Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Poems

Published:Sunday | October 16, 2016 | 10:00 AM

Why I so Love Nanny... (A Sequel)

 

I so Love Nanny

because she has a face I recognise

Private Rowena Alicia Oliver WRAC....

courage of a solider to the end, forever "Livy"

I connect with her

Jemima Amy....

as I do with my seventy-odd Grand Lena Elizabeth before she died

who would fry egg for me

who I would camp out with at Anderson Road

across the road from "Up Park" camp

who taught me to write letters

claiming her pension from the British crown

placing headstones on her parents' graves,

Logwood, Hanover,

taking the railway

I so Love Nanny

for she never left me alone

at school, at "ball ground"

Maroon

on the wall paintings

I was lobbying for another Woman heroine

but it is not bad, the equation

One of her = Six HERO Men

to balance the scales of justice

I like that rate of exchange

can even go as far as DEXTA DAPS.... "11",

Hon. Louise Bennett Coverley "Jamaica Woman"

All respect due to them, the six men that is

(or 11 as the case may be)

but just as well

Nanny is an archetype

they can't quite pin down her lineage

they would need more walls and have 14 (22) faces

painted

nonetheless, employment for the painters,

construction workers artists

- Helen-Ann Elizabeth Wilkinson

 

 

Black Revolution

 

Out of the abyss of slavery.

Out of the depths of apartheid.

Rooted in racial discrimination and colonisation.

We a travel di lan.

Wid a purpose and a plan.

Educating the masses for a Pan-African education.

Enlightening and empowering the people to eradicate slavery and deep segregation.

Unification of a fractured nation must be formed in our imagination.

Unity is strength! Division is weakness!

We are the children of the first

civilization.

Marching forward into emancipation

And we must rebuild our African nation.

Remember the struggles of Marcus Mosiah Garvey,

Nanny of the Maroons, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe, Norman Washington Manley,

Sir Alexander Bustamante and George William Gordon.

Our national heroes, forever etched in the contours of our minds and hearts.

We are seeking a revolution, leading to a new elevation.

Creating new world conditions for Africans.

We tired a poverty...lack of money and no food!

Di pickney dem hungry,

Crime and violence a tek ova di mind and body.

We tired a di fighting and backbiting.

We tired a di crab-in-a-barrel mentality.

Bad-mind a tek over di people dem.

They removed our ancestral memory,

We need a cleansing, a purification

Of all di negativity that surrounds us.

Stop di barefaced robbery and killing!

My people have forgotten their history.

Remember the maroon wars for liberty.

We need a restoration of positivity.

Haitian revolutionary fighters fought in unity.

We a bawl Mama Africa, we a bawl.

We bun dung plantation slavery.

We a bawl Mama Africa, we a bawl.

We need a change now!

A change must come.

Di sistem mash up!

We need a revolution!

Dash weh di corruption!

Let us stop the destruction and forge the way for a reconstruction.

Mek wi start a revolution,

An evolution, a black revolution.

- Erika Heslop Martin

***

 

Resurrect the hero in you!

 

As we pause to reflect on our heritage,

To our National Heroes we pay our homage,

For their tireless work, their strength and courage,

So we can celebrate our freedom from bondage!

We salute Sharpe, Bogle, Gordon, Manley,

Bustamante, Garvey and our fearless Nanny,

Who fought for our rights and put an end to slavery,

I pray we'll emulate such bravery!

That bravery to resurrect that hero inside,

To stand up for what you believe in with dignity and pride!

To fight for what you want, though no one may be by your side,

And to let your instinct be your guide!

Yes, that hero lies within!

It is your duty to resurrect him.

That hero that tells you, "You can achieve",

That hero that gives you a reason to believe.

That hero that always tells you, "You can",

That hero that propels you to stand up and be a man!

That hero in you need to be resurrect,

So you can be proud, having a positive mindset.

Unearthing the great qualities you possess,

And showing the world, you're a hero in your own uniqueness.

- Shauna-Kay Douglas

 

 

Matthew - Di Monster Hurricane

 

Matthew di monster did want fi create mayhem,

Suh him tell imself seh, watch mi, a gwine mash dem up,

Suh im try im tricks.

Sometimes im walk, sometimes im crawl,

Matthew even fly, everything im try,

When im want fi confuse, im don't even move at all.

Since wi couldn't figure out what im up to,

Wi get dung an prepare.

Everybody get busy, rich an poor people everywhere,

Yuh could a see di hardware an supermarket dem a beam,

Sales galore, dem a burst from di seam.

Bread an biscuit couldn't tarry pon di shelf

As everybody a try fi help demself.

Canned goods put on feather an fly,

Matches, batteries, candle an flashlight mek

fast movement, dem wouldn't sit idly by.

Kudos to di authority dem who duh a really excellent Job,

Precautionary bulletin flood di air

Yuh could hear advisory everywhere.

