Even now we are wary

as we hold the ground for you

whose words deny us,

demean our humanity worse than slavers.


Natural inheritors of our dreams

we keep the path open

for you

whose ways we may not know

dissonant, cacophonous, brilliant.


True it took a long time to recognize you,

wearing clothes three sizes too large

sporting black hoods,

death’s awesome mask

to cover your dance,

shade your truth.


Children born in the age of chaos,

hail storm of bullets your lullaby.

Guns so high tech one can shoot two

blocks away through a brick building

into newborn heart of an only daughter.

This era of accidental, intentional misuse of

Oxossi’s armaments: power, medicine and justice.


Sons of Ketu wear elaborate braided crowns

courting the feminine with your beauty.

Where is the wisdom once woven in your hair?

Dissonant poets don’t just carry the drum, worship its beat.

Sing your new war songs, challenge everyone around.

Children of Ketu re-energize us. Demand our best selves.

Cut! Cut language, lives anew.



*Ketu or Alaketu – some believe it to be one

of the original birthplaces of rap located in Nigeria.


Oxossi – god of justice in the Yoruba pantheon.