Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Eloisa Perez-Lozano, Honorable Mention, Friendswood Library Ekphrastic Poetry Reading and Contest

Artist: Akan
Artist: Unknown African
Title: Linguist Staff with Finial Representing an Elephant
Date: 1885-1895
Medium: Wood and gold leaf
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Gift of Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. 97.1291.1.2

His Golden Ears

After an Akan tribal linguist staff (Ghana)
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

It feels lighter than it looks, truly

this accessory that proclaims my role
my wooden staff that gleams in the sun
a straight golden beanstalk covered in ears
ears that hear all manners of people

ears that do not discriminate between age or wealth
a bridge between my chief and his people,
the ones who follow and trust him
as he rules and guides them how he will

but he isn’t locked up in a palace somewhere
disconnected from, apathetic of those below
he listens to their joys, complaints, pleas
through us he is connected to them, we are his ears,
his bridge to the births, changes, conflicts, deaths

with golden tusks angled down and trunk curled in,
the elephant on high instigates mouths opening, words flowing
creating messages for me to hold for the moment
through whispers, in outbursts, at the market, inside homes
it is a symbol, signaling that their opinions are welcome,
that I will pass them on to be listened to, taken note of, resolved

but there are always more
requests to be fulfilled
inquiries to be denied
issues to be discussed
disputes to be resolved

and I am grateful the final decisions are not mine to make.

Eloísa Pérez-Lozano, Honorable Mention, Friendswood Library Ekphrastic Poetry Reading and Contest

Eloísa Pérez-Lozano grew up bilingual and bicultural in Houston, Texas, and is a long-distance member of the Latino Writers Collective in Kansas City. A 2016 Sundress Publications Best of the Net nominee, her work has been featured in The Texas Observer, Houston Chronicle, Diverse Voices Quarterly, and The Acentos Review, among others.

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