Blanqueamiento: A poem by Adebe DeRango-Adem

Filed under: Creative Writing,Culture,Featured |

The land that’s yours is mine,

is shadows, which I see

both dreaming and in the night

when drums make our old selves dance,

bring us to embrace those old ghosts

weaving through. No one owns them

or us,

 nor the fearful asymmetries

of our lineage, of our Caribe we left

for new callings,

a new response

from Yoruba to Cuba we work hard

to reflect. This land that’s yours

is a patria of poes’a mulata;

we shan’t forget

these shanty towns, this Afroantillana

beyond the pale, beyond even Matos

and Guillén there is a spirit

unlearning its colour and shade, becoming

the Veil we pull out

from the eyes,

challenging the dark.

What else to say in this assortment of

motion, stars,

this strange green sky,

waiting for the train

in the certainty of night:

these may be the last grey days

where light bends

through glass and the spring

and is reborn again,


among names of the dead, remembering

the peace of communion,

the landscapes which fade

at the edges but hold our bodies in place,

the letters written in a furtive ink

stitching promises

of pilgrimage,

towards the sea that calls

me to embark

into a dialectic of light and dark,

and then hopefully light again,

back to the theories and poems we wept for

a true pledge for morning,

for the momentum to run,

to sing as a way of traveling

to await only

the moment where all that is static

shatters into hope.

Artwork by Oscar Ortiz

Submission Info

Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out, to be published in Fall 2010 by Inanna Publications, is accepting submissions until May 15.  We are looking for previously unpublished submissions: Please send one (1) submission of up to 2500 words of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or spoken word as a SINGLE attachment to [email protected]

Black and white images and artwork should be 300 dpi and sent as attachments in jpg. of tiff. format.  Artwork and photography limited to three (3) per applicant.

Please include your contact information, including your name, address, phone number, e-mail, title(s) of work submitted, type of submission, and a short artist bio (50 words max) in the body of the email, with your name and the type of submission in the subject line (e.g. Jazmine – “Poetry Submission”).

For more information, email the editors at [email protected], join us on Facebook or swing by


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Author: Adebe D.A. (10 Articles)

Adebe D.A.

Race-Talk Cultural Editor Adebe D.A. is a Toronto-born writer currently living in New York. She is a former research intern at the Applied Research Center, home of ColorLines magazine. A recent MA graduate in English/Cultural Studies, she writes on issues related to race, social justice, migration, and the phenomena of culture. She currently holds the honour of Toronto’s Junior Poet Laureate and is the author of a chapbook entitled Sea Change (Burning Effigy Press, 2007). Her debut full-length poetry collection, Ex Nihilo, will be published by Frontenac House in early 2010. Visit her blog at