Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Poems

Published:Sunday | July 3, 2016 | 7:00 AM

POEM OF THE WEEK:

The Farmer

The farmer still uses the hoe to clear the land

A simple life for this once scholarly man

His shirt is stained with months of sweat

It once was beige but now its colour is nearer to death

His age is unknown and his children are overseas

They tried filing for him but he refused to leave

"I will never leave my land," he said

He could not be persuaded so they left

Now he plants the renta yam and the cassava

Everyday his meal is salt mackerel and green banana

He never complains, he is comfortable there

Out in the field with the two mongrels he has no fear

Once he was a jacket and tie man

He commanded a position at the local Barclay's bank

Then he got tired of the infighting and backbiting

He resigned despite his boss's pleas and his wife's crying

Not as rich as once but definitely a more contented man

You can see the pride when he holds the yam in his hands

Some people look at him with scorn and pity

Yet this man is in better health than many under fifty

The rum bar sees him once a week

On the rocks at it stings the throat and weakens the feet

The dogs faithfully follow him as he staggers down the road

After nights like this it's a late start tomorrow

- Jomo McKoy

 

THE FIRE FROM MY PEN

A siren of injustice awoke the sleeping giant

Now he is ferocious and he's non-compliant

In the front of the battle; my sword unshielded

With all of my might this weapon is wielded

Facing the enemy and they're starting to fret

But the blood I'm shedding will only be sweat

Regardless of the party; be it comrades or shower

If I can't get you to listen, I must use pen power

Has the truth been told yet, about the incursion?

Did you cook up a story and sell us your version?

My sword swipes a question, I'm asking still yet

Where is the apology and where is the regret?

Looked us dead in the eyes said you've forgotten

It's downright disgrace such behaviour is rotten

My pen's outing "light bulbs", this too must burst

Hope it was the last, though it wasn't the first

Many have been smitten, by this "power curse"

For it's now appearing that Trafigura is worse

In raising up mansions don't do anything funny

We want to be sure; it's not tax payers' money

Poor people have become, frustrated and furious

For we've been fed food - dubious and spurious

A true conscience cutter, though I'm still puzzled

Let's make up our minds; we won't be muzzled

Nothing to hide - well let's have transparency

Clear up uncertainty and vanquish conspiracy

Contracts dished out and men given responsibility

Who does inspections and ask for accountability?

Tired of political scheming; the level of hypocrisy

Red tapes and corruption and bad bureaucracy

Have not forgotten the shenanigans and trickery

The partisan violence that muddied our history

Garrisons and Ghettos - introducing gun culture

And countless bodies became food for vulture

Modern slave masters feel the fire from my pen

Are you hoping we'll become slaves once again?

Bereft of freedom we built an empire for real

Yet your best proposal is offering a prison deal

Peppered our backs amidst the scourge of slavery

Yet you say get "these people out of your country"

But "let justice roll on like a never-failing stream"

Use the weapon of pen; you know what I mean

Let's crumble corruption with what we inscribe

Let the pen breathe out fire when'er we transcribe

- C. Billy Leslie

 

Saudade

The grass is heavy with dew this morning

Just as my heart is laden with emotions

My mind weighted down with thoughts

My sleep burdened by frequent dreams

And it's all on account of you

We are no longer us

But the feelings linger

Making me wonder

What if?

So much could have been different

But weren't we just kids?

Playing it by ear

Unconcerned about what direction we were heading

I know you're still bitter

Hurt and changed by it all

But find yourself again

I wish for you your heart's desire

Though it's not something we will share

I will always love my first love

And though you may never say it

You will always love me

-Peter-John Plummer

 

Thomas U R no Saint

(In honour of Mary Seacole)

Thomas

U

R

No saint

for the sake of the Blessed Mother

Mary

accept her as God

Woman aroused more than the Negro in her

the debate forever will rage

time does not erase the savage

always hell in

hell always in

will, kin, son

but that very war reveals the power

Thomas,

it was the women who saw that risen Christ

u r no saint even today u deny

the power of woman

more aroused than Negro

her battle more profound than all the others

why today a statue mounted exactly where she was

scorned

HA!

HAW, the stone the builders refuse become the chief corner

stone

Mary can see

the hole shot through me

the crime on me war

the door bears the face, as the name must be the

signature

to sell the page, theft of intellectual property

instead of saving lives,

not much unlike you Thomas

but we take your critics' lines

we can say that we are unlike,

Pity....

the world sees clearly what we do to those

of our own

so it should come as no surprise

that that is why we have no international credibility

from all "first" to "infinity" aid disqualified

but that is ur distinctive mark igniting international

cyber warand it ain't over yet

Cain you killed your brother and the blood is still on

ur hands

floors, files

and no stones will be turned

the doors of employment closed

what goes around comes around

dig a pit for two and there goes all of U

HA

it has a history, here comes the movie

and the Oscar award winning actress

criminals have a strange way of signing the body of the one they themselves have slain,

today DNA does not mean DNR(do not resuscitate)

we, DNA, do not answer

because the writing is already on the wall

- Helen-Ann Elizabeth Wilkinson