Monday, July 27, 2015


                                          copyright 2015 K. Omodele

When Kenny sent the invitation, the kings were tickled by the gold calligraphy and trimming and the request to R.S.V.P. But family is family, y'hear, so that sabbatical morning Irie, I-bo and Bongo drove from New York to D.C., a three-hour ride that stretched out to five due to them getting stopped and searched twice on I-95. By the time they parked at Union Station, they' just missed the ceremony.
Draped in flowing white Rastafarian robes and turbans, they caught sight of all them stiff-necked senator and dignitary types and realized:
"One day when we bent up and gray, we going laugh at this."
"Right. Laugh 'til we belly buss."
A sign pointed out the Clarke and Weatherman Wedding. The followed it like Wise Men trailing the Eastern Star and entered a world of glass walls and marble floors, where spectacular chandeliers loomed over linen-clothed tables. Someone greeted them and they were ushered to a table carded with their government names, while Black D.C. aristocracy, which now resided out in Montgomery and P.G. Counties, sat frozen with jaws bouncing off the polished floor and eyes spread wide as poached egg whites, taking in the sight of the three kings in dreadlocked beards. One king strapped with a Kete drum.
Joanna, the shiny bride jumped up, grabbed her gown tail and burst a sprint over before anybody could blink. Kenny trudged stiffly behind her.
"Glad you guys made it," she said. "Bongo, you gotta beat the drum for me-"
"Kete. Is a Kete drum." He placed the wooden, hand-painted drum on the white linen table cloth.
Kenny hailed them up, laughing nervously. "Bredren, you just had to walk with the drum? Here? Today?"
Joanna shooed him. "Of course they did." Then she announced, "Everyone, these are Kenrick's two brothers and his cousin, my brand-new In-Laws."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


Caribbean Poetry: Calypso (in Tennessee)
       copyright 2014 K. Omodele


So, they're footin' it, side by side, shiverin'
'cross this Chat Town bridge with
pinkened lights, above, mellowing the
late-October dusk.
When they stop, toe the rail
overlookin' a docked-
grounded riverboat hotel,
she whispers, "It 'pose to be possessed; y'know, like haunted."
Then in her smile's incandescent wake the runnin' river shimmers
and the whole surroundin', suffocatin' city lights.

Then when she clutches his arm and
enwraps nippy fingers with hers,
it's like love-cravin' legs, like thighs,
her ankles encircling his back,
drawin' him in close, urgin'
"I'm try'na leave. Nex' time you go home,
PLEASE, take me with you!"

And this is the moment she begins, finally,
easing through his board and zinc fence.
Slips in, slow-ly, inching her way in
for the first time- she, spirited songbird
coos down his soul, entwines their thoughts,
titillates dreams, massages his need
to be needed; caressing wanting.

"Ain't no rush," he'd told her a while before
but both now realise she can masquerade no more
her lingering itch- her longing for
stimulating moments brimming over with Being
followed by endless wide-eyed
world-wide, whirl-wind tomorrows.

Now, face to face, their breathing flutters
hummingbirds suspended
her excitement building,
long, deep-strokin', Rapture-floodin'-a
moon-soaked beach-in-a-hammock-under-
his-palm-tree nights...
Temperature risin' now, beats throbbin' hot
Rubbin her up- this tropical riddim
tweakin' her treble, reverbin' her bass
pumpkin pumpin', pulsatin' her sumthin'
gradually sweetin', she- ripenin' papaw-
Tempo increasin', gatherin', growin'
now hurricane surgin'
'pon Carnival steel, pulse
pan, pangin'; pannin' and bangin'
slammin and rammin'
jammin' steamily
yearnin'. for. MORE:

Stars Bright
Moonbeams SPARK
gush thru she heart
Now gallops settle and trot
trembles. sighs. still, now.
Eyes fill with wonder
mind graspin'
pantin'. gaspin'.
She breathless,
Kai so ca lypso
all up in she

