Praises to the River Goddess

Bright Mother
who flashes fire
reflecting yellow sun
of countless riches below
shell pearl river stone throne

you are seated
like a crown
diamond-filled and flowing
you spread your ribbons
cross land
to kiss sweet with salt sea tang.

Queen Mother
who carries a fan
you plait your hair
quick fingers
showing supple back
glowing gold onto the sand.

Blue-silver ice-green
frothing white
your arms
soothe beads of fever
dry throats
we drink coolness with our hands.

Bringer of children’s laughter
maker of happy homes
your nimble feet
dance quickly
like struck brass bronze and gold.

You delight our eyes and ears
fanning water
rainbow spray
a flash of color
tiny pearls
blown by the wind.

A shake of your skirt
makes fish leap
from below
Kind Mother
who feeds the hungry net
fills the belly
of all who remember you.

Queen Mother
who gives life
you are the Owner
of infinite riches
jewel heart
bosom made of gold
let me rest my head there with you.

Omi ero to heal my body
Omi ero to rinse all sorrow
Omi ero to end all hardness
Omi ero to sweeten life.

The pot which virgins carry
if sits empty
silent is
the chorus of praise which firmly
seats the crown on your royal head.
Mo juba
Owner of the Fan
May your pots be filled at dawn.
Mo juba
Queen Mother
May your name be praised at river’s edge.
Mo juba
Radiant Mother who gives birth
May we respect your miracle of life.
Mo juba
Breast-feeding Mother who Commands
May we learn your patient strength.
Mo juba
Queen of Sweet Waters
May you be worshipped and admired
to run forever free.
O Mother,
Bring health, long life and wealth
to my name and hand
Bring me children
so I can taste
all riches savored sweetness
the nectar between woman and man.
Ase Ase Ase O!

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