#19. Finding my heart at the Apollo
Day 3. NaPoWriMo – Celebrate Poetry, All Month Long!
Poem: Finding my heart at the Apollo
Perhaps it was the voices of ancestors taken from us so long ago
Perhaps it was my own restless heart telling me to go
And so I simply arose and chose
To listen to the unsung songs of my soul
And I followed my beautiful soul-sister Josie, on the long road to the Apollo
Along with all my strong, wonderful, magnificent Scandal soul- sisters
Outspoken, shy, gentle, mighty, powerful, passionate…Gladiators All!
Empowered souls, re-connecting, rising majestically from every past fall
We found ourselves together, with our spirits willing and our hearts bared open
And in these hallowed walls, I found a long-lost brother, Mr Billy Mitchell
Oh! What deep, painful and uplifting triumphant stories he had to tell
Beautiful stories of humble beginnings, of searing struggles and of happy endings
Stories of heroes and of sheroes, of poets, of dancers, of singers and of actors…
He told his story, he told our story—
He told the buried stories of our long forgotten ancestors.
Look at me, little me
It all finally makes sense
This unfinished journey to find my life’s essence
From the beautiful, broken, bruised heart of Africa, across oceans to Canada
Standing here now, in this moment, at the Apollo, the heartbeat of Harlem
Such a long way from my hometown, my small, beautiful village of Amichi.
It is so very bittersweet
That I who speak the language of Wall Street
And breathe the air of finance in a world shrouded in ego
Should find myself at this sacred place, the Apollo
Only to learn of a history so shameful, filled with dirty secrets and lies
Wall Street! Our shinning beacon of world power, trade and prosperity
Built to hide away our collective shame of shackles and chains,
Anchored on foundations laid down with the sweat and tears and blood
Of beloved ancestors buried deep in hidden, abandoned, dishonored graves.
And today, we learn to hold the future in trust for our unborn children
To bequeath to them the gift of education, the values of honour and integrity
And the courage to take on the challenges of life, to always stand up tall and fight!
I stand here, humbled, healed and finally home, as I find my heart
Beating safely, in the loving embrace of my scandal-soul-sisters, Gladiators Unite!
© ‘Kego Onyido (All rights reserved).