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Catharsis II - The Lost Colony (Rymes in D-Flat)
copyright 2014 K. Omodele

See that blood in their eyes?
red ink scripts their rage        
Them blood-fire hearts?
spit flames, scorch up page.
See them weapEns they holdin' like         
Shaka's altered spear?
pick Truth from scabbed wounds 'til
pus oozes, sores air.
Life's stumbles, flat falls?
bruise, etch, batik, stain,
write selves off them knees
dye canvasses rain.
They write 'cause minds barred-in must build in blocks,
Writing absolves scarred-up guilt in blocks,
Verbs purge, nouns foil, in cipher* guilds and flocks,
Stagnate in the box a dream wilts and rots.
They write characters smelted from building blocks
Granite Rocks molten, ethos smithed in hok
Weatherbeaten from storms, ships refuged in-docks
Paradox, they find peace weighin' sin in blocks.
Dormant time is unforgiving like jilted frocks
Themes and plots, narratives tilted clocks
Yielded Glocks, pens now wield in blocs,
Fury and sound settle like silt in lochs.
This is a wright-ers' clique/ with Sonny's Blues
Feelin' zoras and mckays/ kincaids and hughes.
* gathering of MC's, poets in a rap/spoken word session.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


                                                               copyright 2014 K. Omodele

"Now when I was a little boy my favorite ring game was this...winey, winey/winey, winey..." /
~Peeny Peeny by Shabba Ranking
As a youth in primary school* I had a rough time concentrating on defending my wicket, or bending a cross from the corner, whenever the girls formed a circle in the school compound and started chanting and, ahhhm, dancing. I can't count the amount of wickets we boys left stranded, or footballs rolling lonely on a sudden-emptied field, as we rushed to join the girls in the ring. Full of mannishness, we sang               
                                                  There's a brown girl in the ring, tra-la-la-la-la....
Whether she black or brown or surnamed Singh never mattered to me. The girl in the ring would prance 'round the circle of boys and girls while eyeing up a partner. Whenever we got to the part
                                                         ...'cause she like sugar and I like plum...
she'd stop her 'lil false-shy self in front of whosoever she liked and pose up with her hands on her hips. Then, as we sang
                                                    Now, let me see your motion, Tra-la-la-la-la
                                                        Show me your motion, tra-la-la-la-la-la...
she'd buss a wine.** Bare Precociousness. Listen, nuh man! I was a force-ripe pickney*** myself; so, I had no problem wining back. Worse yet if it was Miss-what-she-name, or Miss-you-know-who.
My favorite ring game went like this
Gypsy in the moonlight, Gypsy in the zoo/ Gypsy never come home till half-past two/So walk in Gypsy walk in, walk in thru my door/And turn to your partner and show them what you do...
By the time we got to this part, Miss Gypsy in the ring would done find a partner and with that last command, she would show how she could get on bad; indeed, rolling she hips and singing in response
                                          I do not love no-bo-dy/ Nobody love me too...
When you check it out in truth, future dancehall queens learned to bubble right there in them ring games. Notice ladies! In protecting the not-so-innocent and bare precocious, I never called no names. I just fling stone in a pen. Whichever goat bawl out, is she get lick.
        Small days, still on my mind....

* Primary school is grade one to six (elementary school in the US)
**wine- also, wind. As in winding the hips and waistline
***force-ripe pickney is a child who acts "fresh", too grown for his/her age

Saturday, December 13, 2014


                Seven Nelson Mandela "Tata Madiba" Quotes We Love

When it comes to inspirational quotes, Tata Madiba was as thoughtful in choosing his words as he was careful in implementing his plans, knowing he was setting an example. Though laden with introspection, these quotes possess an undeniable universal appeal.
1. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the ability to triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

2. "Do not judge me by my successes. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."

3. "It always feels impossible until it is done."

4. "Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people."

5. "No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end."

