We was at di intersection of Ward Avenue and flirtation wid death.
I thought it I was met wid jus another mundane Friday evening.
Get stuck inna di traffic after di clouds ceased bleeding.
Like many, peacefully reflecting on di day’s proceedings.
Den all of a sudden, di sound of unhinged rounds leaving di nozzle of an M16 had women screaming like blue movie actress. Moments later dem speed off in a black Wish.
But before dat it was Kalashnikov and Nine Millimeter barking.
Glass shattering, people scattering and scampering for coverage amongst di sparseness of di shrubbery.
Mi mind forced fi contend wid di chilling discovery dat di rest of us unluckily sitting ducks in vulnerable vehicles at the mercy of a stray bullet’s trajectory.
Forced fi recline seats and brace fi di worse as rounds get randomly dispersed in our vicinity.
Those perched in the safety of a nearby plaza recorded. Afforded di luxurious spectation of di unfolding situation.
Pissed me off hearing dem uttering careless statements
Praising di wanton and brazen actions of this gang of wastemen.
Not a solitary one displaying di competence of a sharpshooter.
Merely pant-sagging amateurs wielding way more fire power dan dem deserve.
Emblems of society’s failure fi properly raise dem.
Barber shop reporters shortsighted to di realization dat dem sister or baby mother coulda be amongst innocent bystanders seeking di safety of store fronts cause gunshots fi sure hunt indiscriminately.
Mi can’t rationalize how dem idolize these idle guys.
As if these masked menaces ago give dem some a di a di funds weh dem liberate from di back of a black Hyundai owned by Beryllium.
Yuh see di gunfire eventually subsided.
Spent shells counted.
Fresh glass mounted.
Yellow tape ripped, binned and forgotten.
Cracks in the walls filled and painted.
But some souls have been perpetually tainted.
Lives rearranged. Bodies and brains now stained wid permanent remembrance dat di climate has changed and there’s no such semblance of cool cool Mandeville anymore.
– Britton Wright
Britton Wright is an executive board member of the Poetry Society of Jamaica, he will be reciting at Monthly Fellowship starting 7 p.m. at the Edna Manley College for Visual and Performing Arts on September 26.
I’m Not a Dunce
I’m not a dunce; don’t you dare,
Put this negative word in the atmosphere!
I am smart.
You know this well.
This is the message that I will sell.
I have potential.
I can learn.
I can pass my exams.
With God’s help I’ll discern.
That a negative label like ‘dunce’ is a trap,
To keep me down and to hold me back.
Why must I carry this load on my back?
This load of illiteracy, is it because I’m black?
I’ll rise up now and take a stand against this dunce
agenda in this land.
Put a message on my school bag like, ‘SMART’ or ‘WISE’
‘BRIGHT’ OR ‘FULL OF POTENTIAL’,
These I will not despise.
So collect all the ‘Dunce bags’ and leave them at the gate
But let in all the children, and their minds please educate.
– Kadecia Wilson
Me ah Bubble, No Baddie Can BusDis Ah Bubble
Bubble mi ah high fashion Bubble
Bubble is the queen, mi no cause nuh trouble
Satin clip, bandoo, ribbon brains, mi ah regin, Bubble
back to school, no Baddie can bus dis ah Bubble
Bubble in ah everything
in preschoolers mind and what dem sing
basic, primary, high, to the sky
is just Bubble of every colour what fly
Bubble, Back to school Jamaica you hear whey mi deh seh
yuh have to get education to ago any whey
foreign visa, plane or sea
get full bright and fight fi equity
Bubble, Mi live high mi live good
knowledge stronga dan gold, brick or wood
No be no bad guy lying in de hood
bubble mi deh bubble, English language, literature must be understood
stap tear on middle leaf out ah exercise book
no badda wid not so no nice look
you need to read menu and recipe to even cook
Bubble, You come yah a fi learn
you neva hear sey holdiay done ?free paper burn
it only my subject can earn
Bubble is my name and that’s my game
just observing, engaging, educating, relating is no shame
exploring, curving, expanding, while teacha explaining, Bubble is sane
Evaluating the weather pattern whedda it gwine sun or rain
Bubble mi ah bubble jus a go on hol on to mi shovel
mi no wan mi madda and family live enna hovel
dig up de earth and plant seed and scientific technology stem
meck some tea, on the kettle steam
all mi r’s and p’s q’s, mi just a Bubble like movie ream
Oh, right now mi just a bubble
clip and bow, braid ribbon, head band no trouble
bubble bubble mi back bag pack
good nutritious meal and health snack
Bubble, bubble no one can burst my bubble
Gong sound fi lunch
fight off bully with a knowledge punch
Bubble, bubble, bubble mi ah Bubble, no Baddie can Bus dis ah Bubble
– Elizabeth Oliver