Thursday, May 10, 2012

"The Great Displaced" vid + lyrics

The Great Displaced
Omar Musa
for Jess

The boy lights a candle
and faces a perilous horizon.

He pulls on his socks, his boots
and picks seeds from between his teeth.

He will leave before dawn.
His sisters are asleep 
and he will not wake them
because he believes that dreams are fragile 
and shouldn't be disturbed.

The boy is not alone.

He is one of millions
across the broad black beyond,
enacting the ritual of leaving,
the ritual of 

So to the cities they come,
over roads and highways of waves,
where coral reaches up like a migrant 
connecting the stars
 into maps of deliverance.
Suitcases blackened 
by the sweat and smoke of transit cities,
of roasting meat over hot rocks,
the diesel perfume of foreign docks,
they pass memories like bottles of wine.

The great displaced,
starboard side
in waters that know nothing of them,
tasting strange languages and lands
harvesting hope with ashy hands-
the children 
of fractured communities.
The moon 
a sullen orphan 
who guides them to reefs of light 
where progress is the catchcry,
and we are swept towards
at all costs.

Just because there was no gun to your temple
does not mean you were not forced to leave.

Villages and family ties disappear 
then re-appear freshborn and shining in our myths,
daubed on the doorways to ourselves.
The countrysides
become plots for our nostalgia, 
sown from afar, 
flourishing with orchards of memory.
Each tree laden with fruit, 
each fruit a repository of dreams
where real orchards no longer exist.
They are unmapped places
dedicated to everything we miss.

Do we speak too highly of the past?
Were the times not difficult then?

How do we fill the missing spaces?

The boy lights a candle.

He pulls on his boots
and faces a horizon
as heavy 
and perilous 
as chance.