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Callaloo 24.4 (2001) 1118
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June Jordan's Garden
This is a garden. A garden that is willing to be June Jordan's garden. It is a very special garden because a Jamaican wind is howling far from the distance, at dawn. There are some dark chains trying to bother a tulip. How could dark chains bother a tulip from June Jordan's garden? I do not know, but History certainly does. Why should a wind bother a tulip born from the belly of a wide Sargasso Sea, across the boats. History is a wild flower across the seas; "history is sea," history is over June's breath, spreading its foam all over June's garden. This is a garden. Not only a lovely one, but a single garden, property of a black female poet, born on Stuyvesant Street, near all of Harlem's full moons, skyscrapers, skins. This is her garden searching for beauty, equality, freedom and love. This is a tulip. It belongs to a black female poet named June Jordan. A black tulip, indeed. Is this a tulip? Is this a garden with a tulip? Does June Jordan's property turn out to be a black tulip? I do not know. I do not care. Who can possess a tulip, a black tulip? Only June Jordan has tasted that experience. She owns this black tulip as she owns this garden, a very special garden, on the Pacific coast. Should I recall that black tulips are only possessed by poets like June Jordan? I do not have a correct answer for that. I would not know. This is a garden, a fabulous garden, a garden. June Jordan's garden is a garden, is a marvelous garden, a marvelous one, a garden, a tulip, a black tulip, a love, one love, one black tulip, one true love. Along, around some breeze during raindrops falling from an island, waters blowing upon my face, at a clever sunset running through 1999 . . . Summertime and the living is easy. A river growing through June Jordan's garden, I mean, June Jordan's veins, talking about rains and rivers and grasses and red scarlet dresses down the river where birds sing a Phillis Wheatley sonnet. Could this be anything else but a June Jordan's garden? I do not know. I could not say. This is a garden, a beautiful garden for all of us.
Havana, January 20, 1999
Composed in English by the author.
Nancy Morejón, Cuban scholar and poet, is Director of Caribbean Studies at Cuba's premier cultural studies institute, Casa de las Americas. She is the author of Mutismos (1962), Amor, cíudad atribuída (1964), Richard trajo se flauta (1967), Parajes de una época (1979), Poemas (1980), Elogio de la danza (1982), Octubre imprescindible (1983), and Cuarderno de Granada (1984), in addition to critical works focusing particularly on Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén (1974) and translations of poems by Paul Eluard, Jacques Roumain and Aimé Césaire.