6. "Poverty, like apartheid, is not natural; it is man made."

7. "Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

ABENG CARIBBEAN POETRY: Nefertiti's Egyptian-Cotton Sundress

  Nefertiti's White Egyptian-Cotton Sundress
  copyright 2013 K.Omodele


Nefertiti never filled 
a white, Egyptian-cotton sundress
with s'much breath-taking grace and copper-toned form.
In that Egyptian-cotton white dress
her smile couldna swelled her King's heart so, like the noon sun
have him clutching her hand, tight so, up Georgia Avenue.
If her King coulda seen what this King here knew-
that vibrant, white sundress on radiant you,
he woulda traded all Egypt
that Georgia Ave. noon...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

CARIBBEAN POETRY: Coconut Tree (A. Haiku)

                                                          Coconut Tree (A. Haiku)
                                                                 copyright 2013 K. Omodele

                                                                          A coconut tree
                                 bends and bows in hurricane
                                        winds but doesn't break.          


Monday, October 27, 2014

DUB POETRY: Coramantee Heart (The Revolt)

                    Abeng Dub Poetry: Coromantee Heart (The Revolt)
                               copyright 2013 K. Omodele
              Re-volt noun 1 an act of rebelling. 2 a state of insurrection. 3 a sense of loathing.
              4 a mood of protest or defiance
              Medsing* thru mind window beyond barred sills, pass the mill,
              Lift mine eyes up to the hills from whence come Jah will,
              I sight Boukman, Bwa Kaiman, Palmares in Brazil,
              Feel like Djuka to de bush and go Maroon in the hills
              'cause teLIEvision, pure derision, images unreel,
              Vanity innoculate me like snake under heel,
              Meh Granny used to warn me "hard ears goin' feel,"
              From chopping cane in the field, now life behind steel.
              The wicked carried we away in slave bangles and rope,
              We leggo cutlass and hoe, now tote the corporate yoke,
              But revolt deh in meh soul like gold in Guyana dirt,
              Pull on me Kwamina** pants, button me Cuffy***-link shirt.
              Sight, that great Zimbabwe Wall deh masoned by us.
              Lalibela stone churches carved from rock and such.
              Pyramid and Jah Eye inked 'pon the dollar they trust.
              Timbuktu we build that up outta sand and the dust.
              Thru the Door of No Return herded to hell in a rush,
              Plantation by ship, prison complex 'pon de bus,
              Rather chuck miself overboard, "freedom is a musss"
              With meh Coromantee heart and meh Black Carib**** gut.
              Wicked carry we away in rusty shackles and chains
              Tried strip we culture and we pride, give we heckles and pain,
              Revolt run thru me like oil under Trinidad soil
              Sharpen meh Coramantee thoughts with meh Ashanti file.
              The wicked Cari we beyond Mama Africa breast,
              Far from de River Niger, just niggas in de West,
              But Revolt boil meh blood like the Caribeyon' Sun,
              Meh heartbeat...Coromantee; Hands beat Congo drum.
              * medsing- meditating
              ** also Quamina, Kwabena (in Twi). Referring to the slave leader of the Demerara Slave  
              *** also Kofi (in Twi). The leader of the 1763 Berbice Slave Revolt
              **** In the Eastern Caribbean (St. Vincent), slaves escaped to the hills, joined Caribs
                      and intermarried.  Their offspring became known as Black Caribs.




Monday, October 13, 2014

CARIBBEAN POETRY: Withering Dreams (A. Haiku)

                                                 Withering Dreams (A. Haiku)
                                          copyright 2014 K. Omodele

             Withered dreams are streams
              trickled to motionless ponds.
              Stagnation is death.                    

Thursday, September 19, 2013

SEEKING MAKEDA: Journey Through Affliction (Feeling)

SEEKING MAKEDA: Journey Through Affliction (Feeling)
copyright K. Omodele 2013

Fate's tormenting winds miscarried Queen's grain,
Hemorrhaged essence erupted her shame,
Then, snatched from her bust, King shackled and chained,
Fullness drilled hollow by heart-wrenching strain.

