The Sierra Leone Web

  Crispin Cole was born in Freetown in 1983. He left for the United States in 1997. At the time this poem was submitted, he was a student at the University of Florida.  


Seven By Thirteen 

"This is a poem I wrote about Sierra Leone." -CC

Three times the even and one above the equator
Thirteen more past the line of our time 
Step both feet into what is forever mine
Wait on second thought five toes are enough 
Two too even are maybe a bit too rough
For a soil into which you might suddenly sink
Stones of many kinds will in the light blink
From the yellow ball around the neck of our creator

Looking darkness will shield your eyes from flying red clay 
Mating winds blowing into each other's arms
While crocodiles wildly fall into your hands
Scampering about to hide from tears of the blue highs
And now from wooden doors creaking with fussed sighs
Emerge little souls already baptized with wanting
As they score into a ball of black and white rolling
Crashing into panes of obstruction that may stand in its way 

Gentle songs of laughter you will hear from the blue above
Of robins and pigeons and vultures their bellies tickled
By playful fingers of cotton trees centuries feeble
Do not jump from your skin as do those crawling below
Moving anklets of black and silver and red and even yellow
Lay in valleys of fields carpeted with green grass
Home to all whom will carefully step just to pass
And then fly away in peanuts on the backs of doves of love

Into the hollow of a tree trunk sit but don't hit a rock
As you skate on a river that never melts 
From under which eggs of fishes nests 
Accompanied by mothers and fathers scared to death
From sinking boxes of threads trying to catch their breath
Scales of perfect geometry now glitter sweet
Laid to rests on stalls in markets of women to meet
At a later date jelly bellies of Chiefs and CEOs with any luck 

Day begins to give way to women dressed in clouds of white and pink
The air seasoned with salt of the ocean
Its waves a flag of green white and blue in motion
Watch closely as not to miss sky and water briefly kiss
Their love secretly hidden beneath a horizontal bliss
The evening brings out beautiful brown skins 
Now glowing in the dark with palm wine in palms as kin 
Go out to enjoy at about thirteen past seven that which you might think