African Energy


The Kola nut from Africa, Nigeria I think
Coffee came too
Stimulants from trees
It must be hard to stay awake in that heat
When I went up a mountain in Ethiopia,
The villages blended into trees, into other villages
The women with huge cords of wood on their backs
	Smiling as they worked
The men lolled against trees, in the shade, grounded
	Scowling slightly as they sat
Is it bad to think of the gender dynamics of lions
Is it bad to talk of Nigeria and Ethiopia in the same poem?
Probably.
But the gravity, warm heavy solid home of Africa
You feel it completely when you set foot
Even me, even North, in Egypt.
Africa is Africa
Though its Kola nut has been transformed into molecules in cans in Atlanta, placed there by machines
And then shipped back across every sea on earth
Distributing mostly water and metal