I was conceived in drum
Tough, taut skin stretched tight
And beat, beat, beat
Till sweat soaked flesh brought me fourth
I was born in drum
Hit with sticks and not stones
And they shaped my tone
And the beat, beat, beat
Moulded me into a melody
I was raised in drum
Hollow barrel of my inner soul
The hands and the sticks
Just beat tap beat-beat
Until I began to make music with my wails
Resonating harmonies with my howls
Skin-crawling rhythms with each crack of the stick
On my mahogany skin
Soaked in the history of violence
Oh talking drum, speak to me!
Tell me how many trees felled?
Recount to me the blood rushing to palms
The hot slap of pressing hands
The tap tap tap of the tingly-fingered
Tremble of the skin still suffering
Under the snare of percussion
Oh speak to me drum!
With your crashing cymbalism
Ricocheting through centuries
Where clashes create fusions
And new rhythms are formed
Tell me, how can such violence breed such music?
How can such force bring out such rhythm and reason and rhyme?
How can the uprooting of a whole people
Become the beautiful beat-tap-beat pulsing inside of me?
Filling my veins with history
Stretching my baritone vocal chords with its howls
Of bloodshed and injustice?
Oh speak to me drum
For I am your echo…
(Something I wrote at the same time as a short story with the same title... Just performed this once)