Thursday, April 28, 2016

7 Benefits You Can Get From Meditation

                                        7 Benefits of Meditation
                                      by Kaya Omodele @theabeng

Meditation enhances our spiritual, mental and physical balance, and enables us to experience "the moment."  Meditation also sharpens our focus and awareness; it heightens our senses and alertness.

7 Benefits we get from meditation (holding a meds):

1. Relieve our stress and tension
2. Gain a greater sense of spiritual and mental balance
3. Improve our positive energy flows
4. Reduce muscle tension and joint pains
5. Relieve headaches and migraines
6. Calm nervous/anxiety/panic attacks
7. Achieve a higher heights- a greater sense of spiritual and psychological wellbeing

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Abeng Poetry: How To Build A Brick Foundation

                                            Building A Foundation (A Freestyle Poem)
                                       copyright 2016 K. Omodele @TheAbeng

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever." ~ John Ruskin

Don't topple each other down
over indiscretions the dotish
have dished us in the past.

Won't shackle
and bind you
for another's crimes-
her shuffling on like a
visitor in zoo; turning
back on the encaged,
leaving without further thought
-not even, a   lingering
thought    after.
No, that wasn't you!
You're thugging through
determination etched in your brow
Lips pursed! Eyes holding true
heart holding thru
stacking through
thoroughly troweling
building, time piled on time.

Don't punish me for some lame's sins-
those creeps stabbing you deep
daggers in the back; lending
you hearts, then upending your
hopes, snatching I-Do whispers back.

Houses built on sand
inevitably tumble...

But I'm constructing with you,
creating a deep foundation
Erecting deep-rooted pylons,
like Bayna-Lehkem*-shoulder-to-shoulder
-with-Taitu** deep; planted,
taking on Legions of Rome
heads high, defending home
laying bricks in a foundation
mortared with time
poured into time.

*the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik (or Menylek)II
** Empress Taitu was Menelik II's wife. Together the battled against the Italian forces, defending Ethiopia from colonization, ultimately defeating the Italians at the Battle of Adowa.



Monday, April 18, 2016

A Father's Rights vs Planned Parenthood

                       A Father's Rights Vs Planned Parenthood
                             by Kaya Omodele @TheAbeng

In all this drama about Planned Parenthood harvesting tissue from aborted fetuses, in all the quarrels over abortion rights and pro-choice and women's right to choose, couple things been NNNINGing in my ear worse than some pregnant mosquitoes: What about the man's rights, the father's voice? Wgoin mention a father's rights in this whole controversy? The man should at least have some voice in the debate, not true?
hen we

Now, before some of you women's rights banner bearers start hunting for some big stones to pelt me down, I am not talking in behalf of pro- this or anti- that. That is for you, your God (or your there-is-no-such-thing), and your conscience to sort out. The axe I'm grinding is because neither abortion clinics, doctors nor Planned Parenthood don't ever have to consult the potential father (of whom without there would be no seed planted in nobody's egg). There is no law currently in place, that I know of, which enforces the father's rights before the act, to see if that father wants his child brought to term.

However, there are a whole heap of laws holding him financially responsible for supporting the child when the woman gives birth. That seems a little off to me- on one hand, if a man  doesn't want a child but the woman does, the man is obligated. On the next hand, he wants the child but the mother doesn't, now he has no say, no voice in the matter? Wha' de hell???

I see you running for them stones again. Yes, I know, is not my body swelling and aching through pounds of changes; is not me who gon have to wear stretch marks and carry on with hormonal turmoil. You're right. But you can't blame a man for nature, though. If I could carry my child I would. All I'm saying is that the time has come for open dialogue about a father's rights. If this is truly planned parenthood, then there must be other options to consider. Example, paternal custody.


So, when the father wants his child to be born and the mother doesn't, I think that the father's wishes must be considered before making an ultimate, unilateral decision. Abortion shouldn't be the first and only option, the end all be all without even consulting the man. Where are the father's rights. If the mother doesn't want the child, then she can just relinquish all parental rights; let the father have the child.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Caribbean Short Story: Jumbie Come To School

                                  Yolan Mo Jumbie Come To School ( A #Caribbean Story)
                                            copyright K. Omodele 2016

Twilight had just done finished stretching and yawning over Watooka Day Primary, the morning Yolan Mo jumbie* did rise up from where so ever she had lain and fly sheself high-high over the school compound, a dozen or so minutes before the bell was to ring. For weeks now, people all about town had been talking.
"Is such a tragic thing, how a little, young girl like dat dead so before she time."
"It mek you wonder if is obeah** somebody obeah de family."
Some people even claimed they saw her jumbie at night- walking up the New Road by the bauxite plant; under the calabash tree in the old Cummings' haunted-house backyard; sitting still in darkness down by the market in front Crescent Cinema; even over the river wandering 'bout The Valley of Tears in Wismar- always at night time. But this morning the schoolyard was so busy screeching like flocks of parakeets, nobody ain't even notice Yolan Mo jumbie fluttering overhead, discombobulated in the young-morning sunlight.