Wi did really tek Matthew serious an

prepare,

Everybody did up to di task

An dis help fi mek di monster fraid fi pass.

Fi mi Aunty Matty seh she cant understand

Why Matthew busy sometime an sometimes

Im behave like a statue.

She seh she don't know why dem

Give him such a famous name

An meck it get to im head dat im deh all

About a search fi fame.

Yes im hear about Matthew di great disciple

Suh im want fi come here fi try tax collection,

But im get some information seh di country

Surpass di projected target.

Suh im feel shame, change im mind an call it quit.

Mi really feel a sense of relief seh God meck im change im mind

Guh about him stormy business an lef us safe behind.

Although him stall movie, lock dung di business dem, an school

Send people in a shelter an cause some alarm

Im cause minimal harm an not much pain

Suh wi haffi thank God dat Jamaica escape dis monster hurricane.

Wi a pray fi di country dem weh him gone dat dem survive

Keep strong an stay alive.

We pray God will stop dis monster an im wicked onslaught

Bring the countries back to normalcy

An bring Matthew dung to nought.

- Nalda Taylor-Wright

 

 

A to Z of Mama Vie

 

African skies cried from billowy clouds

when she was born captive in Jamaica

She chided backra, challenged the status quo

more daring than Simba's Lioness

for her energies come from within where

unhealthy fantasies die young

Her father, my great grandfather

he was a conqueror of men

of duppies alike

How many the cuts, sores, bruises, she nursed

with the herbs of the Manchester plateau

How intense, her love for her offspring

As intense as Jan Hoy's love for Ethiopia

Colours are in the rainbow

All a reflection of her kaleidoscope of hope

A language so colourful

all the canvas n France could never capture

Arch the blue sky where

jets fly but not near her mountains of love

Majesty is for kings and queens, so is wisdom

Common sense for all who acknowledge

there is nothing new in these organic prayers

Freedom for her offspring who are regal

Still...

As still as Imhotep's tomb

Time stood still when Jericho's walls fell

She knows that story

She doesn't know how uranium is extracted

yet she in valour waits for the victory

Over the years when the excellence shines through

if she is not here we will carry her far

to Congo Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe

If she is not here

We will carry her far in memories to

Zanzibar...

- Osakwe

 

***

Hebrew Maiden

She waited for him by the bank of the Nile,

A fearless Hebrew maiden,

The prettiest one among the captives,

A slave in a land of idolaters,

Driven to the limit, but not broken.

He risked his life for the love of a Hebrew maiden,

An angel in ragged clothes,

The daughter of a chieftain of her tribe,

Her name was Gavriella, which means "God is my strength."

She bore more pain than any woman could endure,

But her unflinching boldness kept her alive.

He was a hunted resister and liberator,

And he was the one to whom she gave her heart.

The chains of bondage could not restrain her charm,

He touched the wounds from her torture,

The scars from her chastisement sank his heart.

Suffering strengthened her determination,

The hope of freedom was evident in her smile.

She reckoned that someday she would break away,

Be a free woman and return to her homeland.

She looked at him with uncertainty for a while,

Then she kissed him with the kiss of bravery.

She fought courageously for liberty,

A fight she thought they could not win.

She spoke of Zion the night before they left Babylon.

And he lived for the love of a Hebrew maiden.

- Marlon Pitter

***

Put down the gun

In the stillness of the night

Guns barked,

Many scurrying in fright,

Cowering in the dark,

Taking flight.

Gunmen attacking in broad daylight,

Fearing none,

On the run with the gun

Caring for none;

Demolishing all that's in sight.

Not afraid their weapons they bare;

In the people instilling fear.

Parading boldly, cruelly,

In anger they snuffed out lives.

Some young - their future bright

Gone in demise;

Some older - in their prime

Not ready yet to give up the fight.

None the less, these blood thirsty men attack,

Drunken like maniacs,

They slaughter here, there;

Not looking back.

The rampage is far, near, everywhere;

No remorse they bare.

In their wake; cold, dead bodies lie still

To depart this way was never their will.

Family left to mourn.

Relatives wailed.

Friends groaned.

In their sorrow they wallow,

Love ones lost, gone;

Having no hope for tomorrow.

When will this bloodshed stop?

When will this gruesome sadism end?

Will another be executed?

Another body drop?

Before you put down the Glock?

No, we don't want another attack!

From this brutality you must desist?

Evil, cruelty and guile resist,

You don't need to do this!

Gunmen put down the gun!

Cleanse your thoughts

Erase hatred and hostility from the heart,

From crime and violence depart.

Allow forgiveness in the intricate part,

Cultivate a fresh start;

Let love captivate the heart,

Saturate and make right the inward part.

Then, permeating the country, the people,

The peace and harmony will start.

-Winsome Miles