Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Poems

Published:Sunday | October 18, 2015 | 10:00 AM

Our Heroes

The contours of our lives were not drawn or etched with knives

But by the blood, sweat and pain of our heroes

They fought gallantly with every inch of their lives

To shrug off despair and keep hope alive

Bitter-sweet triumphs were won at a cost

Without knowing our history we would be all lost

Bogle, Garvey, Manley, and Gordon

All fuelled a fire to buy my pardon

Busta, Sam Sharpe, and Nanny sacrificed their lives

So that we can become one nation out of many

Great strides have been made in the past

Our heroes fought down to the very last

Belching out blows against a system so unjust

They decided that achieving divine victory was a must

Let us continually seek the eternal Father to bless our land

Despite our short comings and tribulations

We must embrace and protect the vision of our forefathers

And use this heroes day to spread the message to others.

- Everald Bogle

***

In Third World's Shade

Everything is slow here, I feel is di heat.

Slow like salt dissolving cannons on Royal forts,

cannons now mockingly flawed in orientation.

Slow,

Like the languid jelly trees siphoning Portland loam,

Painfully slow ...

Like when justice not coming.

There is problem inherent in "no problem".

When estates merge to form island, yu always aware yu living on somebody property.

Dissent understandably tempered by the involuntary muscle that is memory,

Demands don't gush from thank you mouths.

Time jus nuh ina no rush here,

I still feel is di heat.

But we,

Generation vex,

Intolerant of kerchief blossomed vestiges,

refusing to celebrate meagre servings of cerassee pulp,

we claim time.

But maybe clock don't have second hand memory like we.

Seen osnaburg backs now reclined in boardroom chairs and chimed progress,

Live fi si breadfruit find countenance,

and witnessed reduced interest by commercial banks in the complexion of tellers,

clock jus a gwaan tek it own time.

And in the green stained, oxygenated hills of Coka district, Maggoty's balcony,

overlooking acres and acres of "unsweet" history,

country people still sit for hours on verandahs and stare,

jus stare...

Contentedly, unaffectedly,

One hour behind New York.

- Richard 'Dingo' Dingwall

Political gangsters

Political gangs on the streets targeting the poor and the weak -

Coming with dem card and dem squechy,

coming with de chain in dem vehicle.

Memories tek a flight when de big man hold de mic,

revving up the hype,

wid more chicken back and rice.

Yesehdeh man gripe,

todeh is a paradise

yesehdeh a man shout out justice,

but todeh a man a hold up dem fist.

Political gangs on the loose targeting the ghetto and de yout

New members to recruit, new freedom wit a noose.

Yesehdeh man a hunt just fi flour,

but todeh man a shout out power.

Yesehdeh a man a feel real drought,

but todeh is a shower man a shout.

Political daddas on the prowl,

even sufferers a sell dem soul.

A man wi tell yuh how de Government cold,

but right yah now is a green man a hold.

Man wi bend how a government dread,

but de same man a dead wid de red.

Political magic in country, even though every man belly hungry.

Dem stepping wid dem new bag a promise,

how de trouble pon de rock ah fi fix,

Dem draw fi a speech pon de crop,

even certain man a flash up dem locks.

Political gimmicks in town, is a new man a run fi de crown.

- Homer Sylvester

Teachers - The Architect of Society

(In Recognition of World's Teachers Day)

Teachers, like an architect the structures

are in your hands,

How the building fares will depend on your

plans.

The steel used will help determine your losses or your gains,

How the building withstand earthquakes, raging

storms and violent hurricanes.

Your style of architecture will portray

ugliness or exhibit beauty,

So continue to be dedicated and not be derelict in your duty.

Be tactful and meticulous in your design,

Be creative, mould and build, keep on top

of the line.

Remember the children are the nation's important

Investment,

So all has to be done to positively impact

their lives and maximize their achievement.

Even when the environment is hostile and

Far from being ideal

You have to be resilient, creative,

resourceful and keep the block on the steel.

