©2018 by Barbara A. Holmes

​Joy Unspeakable

July 22, 2018

is not silent,
it moans, hums, and bends
to the rhythm of a dancing universe.
It is a fractal of transcendent hope,
a hologram of God’s heart,
a black hole of unknowing.
For our free African ancestors,
joy unspeakable is drum talk
that invites the spirits
to dance with us,
and tell tall tales by the fire.
For the desert Mothers and Fathers,
joy unspeakable is respite
from the maddening crowds,
And freedom from
             “church” as usual.
For enslaved Africans during the
Middle Passage,
joy unspeakable is the surprise
of living one more day,
and the freeing embrace of death
            chosen and imposed.
For Africans in bondage
in the Americas,
joy unspeakable is that moment of
mystical encounter
when God tiptoes into the hush arbor,
testifies about Divine suffering,
and whispers in our ears,
            “Don’t forget,
            I taught you how to fly
            on a wing and a prayer,
                        when you’re ready
                                    let’s go!”
Joy Unspeakable is humming
“how I got over”
after swimming safely
to the other shore of a swollen Ohio river
when you know that you can’t swim.
It is the blessed assurance
            that Canada is far,
            but not that far.
For Africana members of the
“invisible institution,” the
emerging black church,
joy unspeakable is
practicing freedom
while chains still chafe,
singing deliverance
            while Jim Crow stalks,
trusting God’s healing
            and home remedies,
            prayers, kerosene,
                        and cow patty tea.
For the tap dancing, boogie woogie,
            rap/rock/blues griots
            who also hear God,
joy unspeakable is
that space/time/joy continuum thing
            that dares us to play and pray
            in the interstices of life,
it is the belief that the phrase
            “the art of living”
            means exactly what it says.
             Joy Unspeakable
                         is
both FIRE AND CLOUD,
the unlikely merger of
            trance and high tech lives
            ecstatic songs and a jazz repertoire
                        Joy unspeakable is
                        a symphony of incongruities
                                    of faces aglow and hearts
                                    on fire
                                                and the wonder of surviving together. [1]

 

~ From Joy Unspeakable

 

 

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