Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Poem of the week: Emancipendence - Keeping the dream alive

Published:Sunday | August 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
A section of the large crowd at Wednesday's Grand Gala.
Uniformed groups march at the annual Independence Day Ceremony at King's House on Wednesday, August 6. - Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer
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  • Poem of the week - Emancipendence - Keeping the dream alive

The Transatlantic Passage

People packed tight like sausage

In 'hellholes' destined for our shores

Sold like cattle in the market

Depravity, no matter how you take it

Unbridled injustice to the core

The blood, sweat and tears, then shed

Is a national monument to the dead

Our ancestors whose memories remain fresh

And for those who fought and won

Freedom for their daughters and sons

Emancipendence with national pride we cherish

Therefore, as we seek to celebrate

Let us reflect and contemplate

on ways to keep the dream alive

And unite in the fight against oppression

And anything that would destabilise the nation

Remembering our heroes as onward, upward we strive

- Errington Johnson

  • Dry Season

Cow neva know di use ah him tail 'til him lose it

Stretching

Reaching

Wooden arms

Make friendly gestures

From lush green lawns

They pass.

A jig

A sway

A dance

Lively palm trees

Try to capture a Kingstonian's heart

They pass.

And then the season of heartache comes -

They

D R O O P

Green and gay

Replaced by

Dirty brown hues

Sagging

Leaning

Bending

Low

In the midst of a city long blind to many woes

They pass.

- Laveta Mead

  • The drought

Everywhere there is the cry, drought, drought, drought.

Everywhere people are crying

When will this drought break

The heat is intense

Fires blaze on the hills

Fires blaze in the valleys

Transformers blow out in the middle of the day

Breaking news of fires blazing here and there

Endless appeal for the need of water

And the people lament

We need the rain

The firefighters do the job they are commissioned to do

It's not an easy task

- V. O. Ricketts

  • DIVIDED: where is the independence?

Let the whole truth be told, like liquid nitrogen cold.

This truth is poisonous, fierce and burns like fire darts with a two-edged sword's pierce.

Someone once said to me "your race is worth nothing but cleaning my shoes."

I tempered my thoughts for a long time but it is now time to blow that fuse.

Truthfully, I don't even remember who you are or how you came into this existence.

Were you planned for? What! Are you the misfit victim of passion? The consequence!

So now you're seeking sympathy after those you worked for have left you high and dry?

We cannot help you, I am sorry. There is a morgue on the other side of the road, give it a try.

This is not about black or white, Jew or Greek; it is about you, you better watch your speech!

You think God does not read the thin lines that dissect the pretence of your teach?

Are you a lady or are you a gentleman? What should the world call you, human?

Don't bring more disgrace to the human race as you try to do us, you Martian!

'bout "I am praying for you." Keep your prayers for yourself and your tongue spitting evil like voodoo.

Send me one more letter and see if I don't make your hypocritical tears wetter!

O Lord, control my thoughts and console my heart as I seek to free my soul.

Divided we are and this is a spiritual war, forgive my venom nitrogen cold.

Many of us were left breathless, but I am not dead.

Look! You better pray, for if I don't kill you, God is going to remove your head.

All the lies you brainwash us with, having us study and fail your exams was dread.

But we are wiser now, stronger now, and smarter now; brace yourself, we are coming for you!

There is no repentance here, where is your insurance and welfare? Where are you?

There is no hiding? We refuse to be moved by your crying. Where is the preacher?

Preacher! Preacher, put on your regalia, it is time to bury this diabolical monster.

You are the king of history and I bet you remember the experience of titanic.

Some fifteen hundred people went in the water and only six were saved from it.

What was that, love or was it another blatant demonstration of your Gothic prejudice?

I said Titanic, who mentioned slave ships, who is talking about the crack of whips?

Now you getting me more upset, before this sun sets I pray you hit an iceberg and sink.

Yes, you made our poverty stink, you! You made our lives a living hell, 'a bet yu neva wink'!

Open your eyes and see the facts, you are worse to humanity than anthrax.

Where is the independence when all you have left us with is morbid indifference?

- Czedale Smallwood

  • Butterfly Waitress

Nice girl; young, strong

with long midnight hair

that could strangle a man like me

bones already burdened by arthritis.

Still it was the butterfly

peeking from her black

satin skirt teeming with power

that scared me.

It seemed to fly so wantonly

across the pained eyes of plain women

and men tempted to try the goodies on her tray -

something a churchman like me couldn't handle.

So I watch and pray for my soul, lest my thoughts

grow flesh and send me to

a hell crawling with caterpillars.

I didn't tip her;

I grabbed the flickering moment

and escaped through

ticking, revolving doors.

- Shelly-Ann Harris

  • Resilience

When things are going wrong

I pray that I'll be strong

And remain calm to fight on

Adversity, rejection, regrets

Many disappointments

A lack of confidence

Feelings of despair

Crippled by fear

Yes, I've experienced them all

I've been there

Yet, I'm still here!

In my darkest hours

During my times of need

God is awesome indeed

No matter how dismal things are

I've been taken this far

He won't forsake me now

He raises me up after every fall

To stand tall through it all

By giving me resilience to bear

And keeping me grounded and aware

That's why I'm still here!

- S. Dionne Phillips