In Honor

Thank you Paula for sending me the lyrics and the post to this amazing sweet honey.  After reading the Spirit blog, an Archivette and friend and colleague sent this to me.  I found it truly moving, and wanted to share it with the wordpress, women of color, queer online community.

It’s a lovely day out today in New York City.  I’m at the reference desk, and excited to edit some interviews, a non-fiction essay on kink and community, and some poetry.   Until I can share one, here’s a lil something while you have your Saturday morning smoothie and head to the great outdoors. 

In honor of Spirit…



from Paula,
Subject: In Honor of Your First Saturn Return

I just wanted to share this poem by Birago Diop that was set to music by Ysaye Maria Barnwell in 1980 and recorded by Sweet Honey in The Rock in “Good News” .  I think you must know it:  
 
Listen more often to things than to beings
Listen more often to things than to beings
Tis’ the ancestors’ breath
When the fire’s voice is heard
Tis’ the ancestor’s breath
In the voice of the waters
Ah  —  wsh    Ah —  wsh
 
Those who have died have never, never left
The dead are not under the earth
They are in the rustling trees
They are in the groaning woods
They are in the crying grass
They are in the moaning rocks
The dead are not under the earth
 
Listen more often to things than to beings
Listen more often to things than to beings
Tis’ the ancestors’ breath
When the fire’s voice is heard
Tis’ the ancestor’s breath
In the voice of the waters
Ah  —  wsh    Ah —  wsh
 
Those who have did have never, never left
The dead have a pact with the living
They are in the woman’s breast
They are in the wailing child
They are with us in our homes
They are with us in this crowd
The dead have a pact with the living
 
Listen more often to things than to beings
Listen more often to things than to beings
Tis’ the ancestors’ breath
When the fire’s voice is heard
Tis’ the ancestor’s breath
In the voice of the waters
Ah  —  wsh    Ah —  wsh
 
Paula



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