The Legend of Shadow Minstrels: The Djembe of Time

Hey all,
So quick update, you needn’t worry yourselves about my pretty face
Im getting a lovely little rhinoplasty (what?!?) next tuesday. Hopefully after that I’ll look just like that one bad guy from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
I believe his name was Rocksteady.
Wow, do I love the 90s.


Play it again, Samantha

A figure clad in all black clothing
save for her hands and face
graces the center of the
makeshift performance space

White vinyl gloves cover her wrists
and a porcelain mask sits
around almond eyes
like she’s trying to rob a convenience store
in stylish attire

She asks for a watch
something to keep time with
For she explains
she cannot stay for long

Instead of stealing the secret
lives of the circus goers
she decides to extract
from between her thighs
a shiny instrument

It has a likeness to a plumbing tube
an emerald green drum
an upside down Luigi tunnel

or that city in Oz
where wonderful dreams
are kind of obvious

A backlight shines above
so that only the hands of the musician
and the hands of the clock remain visible

Ever so slowly
as the seconds tick past where
Mickey Mouse’s shoulders
would be dislocated

snaking fingers
begin to tap against
the aquamarine container

Gradually the pulse becomes louder
breathed into the audience
with bedouin breaths
beating deep in their chests
like a pacemaker
made from thunderclaps

Suddenly the player’s
hands start to sway rapidly
slapping the tinny walls of her
drum machine
attacking the melody
with ferocious speed

They fly about her body like
vicious poltergeists
crazed and possessed

But as the drummer is fighting
her best against alien hand syndrome
the watch goes all widdershins
spinning backwards

Within the flaps of the
backwoods big top
something rather
Philosopher’s Stone
begins to occur

At the same pace as the
entertainer’s heartbeat
the faces of the patrons
begin to smooth out

Wrinkles of time are ironed into
starched laugh lines
liver spots are refined into freckles
and even the pimples of teenagers
pack up and leave for
greener pastures

As the melody reaches its
peaceful conclusion
and the broken rediscover
youthful mobility
The conductor sneaks
into the darkness

rubbing hands
that are more arthritic than
five minutes previous

3 thoughts on “The Legend of Shadow Minstrels: The Djembe of Time

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