For Fiona Foley


‘The power to define the other seals one’s definition of oneself – who, then, in such a fearful mathematic is trapped?’
       ~ James Baldwin


Reappropriate and reverse races

from lynch mobs, in inverted chiaroscuro commas

The kente clad magnificent seven

negatives turn on their pointed black heads

Ghetto stereotypes of Middle PassAges

Burnt crosses and swastikas illuminate the dead,

e-razed and misread, HHH reverse KKK hate


From white robes bleed Foley’s kaleidoscope

to oppose polar us and them, ‘other’ roles

Like Agard playing Tchaikovsky's keys,

Fiona transposing camera obscura cacophony

composing global symphonies...of sympathy?


Rainbow Serpents vanquish Grand Dragons

as Akan spiders weave bright new histories

Polysemic tapestries (b)loom across borders

Tricksters spellbound by Imperial Wizards

Divinator, the medicine man, rainmaker

Badtjala magician, kurdaitcha and shaman

conjure Black, Aboriginal, Indigenous nations


White magic, black magic, black skin, white masks

Peer of the coloniser, the colonised

Fear of a Wakanda Black Planet arise

The anxious whites of eyes open hostile

while black pupils dilate, anxieties trap

Phobogenic objects don dark dunce caps


Cork faced like Bert Williams forced to ‘black up’,

dumb down, perform for vaudeville audience

        Double mask consciousness doubles

The Uncle Tomfoolery of silent movie troubles


Bruised black and blue fruit burst into rainbows

as our ancestors hang strange from Jim Crow

Holliday’s hollers escape across Middle Passages

The doors of no return burst open song

Fiona sounds abeng horn, bangs Akan drum

Black-Indigenous-Aboriginals outwit

from holds of slave ships, equipped in limbo Anansi


Without apology, anthropology’s objects

reverse the epistem...not so logical gaze

Join the dots across continents         shift controversy

Indigenous ‘primitives’ in colonial vitrines

leap out of tick boxes and shatter glass ceilings


Perkins and King ride for freedom

Tent embassy protests, Cronulla riots,

atomic bombs combine the matter of black lives

Genetic memories connecting ocean rifts

Kintsugi kente heals the stripped, in ethnic fabric

Douse MLK and Malcolm’s X’d homes

with technicolour fire hydrant ntewoma robes

Diaspora disperse like oware seeds

D embedded bullet casing from police raids

Escapes Walcott’s sea swift in Omeros

Beware the progeny of the colonies:

Beware the poet critic who curates

the expanding field of sculptural landscapes

Beware artists who seek their histories