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African Drums

poem by Ken Holmes, Winter 2011


Percussion passion:
Give an African a drum
And the night is gone
In song or hypnotic Mbira melody

But of all the combining sounds
Of vocal chords, strings and pinging metal,
It is the drumming that pounds
Its way deep into the blood
Monopolising the biorhythms
Pulling people irresistibly up onto the floor
To dance, arms askance,
Mesmerised, jerky, chicken steps.

One ancestral spirit at least
Must be possessed of a cockerel’s crest