At the Berkeley Flea (NPM 2017 18)



hot afternoon  in late august

or sometimes in early

October in Berkeley

the trees are few

the heat radiates up

off the asphalt in ripples

like long grass on an africkan

savannah far away in my memory

the drummers drum

some ancient melody

scribed in their blood

by ancient rhythm older than

the city they drum in

some in the raiment of their ancestors

others dress in the robes of their new tribes

we come to see and be seen

we come to buy and to sell

come to haggle and present the

old along side the new

the worthless and the priceless

side by side like some ancient market

in some other time

sometimes dancers dance

or poets recite and we are in

congo square far away

laying down burdens

rearranging rhythms

and  reaching for something

living just under our surfaces

we circle seeing what we have seen before

paying attention or ignoring as our needs dictate

we eat platters of fruit

and sample scented oil

pay too little

pay too much

barter and trade

recreate worth

continue tradition

create our own legend

on long sunday afternoons

in earliest october

or sometimes late august at

the berkeley flea

Poem from: The BlackStar Liner Anthology by A. Nzinga

Found Images of Berkley Flea Market