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.
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.
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,
One hour behind New York.
- Richard 'Dingo' Dingwall
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
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
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
So its incumbent on you to provide that
You are nation builders, keep up the
You are important, on you the world
Many of us have transformed mountains
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
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'
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