Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Poems

Published:Sunday | April 17, 2016 | 4:00 AM

Will this day be the repeat of the 'Adventist' experience on October 22, 1844?

Will this day be another let down of the hopes of the poor?

Everybody talking about the coming April first

And the grand fulfillment of the 'Bell's' ringing in a special blessing in peoples purse

But what if there is no 1.5?

What will happen to those already struggling to survive?

On the campaign trail some badger the clergyman's sentiments

Suddenly, pulpits seem to mask political violence

And not everyone is listening to the chiming church 'bell'

Well, it suddenly look like campaign prosperity a face poverty

Because it seem sah money nuh deh inna di kitty.

Can smaddy call the Parson fi collect a special offering?

After all, it look like April first a bring nothing but more suffering, way more suffering.

Whether you're Labourite or Comrade, things look dread.

And mi no mean Rasta dread, but look deh, all di Rasta dem a scratch dem head. It dread!

Smaddy better call on the King of kings and the Lord of lords

Because although nuh weh nuh better dan yard

Nothing naah gwaan a yard!

The king in November of his inaugural throne speech talked about Jamaica becoming a place to live, work, raise families and do business

But this new promise is my business, your business, our business

Especially fi di man weh waah move from the yard near the infestation of rats and garbage

To up town where eighteen gran can help him get a new mortgage.

So please Father, bless King Andrew and protect him from any possible curse

Especially the proverbial "all fools day" of April first.

- Czedale Smallwood

 

***

New Government now, everything soon alright

Soon get wi road, and wi wata an wi nuff street light

Soon get free health an education

Yes! free eye sight

Soon get back wi factories

Wi industries an wi railway business

Soon get the millions it needs to maintain di gullies

Soon gi di youths dem opportunity

fi mek tings right

So residents can walk di streets

An sleep safe at nights

But di new government promise jobs aplenty

In construction, infrastructure, tourism and alternative energy

Dem say, cast yuh vote for prosperity

Vote for jobs and more possibilities

Soon change di course, but everything tek time

Reviewing dem plans, one step at a time

Soon trade all the empty promises

To advancement, development and on shore business

Still we waiting earnestly for the 10 point plan

So low income earners can have money in dem hand

And for the minimum wagers who use to live and fret

Please don't worry 10 gran yuh ago get

Not to mention the NHT contributors who nuh get dem house yet

Patience is a virtue, now a mansion yuh ago get

For the ordinary man who prosperity was a dream

Just look around, di pasture is greeeeeeen

 

***

I thought I was free, but it was only a dream

Was I deceived in matrimony?

Cause I need to break this monogamy

This circular thing that's called a ring

is the smallest cuff in a willing prison.

Like in Solomon's days, I was virile and free

That's the life I had traded for thee

I lost my freedom the day I laid eyes on you

I have become your prisoner on a very tight leash

Do I regret the choice of you and me?

Like a prisoner on the run

Your love has captured me

Willingly I was cuffed with the smallest hand cuff

It's the price of love not tough luck

Now I am your prisoner

Behind four invisible walls.

I want to be free

You have me like a puppet on a string

You let me out you pull me in

Woe to me, this wasn't part of the drill

I willingly give you that ring

And become your prisoner on

A very short string.

- Franklyn James

***

I take another lonely walk along the avenue.

On this sad evening, no one's at my side.

Anxiety fills my heart because I've lost you.

I sit all by myself in the park on a bench for two.

Pondering dispiritedly about the past,

Trapped in the shadow of the fantasies we shared.

The cannas near the fountain still bloom.

It feels like yesterday when we sat here together,

But years and distance have long separated us.

Now we're so far apart from each other.

I can't concede that my one treasured love is gone.

God knows I try to hold back the tears,

But I can't control the involuntary shudder.

My heart weakens as the moonless night approaches.

I look to the stars for the answer to my quandary.

But should the stars sympathise with me?

I've lost you, not just once, but twice.

If I wanted a second chance, I'd be in a better situation,

Perhaps you'd consider my plea.

But how can I ask you for a third chance?

A third chance is more than I should expect from you.

So I prepare myself reluctantly to live without your love.

What expectation do I have?

I pray only that a miracle will soon happen,

While I wait for a love that I doubt will ever return to me.

- Marlon Pitter

 

***

Every ingredient of strength

rubbed into it.

Marinating for six years-

it was time.

Maths mixed with science

and they saw signs

of success.

Mek sure yuh duh yuh bes!

Two days of baking

down to a shade

of the last question

Yes!

How wuss di exam?

Yuh feel laka seh yuh gwine pass?

Let me skip

Let me breathe

And "dandi shandi" here I come!

Graveyard room

behind me now.

- Elizabeth Spence

***

My Soul Provider

From deep within

My heart sings

Bellowing words

Tarnished with sweet melodies

That only your heart hears and understands

They tugged at your heart strings

As we lay here

Reminiscing

On past happenings

You have nurtured me back to reality

Showed me all my follies

Allowing me back in the game

But only down your alley

Your breath

A mere whisper

Your touch

A gentle reminder

Of how great a husband

A lover

A friend

A provider

And silently I pondered

How did I get it wrong the first time?

What you did, was no great crime

Wondering

How do I make things right

Now that you are mine

For a second time

And my soul aches

Noticeable only on the inside

But I am not in pain

I felt your weight

You shifted

Fumbled

As your snoring became a slight rumble

I smiled

How I missed these moments

Precious...

My wait for you, was not in vain

It's obvious

That in time

Our hearts will be entwined

Naturally

For one last time

Say yes my love

To a new dawning

For I no longer hide

The pleasures that only I can find

Buried in this reservoir of feelings

This love

Therapeutic

Healing

So divine

For you, my heart beats

One tick at a time

You are

My Soul Provider

- Charmaine Wallace

***

... all lived happily ever after

Full stop.

The end.

Here the true ending be:

And the horse clattered away,

as the sun drew its last breath.

With dress torn, her face a sight

for much tears his words compelled.

Oh he rambled on and on:

"In sickness and in health;

For better or for worse"

(One tear slipped then.)

He in jacket borrowed from his mate

and two he would receive.

The night trod on and they too,

home was waiting for their love.

And the days ahead came

full of twists and she twisted her hair

not to bite her nails.

The cover had seemed so predictable,

A writer's work complete -

completely boring

now both sit tentatively

on the edge of their seats,

sometimes staring at the lovely wall.

He to the bottle turned;

it turned him in a fool.

The horse should've told them.

- Elizabeth Spence

***

Be still, I am God

I awake in a tenement yard and everyone is stressed

Cursing their neighbours and spilling blood

I run to my room and get depressed

Why am I here in this shed?

Then I remember God and stood still

I open my purse and see only a dollar bill

My head begins to ache and get numb

The mailman comes knocking with 2 other bills

My enemies are strong and many so I become dumb

Then I remember God and stood still

When people are dying day by day

And everyone is out losing their head

I decide not to run off to foreign but stay instead

I better stay in Jamaica at least I will be fed

Then I remember God and stood still

Psalms 46:10

Hortense Francis