PAD Challenge Day 9: Carne Vale (Carnival)

PAD Challenge Day 9: Write an ekphrasis poem.

Carne Vale (Carnival)

African ancestors
said farewell to bondage
so that the Caribbean
children of today
could celebrate their freedom
with their heads high covered
in sequins hats and bejeweled tiaras;
bodies draped with
embellished body suits,
bras and belts,
with feather leg bands
and colorful angel and
butterfly wings to match.

This is one traditional ceremony
the slave master will never
get to kidnap, rape, or execute.
The Eastern, Western and
Southern Caribbean,
the Greater and Lesser Antilles,
the Netherlands Antilles,
the Windward and Lewward Islands,
the French and British West Indies,
and the Mexican Caribbean
share kinship with the sweet
Motherland’s Bongo and Conga drums,
the steelpans, calypso, and
soca of Trinidad and Tobago
and the reggae of Jamaica.

Their flags will dance
with pride as they sing
one love, one heart
through high and low
waters and winds,
under the scorching
rays of the sun
and mellow moonlights.

They will harvest tempos
for their blood and bones
to speak dutty wine,
mambo, merenuge,
and daggering then
bruk it down as they parade
independently with joy!


Carvinal painting taken in Nassau, Bahamas, circa 2016


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