“Were we ever one tribe?” the poet Jacob Melvin asks. This question of lament gets at the reckoning upon communities around the country right now. It calls for telling stories of the ways our communities have been broken, have sometimes done the breaking, and for imagining how we might leap together toward wholeness.
Stalling ‘Til Another Sleep, Standing For Another Leap
By Jacob “Seven Feet” Melvin
Now I know no one knows who decides wars.
We can pick sides and pack up our mortars.
With all the gunpowder ground from foreigners,
Armed with less than enough to feed their daughters.
We can point fingers and pin tails on animals meant for slaughter.
Crying out that we are the fairer, freer, former.
Constantly touting false flags of honor.
This the harbinger of a New World Order.
A pall bearer for the world’s disorder.
The restorer of pieces of peace.
Fragmented by the very greed that we feast.
Who is without a woe, a swear to their name?
Each looking for the other to maim.
It is “I” who reigns supreme though the oppressor may stutter.
Missals muttered under the breath of a leader.
Who’s bird lays egg nest in the tree of our mother.
Yet, heeds the unfounded reign of a paternal figure. Tyrant! He took name of the house yet know not his Sir from a Plunder.
Who’ve pillaged these lands. Those who had not enough of the last.
They that cast out fellow man, in the name of the fast.
Quick route to salvation an orchestration of murder.
The only flame carried within scorched by the claim to another. Ruthlessness ran amongst them. Out ran, then held their nose to the fire.
The only fair chance given to the fairer of skin.
Yet the growers of lands mend the wounds of the skewer.
While newsrooms skew words under the nose of the viewer.
To keep that old jackal gnashing. Sicking The Sunner on the slave.
Those were the days.
Were we ever one tribe?
Or a crowd full of scavengers crossed by dotted “i”’s.
Lead directly to our demise.
With these words I whistle one Duaa reprise.
Only when we leap together will we rise.