Late Mom's lullabies torched scars in her brain,
Teeth clenched as Fate pelted torrential baneful moments.
Lava, tears lament aflame,
Bare molten sorrow scorched cheeks like stained panes.

Empress Makeda balled fists through stone rains,
Soul anguished, blazing, inflaming her veins,
Scalding puddles waned formed pebbles of pain,
Wise mind*- a sword forged by life pounding change.

*Wise mind~Wisdom

Friday, August 17, 2012

Black Moses Seh: More Quotes from Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Today is Marcus Mosiah Garvey's 125th Earthday.  Blessed Earthstrong Black Marcus, my Prophet. As relevant now as he was then. Don't say that you understand, until yuh hear the man.

"This propaganda of dis-associating Western Negroes from Africa is not a new one. For many years white propagandists have been printing tons of literature to impress scattered Ethiopia, especially that portion within their civilization, with the idea that Africa is a despised place, inhabited by savages, and cannibals, where no civilized human being should go, especially black civilized human beings. This propaganda is promulgated for the cause that is being realized today. That cause is COLONIAL EXPANSION for the white nations of the world."
~ Philosophy & Opinions of Marcus Garvey,
"I stand before you this afternoon as a proud black man, honored to be a black man, who would be nothing else in God's creation but a black man."~ 1928
"If I die in Atlanta my work shall then only begin, but I shall live, in the physical or spiritual to see the day of Africa's glory. When I am dead wrap the mantle of the Red, Black and Green around me, for in the new life I shall rise with God's grace and blessing to lead the  millions up the heights of triumph with the colors that you well know. Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you, for, with God's grace, I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life."
~ in a letter from prison, 1925

"Before we can properly help the people, we have to destroy the old education... that teaches them that somebody is keeping them back and that God has forgotten them and that they can't rise because of their color.. we can only build... with faith in ourselves and with self-reliance, believing in our own possibilities, that we can rise to the highest in God's creation."

"Intelligence rules the world, ignorance carries the burden."

"Let it be your constant method to look into the design of people's actions, and see what they would be at, as often as it is practicable; and to make this custom the more significant, practice it first upon yourself."

"Among some of the organized methods used to control the world is the thing known and called PROPAGANDA. Propaganda has done more to defeat the good intentions of races and nations than even open warfare. Propaganda is a method or medium used by organized peoples to convert others against their will. We of the Negro race are suffering more than any other race in the world from propaganda... propaganda to destroy our hopes, our ambitions and our confidence in self." 

"Rise up Black Men, and take your stand. Reach up black men and women and pull all nature’s knowledge to you. Turn ye around and make a conquest of everything North and South, East and West. And then we you have wrought well, you will have merited God's blessing, you will become God's chosen people and naturally you'll become leaders of the world."

Please help spread the word to Exonerate Marcus Garvey:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Great Quotes by Black Leaders About The Right and Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey

English: Marcus Garvey statue, San Fernando, T...
 Marcus Garvey statue, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Of all literature I studied, the book that did more than any other to fire my enthusiasm was Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey.”
~Kwame Nkrumah
"It has warmed us that so many of our brothers from across the seas are with us. We take their presence here as a manifestation of the keen interest in our struggle for a free Africa. We must never forget that they are a part of us. These sons and daughters of Africa were taken away from our shores and, despite the centuries which have separated us, they have not forgotten their ancestral links. Many of them made no small contribution to the cause of freedom, A name that springs immediately to mind in this connection is Marcus Garvey. Long before many of us were even conscious of our own degradation, Marcus Garvey fought for African national and racial equality."

