East of the River Nile
From street vendor mystical riddims
came forth the pied piper of the herb.
As buses bunched up at the Nag's Head
I was shepherded down Seven Sisters Road
then blown like a puffball of seeds
far east of the River Nile.
Falling into copper chambers
dancing in suspension to an engine of sound.
The echo of platelets coursing
through rivers and veins in search of a
heartbeat to propel them anew.
Blood and fire and earth that thunders
with all the industry that sound systems
the size of factories can muster.
Tyre tracks skirt the quarry.
Jagged rim of a pulsing crucible
where planets and stars are forged
in the likeness of our gods
and the heavens wrap
my vaporous form in a
swaddling of bass.
The wind carries me up Warrika Hill
rotundas like crop circle visitations
mark out the shape of a city.
Its people toil with
bent backs of devotion
harvesting the earth's deep time.
Down Black Ants Lane
the forest brings with it the night
I'm swept along in the exodus
from the heat of the plains.
Cradled in an alchemy of sound
we push deep into understory
towards clearings where
the world drops away into
an infinitude of space.
At 555 Crown Street
by way of 1 Rutland Close
a transaction is made.
I skank alone back through the city
the scruff light of dawn is dragged
from behind the gasworks
shunting shadow across the sidings.
Time shimmers in reverb and echo
where the towpath slips under the bridge
and footsteps pound the percussive heart
of a morning aflame with ambient skies
that burn all the way to Java.
Augustus Pablo at Kamakura, Japan (late 1980s/early 1990s)
© Les Roberts 2016. All Rights Reserved.