Wood Be Seen - The Congo Mask Exhibit

Fierceness here 
in this place
deep wells of knowing
and not knowing.

Ancestral spirits brought together
a tribal gathering of
timeless eyes. The universe 
rotating, a convergence
a vortex of ancient roots
colliding. Here, it is impossible to hide
as if a blanket thrown upon 
a bowed mind with fire condenses
the pretenses of human pride. 

Swirling masks scream 
“Honor Me”. The wood whispers
"See Me." A stale harmonizing breath
like frost from the lungs of earth's center
fills the air, permeating
a dizzy intoxication, entrancing 
all to dance, painted 
with the white face of death. 

Nature scraped crimson red 
from Baobab bark, berries, and grasses
blended azure blue, painted human flesh
with brush strokes of time. From chin
to forehead, across pale cheeks spotted
cruel diseases, despite a potent zest for life, 
a defiance, a piercing passion a penetrating
invitation to anyone who dares to live, to survive
this harsh swamp of life, for here come

Untamable forces, aligning, drumming
an army of witnesses, sum-monsing – stomp, shake
rum-maging, rake, rake – swirling, slapping 
tipping, shaking, stepping-in-motion, till 
every creature, skin of the world
with feathers of fire – clap, clap – step to
harmonizing terror with joy in rit-ual-obser-vance-of
life, death, see how they-we learn to dance
under penalty of drums, in rhythms drawn from wind
this cosmic celebration of human endurance.