best friend. my mom. my mother. my ma.
mama. momma. mommy.
she surrounded you in riveting moves, nailing you to the
spot you sat in. your body froze, constricted with each move
she made. boom boom
sounding out her body as kojo sounded out his words,
she spoke fluidly, mellifluously.
her body politic rose in making fluid or flying, fist and fire,
forever and over, pronouncements. her body politic made
point after point, arguments.
she rose and fell, formed and dissolved, sped and slowed
the race of life. moments extended. moments with her mommy
and tony, her mommy and t.k., kwase, kua and ‘porah,
yes. moments with her were purposeful, spirit-building
in the making.
yes. she, you see, was constantly blessing spaces.
mostly with the ways she spoke with her eyes and smelt with her
mouth, danced with her hands and wrote with her feet.
yes. she sprinkled sage and powdered cinnamon as she walked:
a fury of flowers. she blessed the place, providing
venues for creation. indeed, she was always on call;
a midwife’s right-hand.
we fled to her and her places: the studio and the kitchen, the living
room and the spa and the beach and the ocean.
and we fled to her catching her tales of playful wit.
yes. she bled happiness, pure and supreme. i bopped and be bopped
and second noted and jazzed and fifth skipped to her last lines.
giver of memories beyond reach or description because we
were in it, completely submerged, breathing discovering caves and
caverns full of lighted darkness.
in it. we were beneath and replete with earth
of new beginnings.
in it. intensely focused on timing the breaks between her
in it. dancing and spiritmaking. we were
in it. breathing her in yes. we were.
in it. intensely aware of our place in the world and
all-oh-all-very-all that was to come.
we tickled and played, bubbled and became. we made
our spirits. yes. we danced this little dance for little people,
for children to remember their beginnings, their way home.
yes. we wrote right beside her
as she became completely one.
as she completely won herself from
this dueling battle
yes. and then there she was and we were all there.
already ready with music and laughter and tears and
incense and when our knees began to hurt we simply
squatted low and she knew just what to do.
yeah. she knew with nary a word of instruction or advice.
she knew how to catch us. she took, like most artists,
leap after leap into the deepest dark.
she sat low and shaped her hands and stretched her feet,
and pointed her toes, cracked her back. she stood time still.
awakening spirits, nestled and grumbling and mumbling.
her need to insert them back into her life, into her memory.
she leaped and lunged into the deepest dark unknowing,
unsure of the journey…
…seeking I think, to be reconnected, to be welcomed
with awful teary arms and smiles, to be welcomed home,
in her heart, in her art.
her last words as she begun our class, her last words as
we begun the warm up was that ‘the spirit does not operate
in a collegical way.’
so, come wit me to see where she gets this buzz. why the bees
oh all my little honey bees love to buzz around me.
it is cuz i follow the patera, the blacksmith all the way home.
they have taught me tips for ritualizing creation, remembering
ghosts and running marathons of races celebrating, rejoicing and recommitting to all of the various and special occasions on which
life is born. on this day of the year that she was born.
she followed the midwife all the way home
and they carved a relief together a remarkable stone noting
the sundry details of that wondrous life when an artist
bore an artist
bore a child
bore a sun unto
and this day, today, we strike our laughter even louder
for everyone across this room, for all the letters across
this page, and for all those everywhere to know:
she knelt before the drum before she wiped her brow.
the dancer of toasted time,
the mommy u know by name,
the tree we hung our heads before.
see if you can fit into her mesmerizing movement,
her two step.
see if you can follow her home. let everyone and
only just yourself know that
she is here; has been, will be, always, here.
sniff a piece of her magic bread.
that’ll wake you awhile
then y’all can dance together as promised.
loved one, u feel me? fill me.
if you follow she, i will follow thee
all the way home. follow me.