Sunday, October 12, 2008

less than royal castles

Few words can adequately describe our trip to the Cape Coast and Elmina castles last weekend. The horrors and audacity of the castles’ dungeons and the legacy of the trans-Atlantic slave trade that they represent were juxtaposed against the exquisite beauty of the whitewashed walls and turquoise waves against the vibrant blue sky. Not knowing at whom to direct our anger, choking down our sadness, and resisting vomiting within everything in us, we toured the two former slave-trading castles in silence. Since then, we’ve internally and externally processed some things, but I think it will take a lifetime to figure everything out in my own mind. I have some beautiful pictures, some sobering memories and a different perspective of my Dutch heritage thanks to the experience of the castles. Bright Eyes says that if you can’t compose yourself it’s best to compose a poem, so that’s what I’ve attempted to do…

White and Blue

Weeps she, the sea
Back and forth, again and again.
Elevated above, glistening fortress
As a dove preparing for escape.
Trapped, restless fingers on eroded stone
As voiceless thunder drums the rocks.
Salt in the walls, salt in the sweat, salt in the tears—
She is as much a part of it as anything, the sea
A past of carrying away, a present
Of recession defiance.
She rolls on, as the football glides
Back and forth, again and again.
Rushing, trickling, dripping,
For all this, humans are never spent.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Thanks Katie. And well done :)