Malcolm X
Malcolm X
"Everytime you see another nation on the African continent become independent, you know that Marcus Garvey is alive. It was Marcus Garvey's philosophy of Pan-Africanism that initiated the entire Freedom Movement which brought about the independence of African (and Caribbean) nations."
~Malcolm X
"When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later, a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan riders galloped up to our home...brandishing their shotguns and rifles the shouted for my father to come out...The Klansmen shouted threats and warnings at her that we had better get out of town because 'the good Christian White people' were not going to stand for my father's spreading among the 'good' Negroes of Omaha with the 'Back-to-Africa' preachings of Marcus Garvey."

"Marcus Garvey was one of the first advocates of Black Power, and is still today the greatest spokesman ever to have been produced by the movement of Black Consciousness...He spoke to all Africans on the earth, whether they lived in Africa, South America, the West Indies or North America, and he made Blacks aware of their strength when united."

"They didn’t want Garvey to speak in New Orleans. We had a delegation to go to the mayor, and the next night, they allowed him to come. And we all was armed. Everybody had bags of ammunition, too. So when Garvey came in, we applauded, and the police were lined man to man along the line of each bench. So Mr. Garvey said, 'My friends, I want to apologize for not speaking to you last night. But the reason I didn’t was because the mayor of the city of New Orleans committed himself to act as a stooge for the police department to prevent me from speaking.' And the police jumped up and said, 'I’ll run you in.' When he did this, everybody jumped up on the benches and pulled out their guns and just held the guns up in the air and said, 'Speak, Garvey, speak!' And Garvey said, 'As I was saying,' and he went on and repeated what he had said before, and the police filed out the hall like little puppy dogs with their tails behind them. So that was radical enough."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
~Queen Mother Audley Moore

"...the first man, on a mass scale to give millions of Negroes a sense of dignity and destiny.”

Jomo Kenyatta
"In 1921, Kenyan Nationalists, unable to read, would gather round a reader of Garvey's newspaper, The Negro World, and to listen to an article two or three times. Then they would run through the forest carefully to repeat the whole, which they had memorized, to Africans hungry for some doctrine which lifted them from the servile consciousness in which Africans lived."
~Jomo Kenyatta

"Marcus Garvey is a prophet..."
~Bob Marley
"I & I will never forget no way/ they sold Marcus Gavey for rice..." -in the song So Much Things to Say
~Bob Marley

Please feel free to add any other quotes by leaders bigging up Marcus Mosiah Garvey in the Comments/Chat Yuh Mind section

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rodney Speaks: Memorable Quotes, Speeches or Phrases by Walter Rodney

The bomb that exploded in Georgetown, Guyana on June 13, 1980 may have snatched Walter Rodney from the physical, but it couldn't kill the Brother's words. Though they tried to blast away what was deemed a threat to the powers that were, you can't snuff out inspiration. You can't stop words nor songs of freedom. You can't assassinate conversation.
Martyrdom fueled Rodney's voice. Walter cried out about injustice. Walter lectured about social imbalances and inequalities. Walter informed about OUR history.
Walter grounded.
Walter spoke.
Walter speaks.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?"

"I would go further down into West Kingston and I would speak wherever there was a possibility of our getting together. It might be in a sports club, it might be in a schoolroom, it might be in a church, it might be in a gully. (Those of you who come from Jamaica know those gully corners.) They are dark, dismal places with a black population who have had to seek refuge there. You will have to go there if you want to talk to them. I have spoken in what people call ‘dungle’, rubbish dumps, for that is where people live in Jamaica. People live in rubbish dumps. That is where the government puts people to live. Indeed, the government does not even want them to live in rubbish dumps. I do not know where they want them to go, because they bulldoze them off the rubbish dumps and send them God knows where. I have sat on a little oil drum, rusty and in the midst of garbage, and some Black Brothers and I have grounded together.
Now obviously, this, first of all, must have puzzled the Jamaican government*. I must be mad, surely, a man we are giving a job, we are giving status, what is he doing with these guys. [The newspaper] calls them all manner of names… you know: ‘criminals and hooligans’. What is he doing with them? So they are puzzled and then obviously after that suspicion, he must be up to something, as the paper will try to imply. But we spoke, we spoke about a lot of things and it was just the talking that was important, the meeting of black people.
~ Groundings With My Brothers
*at that time Hugh Shearer was Prime Minister