Nearly everybody was buzzing-hyped over the upcoming school track and field games*** - boys dashing sprints, some of them trotting long-distance runs 'round the compound, way back behind Grades One and Two, come up back under the mango tree around KG (kindergarten) and then back up to the main gate. Although some of the girls were Chinese skipping and some handled netball, many of them trained, running races among themselves just like the boys.
And even though from up above the jumbie could detect their constant movements and patter-pattering of Bata**** canvasses and rubber soles slapping the pavement, none of the children saw Yolan Mo float over the second tier banister, sail sheself down the said tier over book bags and lunch boxes that had been lined up behind each other to hold spots in line, then dart right through Grade Six's open door, circle the classroom twice, then promptly settle her weary bones plumb 'pon top her old desk.

"The Hundred" was a concrete stretch from the school's rusty front gate, darting straight past tropical-pastel-pink Grade Three, then brakesing up under rickety Grade Four. The children raced in waves of six or seven and as one race 'crossed the finish line, the next set of runners lined up at the starting mark by the gate.
As they dropped on their knees to their marks, Rabbit said to Magga Gavin. "You really think I gon let no fine-foot boy like you win me?"
Magga Gavin played like he didn't hear, but down on his next side Milo stuck up for him.
"Ey Rabbit,  your buck teeth riding out yuh mouth like Jolen Joseph***** racing cycle." Milo rounded his shoulders and shifted his body like he was pedaling hard. "Go Jolen, Go! Go Jolen, Go!"
The boys and girls gathered at the starting line joined in. "Go Jolen, Go!" And then broke out in bare laughs.
Even Rabbit start grinning; but, his eyes searched Milo and Gavin furtively, then squinting he shot back.
"And you, big head Milo, forehead so big is a five-head, six-head." From his one-knee mark, he pointed at the two boys. "Must be some drunken obeah man****** work obeah 'pon two a you. He fuck up and give your head elephantitis and shrink your foot."
The children burst out again, getting giddy now, with more laughs.

On the line, Pickie got back down to business. "Make we run if we running, nuh man. B-House gon win everything this year. B-House is Boss House."
"Boss House, wha'? Win everything like wha'?" Milo wrenched up his face. "Pickie boy, you is eleven years old with a mouthstash like a big man. You shouldn even be running against young cock like we, you old fowl, yuh. How much time you flunk Grade Five? A-House is All-Star House."
Rabbit rolled his eyes. "A-House is one big antiman House. And B-House is bu'n house-it burn down like Yolan Mo house."
Soon as he said her name, everybody got dread and serious.  Vexed faces screwed up like it was Rabbit self who nailed Christ up to the Cross. Shocked, eyes grew wide; frightened, eyes fell to the ground.
Pickie jooked his finger in Rabbit's face.
"Mind how you putting yuh mouth 'pon the dead, Fool!"
At that moment, Mr. Otto plodded out Grade Five door like some big, box-head bull cow with the school bell in hand. Lifted it and pounded like a hammer.
DING-a-LING-a-LING

Like marabuntas******* to nests, the children found their spots in lines outside their classes, boys quickly tucking shirts in pants, girls hurriedly smoothing down their uniform skirts. They hoisted book bags and lunch boxes then got in wild-cane******** strict lines- no talking, no fidgeting, no nonsense, waiting for class Prefects or teachers to usher them into class.
Grades Four, Five and Six were on the second floor of the main building, so these students climbed the stairs to get to class. Pickie was third-to-last in the Grade Six line as his classmates filed through the door behind Miss, who flicked the light switch on as they all streamed in. By the time Pickie entered, everybody had stopped dead in their tracks beside Miss' desk at the head of the class. Even Miss froze, her eyes wide behind cat-eyed spectacles, jaw unlocked, flashing gold fillings.
Pickie scanned the room, then saw it for himself. Right there on top of Yolan Mo's desk, where none of his classmates ever sat. At that point somebody said:
"Is Yolan Mo come back!"
Then came a scream, chased by more screams. The jumbie sheself squealed then flapped and zipped up to the ceiling, flying 'round and 'round.
One of the girls, Pickie thought it might be Nikki, seemed like she was running scared in place before she found traction and shot top-speed out the door. By then half the class was hauling tail down the tier towards the stairs, screaming and bawling, frightened and 'fraid. Pickie was stuck running behind slow pokes, so he just climbed over the railing and jumped. Landed, rolled, then sprang up with a sharp pain shooting in his left ankle. He limped to the back gate ahead of the others.

