Marina Omowale Maxwell: After Six
Written in 2004

marina ama omowale maxwell


We are dawn for twenty years
And blazing midday for another twenty
Then after 6
The burnished autumn leaves come down
Turn moonlight
After 6
For another twenty
To our soft midnights and lingering pre-dawns
Before another cycle rolls the ball again.

From dawn to midday
We are floundering flyers
Tilting on air, flickered by every breeze
Leaping to mornings
Bruised knees, burnt fingertips
Tender tendrils, fragile rainbeams
Still dreaming…

At blazing lunchtime
We plough the seas of shadows
Seeking disasters/courting crises
Furrowing and burrowing
Worrying and scurrying
Believing we can change a hair - on the cat’s paw.

Slavering hormones, rice and rose-petals
Sweat , and sometimes we are tears.

At blazing noon
We are the trumpets
Lilies and strumpets
Bold tall heels and whirling curlicues.

Banners and bread, armies and dred
Ploughing the seas of harsh sunlights
Brilliant arachnids, pellucid orchids living on air.

Slowly comes pain
Uninvited, incongruous
Beginning to lead us towards soft midnights

Brilliant summers still
At the top of our game
Moonlight seeping in at the edges
We emblazon our time ,

But we are hearing the footsteps in the alley
Listening to the same person caught inside
But we are changing, changing shape shifting outside
like lilies oozing water.

Cooling beacons/glowing in the dark
Still full of laughter and scheming
and too many memories

What will we become
When outside changes and inside
Somehow still remains the same ?
What will we/can we make of After Six ?

Depends as our ancestors say
“from where you do set out” , and where you went.

Did those bird-filled mornings and sun-sharp noondays
Did they teach you ,
how to sing……?

August 2004