Mr. Mizu - Music & Art -Denver Colorado

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Foday Suso, Kora Griot

If you want to go straight to Hell

You follow the melodies of the Hamelin’s flutist;

If you want to go to Heaven smiling

You’d better listen to the kora griot


With twenty one strings, two thumbs

Hard worked from childhood

His heart, a flexible cow hide,

Melodies tempered as Timbuktu’s steel

Foday will take you back

Through stories dated

Hundreds of years to a land

Where the Mandingoes made love

In the forest under the eyes

Of curious guardian spirits


A kora is not for the hands

Of a tyrant who makes wailing music

Out of the throats of freedom fighters;

A kora is for the hands of a young poet

Who sings to the beauty of the

Great Gambia River

While fishermen sell the daily catch

to sinuous women


Oh, Foday! Our paths may never cross again;

But the beauty of your kora,

The subtleness of your thumbs,

Your never-stopping smile,

Your aura and your celestial music

That calls from Africa beyond the seas,

All those treasured items have been

Forever imprinted on my forehead

They roam in a welcome way

Through the jungles of my soul

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