Mr. Otto had heard the big commotion from over in his Grade Five class and rolled over to Grade Six. The flying object nearly bucked into him, so he grabbed a broom and swatted the air, until finally, it found the doorway and flapped her wings into the morning sky.
He half- laughed, shouting. "Is only a bat!"
Pickie watched from outside the back school gate, wondering why in the world Yolan Mo jumbie woulda want come in form of a bat.

* also jumby. Duppy. Ghost; spirit
**obeah is the name for vodou in the English-speaking West Indies
***Intramural games. Students are divided into Houses that compete against each other
****A brand of cheap/affordable athletic and dress shoes
*****a national racing cyclist
******vodou man; a so-called witch doctor <-- don="" i="" like="" p="" t="" term="" this="">
*******a type of wasp
********wild cane is used for caning, in-school discipline

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Abeng Urban Poetry: Redemption Cry (Reflections of A Fallen Soul)

                         Cry My Redemption (Reflections of A Fallen Soul)
                                      copyright 2016 K. Omodele

Ever wonder what point a heart hardens and drops?
Vulnerability buried in emotional plots
At fourteen years old began to lose control
when booze-infused rage batter-bruised my soul
Glass shattered, bond severed, head bloodied by shards
Plus my arms were too short to box with God,
So I mentally laced up; mind squared, face upped
"Never weak again!" Then streets called, raced up
Toed the ledge of the abyss watching life unfold
Mama asked me 'bout my scars I left my Truth untold
Images too raw, memories water boarded m'soul
swallowed whole; Internalized, turned cold -like snake
Shed skin, re-emerged. Don't blink! Don't feel!
Veins buzzing current, nerves hard-wired steel
Wounds heal, but dreams shrivel like raisins 'gainst sun
Innocence suffered and drowned when soaked in rum.

Hook (Chorus):

Vulnerability ridded, heart hollowed out, pitted
I got notches in my skin that mark the day of my descent
Certain crimes I've committed, penitentiary fitted
I carve verses bleeding penance, shedding tears of my redemption.
Vulnerability ridded, heart hollowed out, pitted
These notches in my skin mark my day of descent
Certain crimes I've committed, penitentiary fitted
I put my pen to this paper and I cry my redemption.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Street Literature (Chicken Little And The Carrion Crow)

           Chicken Little and The Carrion Crow (Introducing An Urban Story)
                                       copyright K. Omodele  2016

Let me tell you 'bout things the way I see them. You go through life forever lonely, ever alert and aware of your surroundings, all while searching for something to make the Harshness bearable. Y'see, there's this everlasting gloom hovering all around me, a constant heaviness, a steady uneasiness I feel every single living day as I trod over the hills and through the valleys, the gutters and the alleys of my life. It's the overwhelming realization that, no matter how much sun is shining right here, right now, sooner or later something bad going drop on my head. Short Man say I too damn pessimistic, so now my whole crew call me Chicken Little.

I don't always know the precise hour or the minute this Harshness going wake up, shake up and drop the hammer; don't even know the fullness of the chaos it going bring; but as sure as dusk and dawn and death, it going come. If you don't believe nothing else in the world; believe that! Me? I just keep praying the next time it swoop down it don't bring about my total destruction and absolute demise.

Yeah, I have moments when I'm enjoying meself, like when basking in that warm, catch-breath afterglow with a woman- you know how! But then, even times like these still be haunting to me because I know deep down in my heart and soul that the Harshness right there, somewhere, maybe right outside the Marriott room door, waiting. It lingering, lurking, looming, ready to flap down like some dutty ole crow. So, all when I'm palavering and laughing, sipping two stout with me friend, in the depths of my conscience I expecting something worse. That's why come Chicken Little forever keep gun closer than skin and bone.

I want you understand this, the Harshness is our judgment 'pon de earth. All the world's injustices and conflicts and mischief feed it. It carnivals in vanity and greedy tendencies, in all a we pillaging and we plundering. Is a executioner and when it descends, expect repayment tenfold; whether it dive down with viciousness or glide down, slow and deliberate, wings cocked back, more dreadful and imposing than Armageddon.
It's always there. Waiting.

Like the night Short Man got wet up* in a reggae dancehall called Turntable back in the days when crack was king and D.C. was murder capital. I could feel it in the air, 'midst all a we Moet Chandon-ing and indica burning...

