Mon | Sep 20, 2021


Published:Sunday | June 3, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Poem of the week

Jamaica 50 A Travel in Time ...

Jamaica 50, 1962, wi a go reason before dat too

Arawak Tainos were the first inhabitants

Columbus from Spain never give dem a chance

In 1492, him navigate wrong, spot de ilan

Wen him step pon de lan, oh, what a bam bam!

Dem start kill off de Tainos, one by one

De English invade 1655, an gi de Spanish an attack

Dem run like rat, from de sea to de lan a jus bragga dagga shot

England Atlantic Trade, enslaved the Africans

Fi plant mega sugar canes, pon dem plantations

Nanny, Cudjoe, Accompong, Quao yes dem fight long

1760 Tacky attack dem like a revolution

And Sam Sharpe Christmus Rebellion, 1831

1834 wi bruck dung de slavery gate, receive emancipation 1838

Psychological bondage, probity dem delay

Cause Paul Bogle fi rebel 1865, out a Morant Bay,

Marcus Garvey in 1930s, continue giving hope

Rastafarians plan fi repatriate, pon Marcus Black Star boat

Island strike, watershed the year 1938

Waterfront and Frome Estate, more resonate

It was the same 1938 that the PNP start

Norman Manley build a bridge fi de people dem cross

Alexander Bustamante fight fi people's right

Incept 1943 his JLP plan, he won 1944 Adult Suffrage election

Busta won again in 1949, but election 1955 and 59 was Norman time

As premier, he petition 1958 the West Indian Federation

Referendum result 1961 was such a big surprise

When Bustamante independence were the voters' choice

Most Caribbean people never rate Jamaicans fi dis

Dem seh wi wutlis, Federation shouldn't get kick, it more realistic

Because of dis now, election afi run

1962 election further tear Manley dung

Bustamante first prime minister of Jamaica

Health, meck him tun it over to Sir Donald Sangster

But Donald never live long, only 46 days him held on

People seh Hugh Shearer come an rule with a draconian style

Him persona non grata Walter Rodney pon de government file

1972 election PNP elected again, Shearer iron fist seems to be the problem

Michael Manley de young leader, seems to gi de people dem hope

But propaganda 'bout communism, give him a reproach

Election 1980 wasn't safe or pretty

JLP Edward Seaga was elected, fi bring unity

1989 election won by Manley again

Health meck him tun it over to P.J. Patterson, him lawyer fren

P.J. ruled fi 17 years, de people never vote him out

2006, Queen Portia got the baton, to progress the journey on the route

Portia Simpson Miller our first female prime minister

She is royal, she is a queen, she is not an aggressor

Election 2007 was like a mystery

Nuff caan believe shi never get de victory

JLP won de election with Bruce Golding, de driva

People seh him noh have noh licence, bus tun ova

Him abdicate de throne an gi it to Prince Andrew

Andrew Holness, Jamaica's youngest prime minister

Seh him will lead the nation to a brighter future

But election 2011 seems to teach the Prince more

Wen Portia and PNP won de election, with a landslide score

This is Jamaica 50, come noh, come celebrate wid wi

Wi culture, wi vibes an wi rich history ...

- Ras Jaja, 2012

Dreams & aspirations

They say my vision is poor

But I always have a dream

They expect nothing of me

But I always have a high self esteem

Even if the situation is very extreme

They expect us to born and die in the ghetto

To them we are murderers and crooks

But I have hopes that one day I would live in Norbrook

On prisoners they paint a stigma

But I can be the epitome to society

I am innocent!

But that doesn't mean I never broke the law

I've confessed to what I've done

Yet I'm here behind bars, for someone else's wrong.

My vision may be poor

But my poems, The Gleaner continue to adore

I'm not crying!

I just want you to know I have dreams

Like every human being

- Orville Murray

Atrial fibrillation

I too


lagging limbs

falling feet

Broken bark

Atrial fibrillation

You make me wait too long


melting butter

no machinery, equipment in need of repair

so I go home

Pelvic floor dysfunction

I am groping in the dark


you think

I am playing

Hide and seek

- Helen-Ann Wilkinson

Slavery - today's chains

We must never forget that we were

sold into slavery with the help of "our own"

forget the excuses that African slavery

was not so bad as the oppression of

the Europeans, "Oh, they did not

understand the 'process', the triangle

the middle passage..."

Cut that crap,

anyone who

did the chasing, the selling, the

buying, the racketeering could

see the suffering of persons

torn from their families

that large fraction of


indifference, greed, cut-throat

blood hounding

aided and abetted

So no gold nor ivory coast

hold any redemption for me

Marley said it ..

"Old pirates yes they rob I, sold I to the merchant ship ...

Minutes after they took I from the bottomless pit ..."

Human sin and error


across the continents

They, 'our own' , knew about the

wanton madness of sailors on

the sea

Africa owes us and so does Europe 50/50

We must never, ever forget the cruelty

of our own

the side of slavery we never

comment on

which still exists, which still

tears at

our flesh in today's chains

- Helen-Ann Wilkinson