“I trust that my use of the words such as ‘capitalism’, ‘imperialism’, and ‘neocolonialism’
will not be deemed as a cover for sinister intent. My indulgence in
those terms is aimed at opposing a system which is barbarous and
dehumanizing – the one which snatched me from Africa in chains and deposited
me in far off lands to be a slave beast, then a sub-human colonial subject, and
finally an outlaw in those lands. Under these circumstances, one asks nothing
more but to be allowed to learn from, participate in and be guided by the African
Revolution in this part of the continent; for this Revolution here is aimed at
destroying that monstrous system and replacing it with a just socialist society.”
Rodney in letter in the Nationalist newspaper (Tanzania) 17th December, 1969;
walter rodney poster
walter rodney poster (Photo credit: nicholaslaughlin)
cited in Issa Shivji, 1980

"I was brought up not very far from here, in a typical range yard in Bent Street.
And there, amidst the poverty, looking back now, I can see in my mind’s eye
ordinary black people who were worth everything, who were human beings who
had strength, who had character. Never mind he may have been a cartman,
never mind the woman may have been taking in washing. When you stop to think
about it, they had character. Some of them were miracle workers, because it’s a
miracle how they used to bring up families on what they earned.And now I
cannot accept that such people must be put to do some dirty political
skullduggery – coming to court, lying, to get another man convicted of murder...
    …as I said before, you start with one thing, you end with another. The system
doesn’t stop at racial discrimination. Because it is a system of class oppression, it
only camouflages its class nature under a racial cover. And in the end, it will
move against anyone irrespective of colour. In the end, they will move even
against their own. Because, don’t believe if you are a member of that party today,
that you will be protected tomorrow from the injustices. Because when a monster
grows, it grows out of control. It eats up even those who created the monster.
And it’s time that our people understood that."
From speech in 1977,campaigning in defence of Arnold Rampersaud who was accused of the murder
of policeman James Henry.

"I try to find some meaning among the mass of the population who are daily performing a miracle, they continue to survive! Kingston is meaner then when you left it, and when you left it you probably did not know how mean it is… Today, all that matters, is the question of action, determined, informed and scientific action against imperialism and its cohorts. Just as Leonardo Da Vinci is the archetype of Renaissance Man, so Che Guevara is the ideal of Revolutionary Man. All that is required is that one should extract the essence of his life's experiences, rather than attempt to embrace his numerous suggestions concerning guerrilla warfare. The latter course has the serious limitation of being irrelevant to many objective situations (as Che knew).. I doubt whether the situation is explosive, and I doubt whether I will be here long enough to witness the explosion; but as a matter of integrity I must address myself to that question so long as I am here. Otherwise, what will distinguish me from the Philistines?"

"I was doing some paper on the Russian Revolution and it struck me that this Lenin was a person who had a tremendous capacity for intellectualizing and at the same time doing. In my own naïve way, I called this phenomenon ‘a revolutionary intellectual.’
But the professor was very hard on this statement. He said: ‘There is no such thing. One can be an intellectual or one can be a revolutionary. You can’t combine the two. Lenin may at one time have been a revolutionary, at another time an intellectual, but the moment he moves into practical activity he must abandon intellectualism.’
This was a most curious argument. I just sensed that something was wrong about it. And I felt that somehow being a revolutionary intellectual might be a goal to which one might aspire, for surely there was no real reason why one should remain in the academic world – that is, remain an intellectual – and at the same time not be revolutionary."

"Lenin as a Revolutionary Intellectual," from Walter Rodney Speaks

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