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post Where a fig tree grows

May 20th, 2011

Filed under: Literature Corner — Natty Mark Samuels @ 20:12

Where a fig tree grows
to the Kinga of Tanzania, who have an outstanding history of iron making.

Like a fanfare for fertility
They came blowing a horn of kudu
Beating ngoma drums
Playing the music of scarcity.

The priests of the Kinga
On their way to Lubaga
To a grove where a fig tree grows.

They came with salt
Hoping the speeding famine
Would come to an instant halt.
With beer and many a hoe
So hunger and sickness
And desperation would go.

Men of respect and taboo
Round the tree called nkuju
Fig tree libation of bamboo beer.

Cultivators of beans and banana
In the Range called Kipengere
Of the Great Rift Valley
North-East of Lake Nyasa.

For the iron worker
As well as the farmer
They prayed by the sacred fig tree.

©Natty Mark Samuels, 2011

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