Ras Tafari Ghazal by Oak Morse

Ras Tafari Ghazal | Oak Morse

My ancestor smiles in the soil, a heritage sweet
like mango, silkier than weed, bring it back to me.

Nobody wants to plant the corn, Marcus Garvey,
the brown deep roots, Afro-Revival bring back to me.

Cassava slice for our young, a rich independence,
the calypso song for the streamer tail, bring back to me.

Brotherly bonds thick as bamboo is what I need with me,
sacred trinity, holy ghost of Reggae, bring back to me.

May everyone soak up rum, bodies be vessels for hymns, 
raspberry sky echos those vibrato notes, bring back to me.

Vanilla pods sway on their branches, a tender calling,
french-braiding thatch palm baskets, bring back to me.

Sun brews beneath our sandals, sinew of Nyabinghi,
replant post-colonial conscious seeds, bring back to me.

Thou shalt eat the herb of the field, the ganja cloudy streets,
Better gonna come one day bring back to me.


Ras Tafari Ghazal by Oak Morse was the Runner-Up in the 2023 HoneyBee Prize for Poetry selected by Rodrigo Toscano. More about the author, Oak Morse:

Oak Morse lives in Houston, Texas, where he teaches creative writing and theatre and leads a youth poetry troop, the Phoenix Fire-Spitters. He was the winner of the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry in Pulp Literature and a Finalist for the 2020 Witness Literary Award. Currently a Warren Wilson MFA candidate, Oak has received Pushcart Prize nominations, fellowships from Brooklyn Poets, Twelve Literary Arts, Cave Canem’s Starshine and Clay as well as a Stars in the Classroom honor from the Houston Texans. His work appears in Black Warrior Review, Obsidian, Tupelo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Nimrod,, and Solstice, among others.