What If He Was King?
--For Hussein Onyango Obama
There's no question that in the next thirty or forty, a Negro can also achieve the same position that my brother has as President of the United States.
--Robert F. Kennedy, May 27, 1961, Voice of America
If scientists and theologians and the scholars were to microscopically
examine how your grandson, Barack Obama, because the First
African-American to be elected President of the United States -
his story is not all improbable, brother.
Not if we were to trace the promise in the genetic code -
from Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Ismael, Jacob, and Muhammad,
the seal of the prophets.
And if you were to really think about it, perhaps, you were the
unbroken promise of the continuity of greatness, Onyango.
Born in 1895, in a village in Western Kenya.
And only Allah knows why you converted to Islam, in Zanzibar.
O how you loved Muhammad and Abraham, the desert wanderer.
How you must've petitioned Allah in your praters
to give you good wives - like Hagar and Sarah,
virtuous women, perhaps even plucked from the family of Imran.
And Allah did bless you with a Sarah of you own, and Akumu,
who begot a son, you named Barack Hussein Obama.
But while you did enjoy the adulation of a revered King
in the village of Kogelo- how the oppressive British Colonialists
must've humiliated you as as you humbly bowed to them, in servitude.
To a proud Luo man- (a descendant of Kings)-
there was something tragic vile, violent and extreme,
evil and cruel, to be called, "boy!"
O Onyango, did you slip away to the whispers in the night,
to listen to the fiery speeches of Mojo Kenyatta, "The Burning Spear,"
the revolutionary voice of the anti-Colonialist movement?
He was fiercely determined to extricate his people
suffering from Colonial rulers. He had dreamed of liberating
all of Africa from the unmitigatingly cruel Europeans.
And you know full well he told you - yes he did! - that you Kings!
RECLAIM THIS LAND!
Rise up, young Kings! In the Congo, Togo, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, South Africa,
Kenya, Somalia, the Golden Coast, and all across Mali, Senegal,
to Madagascar! RISE UP, YOUNG KINGS!
When they came to arrest you, you went peacefully.
The charge was conspiring with the Kikuyu warriors
in the Mau Mau movement. We've never seen the evidence.
O how you must've screamed as the White soldiers wielded the cold
demonic instruments of torture. They pierced your genitals and drove
nails through your hands and feet. All around you you saw
Kikuyu comrades trussed up like cattle, hanging upside down,
their bloody entrails spilling from gushing wounds.
Hacked apart, ripped open. Some begging for death to release
them from the torment.
And yes we do understand your forever silence, brother. You just couldn't
stand for you son to see you that way. Nattered and bruised and dethroned.
When you learned that Thomas Joseph Mboya- (a disciple of Kenyatta)-
was recruiting young Black elites in Kenya to "airlift"
to prestigious universities in America-
you said, take my son from this land, raped and mutilated, exploited,
enslaved and plundered. This time, export the previous sons and daughters
of Africa and bring back jewels of knowledge.
We will raise the money but do not sell your souls.
What if Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Mrs. Ralph Bunche, Jackie Robinson,
and the liberal White benefactors had said, "no?"
What if the Kennedys wanted nothing more for
the beautiful African than the beautiful Irish?
And what if John F. Kennedy, in 1960, hadn't given Mboya's program
a hundred thousand dollars?
Before Barack Obama left, perhaps in the rhythmic assonance of his
mellifluous singsong voice he'd recited this verse from
the glorious Quran:
"O my father! I did see eleven stars and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!"
And old Jacob did weep for the return of Joseph, his most beloved son.
In the exquisitve garden of Tropical Hawaii, Paradise gleamed.
Perhaps Barack Obama,Sr., had seen her in a dream. Floating along
a white coral beach, fluttering past coconut groves, orchards of papayas,
the most beautiful eyes shimmering in the prussian-blue ocean.
Skin of alabaster-sheets of smooth white snow imported from Kansas.
He might have thought of her as Ruth, a Moabite,
who would be a witness to his greatness in this foreign land.
He extolled her beauty in the ruby red blush of India.
In the wisdom found in the yellow silk of China.
In the books of dark prophesies burned in Rome.
And Ann Dunham saw him too - a mud-caked Adam glistening
in the tropical sun. Tall and beautiful and black-like Solomon.
An exotic powerful mixture of intellectual rebel defiance
and an historical exploration of cultures blended their worlds.
He could have seduced her with verse from The Song of Solomon:
"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee."
In his imaginary Palace of Gilded-Gold - (the one with the threshing floor) -
they danced to John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis.
Their hips cleaved sensuously as they waltzed across
the blue sparkling lake beneath their feet.
Little Barry was a true revolutionary act.
The angels had already written his story on the walls of her womb.
What if John Lewis and the Hero-Kings had never crossed that bridge in Selma?
What if her traversing star had not settled upon the
opulent Throne of Indonesia?
What might have become of him, if not for your dis-invitation
of her whiteness? And then he vanished, like a ghost.
Angry. Drunk-sozzled. Soaked in filth of failure. Decrying mediocrity
and government corruption.
In Kenya, the roar of wounded lions cry out for justice.
The burning spears of countless young warriors whistle in the wind.
What if Robert F. Kennedy had not pre-figured a vision of newness?
O Onyango, the dreams that died with your son still burns brightly
in the blood of your grandson, President Barack Obama.
Holy Quran: Sura Yusuf (The Prophet Joseph 12:4
The Book of Ruth: (Old Testament)
The Song of Solomon: 4:7
2013 feb 12
2012 nov 29