Swamp Word

Swamp Words

Forty-four years of poetry, prose and short stories.

"Pile gold and African diamonds as high as you will, they can't hold a candle to Wisdom." -- Job 28: 19

For many years, I have been deeply troubled by the historical colonization, neo-colonialist constructs, and the undepinning foundation of them both through imperialistic forces of The West. The results have been globally devastating. The mirror that reflects world chaos resides in the hearts and minds of the perpetrators regardless of nationalistic and ethnic prerogatives. To that end, my spoken word performances have included a poem I wrote in 1989 -- "Diamonds" as a response to the conflict diamond industry.

Kareem Edouard's documentary "Bling: Consequences and Repercussions" probes the insanity and extreme inhumanity of capitalists' quests to dominate a people and their resources. In this case, the diamond reserves of Africa. The genocidal forces unleashed in Africa is a direct consequence of European incursions beginning in the late 15th century that continues in the diseased minds of those of African descent who perpetrate crimes upon their own people for riches--in every nook and cranny of Earth. If this isn't terrorism, what is?

We are as diamonds that have smoldered beneath Earth’s
Visible tapestry for millions of years.
Our loins, from which the hues of humanity flowed,
Were formed from the very same earth
That houses the fossils
That produced the coal
And thermo-sculpts the
Brilliant diamond others worship.
O’ heat of Africa!
On the banks of your vast lakes,
In the crevices of your mighty mountains,
And in the groves of your nurturing valleys,
We sought solace.
You fashioned us into ebony receptacles of light/
Gods and goddesses of the planet/
And vested within us the gift of harmony
So that we might teach…
The disagreeable ones of humanity
Rejected our worth as the fathers and mothers
Of the planet,
Made war instead of peace
As they began to exalt the “rock that glitters.”
O’ Motherland, we are the true diamonds!
And all of our offspring—humanity—must
Stop killing us for your material diamonds,
Gold and silver,
Zinc and platinum,
Tusks and hides.
Indeed, when the “rock” was being molded into the “diamond”
The Father of the Universe had manifested within you
The sperm of living beings.
And we rose out of the heat of your ebony chamber/
Dark bodies,
Darker than the blackest coal,
Needing only spiritual formulas for perfection.
Our disagreeable children created the tool called
The Market Place
And placed us upon it in their lust for ownership.
They spill our blood constantly--
Now, we spill our blood constantly
In search of diamonds for our egos, wealth, and wives.
Note: Boycott the conflict diamond industry!
Afi G. Osakwe, Copyright 1989 as Rody McCoy
From the manuscript: Scratch Analysis of a Forty-Four Year Itch