The failure or success of the youth will

determine society's stagnation or upward

mobility,

So its incumbent on you to provide that

growth facility.

You are nation builders, keep up the

Trend,

You are important, on you the world

do depend.

Many of us have transformed mountains

to plains

And convert losses to gains,

Many of us have travelled the desert but

capitalise on the oasis,

And refuse to throw in the towel in any crisis,

For a good teacher has the ability

to conquer

And to the students be that anchor,

So continue to be shapers and

Architects to the best of your ability

And bring to your communities and

the world progress and prosperity.

- Nalda Taylor-Wright

***

Pickney fi get de vote!

Full time now, pickney fi get de vote

Dem do so much extra lesson

Write big government exam from pre-kindergarten to grade one, four, six

Dem ace de external exam dem and de local

So dem, can vote

Since dem can decide pon 'some tings'

by 16

Mek dem vote to!

Roll out the carpet, fly de gate Mama!

Maybe some people would ah did have a chance to save dem seat

But even when dem 16, Mama no sweet

You interfere in the money scam, Mama ram

She only want curry goat with sugar and water to wash it down

She done collect money from every express, overseas, underseas

Grandma, grandpa, every Tom, Dick and Harry

When is back to school time, with every one she parry

So, who tell you not to listen to de woman?

Ah so she want it, so yuh fi give it?

Nuh true you deh pon top

No mean she can't determine how you fi drop

And see deh now, she meck yuh flop

Cause she was a hold up yuh frame

Is long time now, Mama ah run "back to school game"

Every "lost" baby father, gentleman, auntie, she trace dem name

Everyone have to "cantribute" to de district

if you don't "karporate" she beat yuh, she strict

grown men known to cry after Mama stick

when it is "back to school time" yuh betta tek yuh lick

for if Mama have 50 pickney de money have to spend

and if it is one boyfriend she have, him pocket money on de 50 must end

Mama lay down de rules no "fun", him will get bun, so beg, borrow, steal or meck "yuh brethren" lend

Back to school budget, she naw meck no baddy mash up, tear apart to rend

yuh see deh?

dem raise de bus fare!

dem tink de place was gwine bus

and insurrection, cuss and fuss

but mama lock down har vex

ah run a hex

bawl to boss, juice boyfriend

everyone dish out more money fi pay fi di bus fare

but Mama don't tek bus, she buy clothes fi wear

neither har pickney in de wear and tear

she meck dem live in walking distance from school, less fear

but de "man dem" don't know har true address

so respect and manners for how she dress

and she get har taxi at a lower ride

tell de driver only thousand she have and the small change she hide

she get nuff "freeness" and use har "modda" status to roll wid de tide

Is like Liza put it

she tell Paul sey him is har MP, (Main Partner)

him gwan like sey him ah Don

ah run him mouth bout dem private affair

wan tek over, run de whole show

she have to tell him sey de BED was there before him

bout him ah file fi permanent residency status

when she done tell him, she only issue visa for "visitor plus"

want to tell her how to spread de bed

with which sheet to lay and to "throw out" de old bed head

in the end him have neither bed nor seat, him, ah bawl, him eye dem red

she swear to him "ah true ah u ah share me bed

anyting me contract, ah yuh cause me fi dead"

him neva want har to smile to another soul

so she how gwine find needle and thread to sew up clothes with hole?

no try tek over the whole runnings

meck de woman do what she ah do

people tek pride in taking care of their children

is dem biggest investment

that is one serious wound

no tell where and how dem get dem

only dat Mother how that truth

education mean a lot

she will do everything possible to put food in har pot

if you can't "larn" den yuh will feel

like me God Mother Icil Morgan tell me

"Mother is the stronghold of the family

without har de whole ting pop down".

Aunt Icil work as a legal secretary

she tell me "when mother gone

de things dat happen to har pickney...

she ah type de letter dem and

water just ah full of har eye

even fi you have father

you have to hold yuh own

without mother, is a hard life"

- Helen-Ann Elizabeth Wilkinson