeping endured from night to the morning

Joy has not arrived for its lost in flight

I fought giants with the sweep of my sword

I conquered lions and preyed on piranhas without a shield

Sandstorms ripped my skin like steel pellets

As the souls of Gettysburg were firing their muskets

I treaded though the hidden passages of nameless relics

Refusing to fall to my knees before racial zealots

I charged head on, swinging at every enemy in sight

I screamed with each swing, fighting with all my might

A cascade of cheers and chants light the sky from blinding angels

As their radiance chase me through the valley of death

I have no shield, no man to abound my needs

No gallant figure to take flight at the sound of my screams

My ancestors have been erased from the face of the earth

Strange blood flows in my pulsing veins

I’m a lost tribe sojourning on foreign terrain

Building huts out of the debris defining this wasteland

A widow I never was nor a duchess or queen

A king I never found and grew faint in the wait

My descendants are trapped between time and space

Tyrant echoes rattle my womb with my dynasty abased

I rest before a bonfire made from the war’s aftermath

In the company of empty huts, a village unclaimed

I hustle up some prayers to sustain me in my fierce solitude

Keeping my sword close while sending each prayer to heaven by flame.

 

Poem (not picture) © Copyright 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

NECESSITIES OF MANHOOD©
         ~Written by Arose N Daghetto
        Former Dancehall King turned Satellite Installer, Prince “Debo” Marley IV was a man in his late thirties who finally decided to settle down and live a more righteous life. His enormous music career gave him everything he ever dreamed of accomplishing fast cars, huge homes, and obliging groupies. His dream career also gave him everything he didn’t want such as backstabbing friends, crooked business deals, numerous baby mammas and more missed bullets than he could count. Quitting the music business to settle down in a low-key lifestyle was his saving grace.
         Prince stood at the altar waiting for his bride- a woman was with him when he was a minimum wage fisherman working on the shores of Ocho Rios, Jamaica- to be escorted down the aisle. Dressed in a tuxedo with his long dreadlocks pulled back neatly, his cocoa skin smooth and soft under the church lights, he indeed made a handsome groom. He didn’t believe in marrying in the church, but in respect of his girlfriend’s strict Seventh Day Adventist family, he was willing to honor their wishes.
       Prince struggled with committment during his wait.  He didn’t feel at peace with his decision to be a one woman man. His past life of heavy partying and reggae to the dawn kept him divided.
       Prince’s quiet fidgeting. An old heart to heart conversation Prince shared with his dearly departed Uncle quieted his fidgeting. His rigid posture softened as he reflected on the conversation his uncle shared with him a long time ago. The playback of his uncle’s heart to heart conversation sounded like he was in the sanctuary, still speaking life lessons over his twitching shoulder. The words penetrating Prince’s ears instantly took him back to his adolescent years in Ocho Rios.
       Although he strayed from his Uncle’s sharp cutting words of discretion, Prince never ceased to share his Uncle’s words of wisdom to several of his estranged sons, nephews and cousins during their rites of passage over the years. He would speak to the boys with the same spirit of his uncle.
       Prince’s eyes settled on the lavishly decorated altar. The chestnut table was the old load dock where he and his uncle shared many Sunday afternoons fishing on. The glare coming from the well polished golden cross blinded him at first. His eyes later adjusted as he saw the silhouette of his uncle standing on the dock.
        He could see his uncle raising his hand, bringing an index finger to the back of his ear. For the first time in decades, he heard his uncle’s words…
Look bwoy, he say
Come dung, sidung…
You waan be a man?
First you gotta establish a reputation
The more fresh fish yuh bring in
The more credit is added to yuh name,
But not to yuh pocket
 You waan prove you tough?
Then yuh gotta hab a stomach fuh booze
and da lungs fuh ganja.

Yuh muss prove you got di stamina fuh di ladies,
Be har winji or swatti, nedda dehya-
If you never got one dem yet, den act like yuh did.
Ooman like har man tan pon it lang,
So make she proud an’ har girls dem jealous
By acting like yuh pack di wood dat make dem good babies
even if yuh neva father one a day in yuh life.
These rules were muh bread in muh days of yuut.

Look bwoy, he say
Coo yah!
You waan win an ooman’s heart?
You muss learn how ta show yuh love to she
without weakenin’ di knees.
Keep har in check
When she begin ta tink she da boss!
Dat shows har you in charge.
Nuh make dem see yuh wutless, bwoy!
Always be two steps ahead of da sistren…
Ovastan, be nuh easy
Cah mi naa waan find yuh ass a chi chi.

Ooman, she cleva ya kno’…
She baan baby in di world…
Your bredda be da one ta cock it up,
But all di while baby callin’ you daddy!
Ya mon, Yuh nuh see it?
Kill mi dread, mi nuh lie!
Di gal dem give yuh sweet agony when she wanna
but she wicked as da ‘gator when she naa get har way
Ooman caan bruk a brudda
That’s why yuh muss hab plenty of ready on di side

But behold young soldier,
Set standards in life
Lay down the fuckery an’ follow Jah
Always give thanks fuh all tings Jah blessed
‘Cause Jah kyarri yuh closer dan yuh mudda o brudda.
There be no I an’ I when it come to Jah.
‘im naa lead yuh stray, bwoy
Jah know, mi tell di trut,
dey nuh odda way!

Hear me, bwoy,
I’m gwan put di fiya in yuh…
Yuh muss never forget who you are
fuh you are an example!
Always give utmost reespek ta yuh elders
for they paved da way
and make you the person yuh oughtta be.
Be nuh saap fuh nuh wan
Or let sum skettle’s punaani put di Obeah pon ya
an’ shame me to da grave!
Be nuh eaz haad to di lessons I tell yuh
I-diate on wat I taught you
Follow every principle to a T
Fuh dem i-tal necessities to yuh manhood.

      Prince felt the warm of tension as everyone’s eyes set heavily upon him as the altar faded back into view, this time with the Pastor standing in front of it.  His eyes swept the sanctuary to see horrific expressions of concern and gaped open mouths.

      The room was so silent he could hear a pin drop. He realized that the Pastor just asked him the same question a third time. His eyes rested on those of his beautiful yet worried bride. Prince flashed his signature lady-killer smile, gave a firm nod and said, “I do.”

Short Story (not picture) © Copyright 2010 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

“You whose day this is,

make it BEAUTIFUL

Get out your rainbow colors,

that it may be beautiful.”

~Nekoosa Indian Poem

Literature Voodoo is a page honoring writers and artists for their contributions to the world of Literature. Although writers and artists of African and Caribbean descent have a foundational role here, other equally important contributors include those of Creole, Latino, Brazilian, Native American and Polynesian decent. These are people who culturally seize readers’ minds through thought provoking… soul stirring poetry, fiction, essays, prose and art.

Literature Voodoo spotlights award-winning writers on the SAME platform as writers the world has yet to hear about. Artists, both well-known and unknown also receive the same spotlight. Here, their works have the opportunity to shine in a way that reflects their cultural identity while entertaining their readers in a very educating way.

Let’s Celebrate our rich global culture through the beauty of Literature and Art!

Bienvenue! 🙂

Arose N Daghetto

Creator, Author, Cultural/Linguistics Scholar 

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