(to be continued)


*shot up

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

A LAST TRIBUTE TO ROBERT NESTA MARLEY

SEVEN BOB MARLEY CHUNE* LYRICS FOR SEVEN DIFFERENT VIBES

Through his Natural Mystic, I've had a personal bredrenship with Robert NestA Marley ever since I was a little youth. And I'm positive there are millions of people all over Jah-World who feel that exact same way 'bout Bob and his music. The man holds many different titles for many different people- prophet, priest, king, philosopher, lecturer, icon, storyteller, just to name a few. Without a doubt, the man has an aura of accessibility.

I grew up with Bob casting me gems, in-song. These lyrical life lessons, stern warnings and guidance are still thought provoking, his tone often imploring, sometimes wailing. He said things I want to say; he's a conscious voice. His words have definitely comforted me through some rough spots in my life and uplifted me. He is like Everyman, flawed, but perfectly human with imperfections. That's's what gives him credibility.

"His fans come fro the music, but it's the message they take away."~ Tom Bradshaw, LA Times

It's said that a man's true worth is measured in the impact he's made on other people's lives-the effect he's had in our hearts and on our minds. Then Bob, no matter what the crisis is, they can't get we outta the race. It's said that a man's true worth is measured in the impact he's made on other people's lives- the effect he's had in our hearts. Then Bob, they truly can't get you outta the race.

                                  Seven Bob Marley Lyrics for Seven Vibes

1. Satisfy My Soul
For when: you need to tell her how you feel
Listen lyrics: Can't you see?/ Why won't you believe me?/ Oh darling, darling/ I'm calling, calling

2. Mellow Mood
For when: you 'bout to put in the wuk***
Listen lyrics: I'll play your favorite song, Dar-ling/ we can rock it all night long, Dar-ling/ 'cause I've got love, Dar-ling/ Love, sweet love, Dar-ling/ Mellow Mood has got me/ so let the music rock me/...qui-et as the night/pleeease, turn out your light/ ... strike the hammer while iron is hot

3. She's Gone
For when: the woman pack up and gone
Listen lyrics: My best friend told me inna reggae riddim/ Don't jump in the water if you can't swim/...Oh Mocking Bird have you ever heard/ words that I never heard?

4. Burning and Looting
For when: you feeling like you just "can't breathe"
Listen lyrics: This morning I woke up in a curfew/ Oh God, I was a prisoner too/ could not recognize the faces standing over me/ they were all dressed in uniforms of brutality/ I say, how many rivers do we have to cross/ before we can talk to the boss?

5. Easy Skanking
For when: you 'bout to light up
Listen lyrics (or feel the vibez): Excuse me while I light my spliff/ oh God, I got to take a lift/ from reality I just can't drift/ that's why I'm staying with this spliff

6. Johnny Was...
For when: you lose your child in the street
Listen lyrics: Woman hold her head and cry/ 'cause her son had been shot down in the street and died/ just because of the system/...wondering how can she work it out/ now she knows the wages of sin is death/ and the gift of Jah is life...

7. Duppy Conqueror
For when: you doing a bid (locked down)
Listen lyrics: Yes me friend/ me deh a street again/ their walls could not hold me/ bars could not control me, now/ thru the power of the Most High/ they had to turn I loose

* Tunes
*** Work (the good loving)

People, Sound di Abeng, nuh, and list some of your favorite Bob Marley lyrics for when you feeling like you...

NO FAIRY-TALE VALENTINES (A Sonnet for a Queen)

                        Abeng Poetry: No Fairy-Tale Valentines (A Sonnet for a Queen)
                                             copyright K. Omodele 2016

For The Empress:

I do not celebrate Saint Valentines
I know December Twenty-Fifth's untrue
Laugh to the floor at mythic fairy tales
But envision dancing 'mongst stars with you.

Won't fool our child about no Easter eggs
Saint Nick with reindeer and sleigh 'pon roof
If he asks me have I known miracles
Tell him Jah gifted to me him and you.

Queen-mother you rode rough roads with your King
Determined hearts can tumble walls, that's true.
When he questions us 'bout divinity
We'll pull him tight, wrap my arms around you.

Won't masquerade ball no Valentine themes,
Just three-step* whole night my child and my Queen.

* a type of waltz to soul music

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

WHY A BOOK IS A GREAT GIFT FOR A CHILD

                            Give A Child A Book! Reading Lights An Imagination
                                        by K. Omodele @TheAbeng

"Read! Read! Read! and never stop until you discover the knowledge of the Universe!" ~ Marcus Garvey, instructing an audience in St. Kitts, British West Indies in 1937

I'll never forget the first book I ever read on my own from cover to cover- The Red Brigade. I was six and I read page after page for what seemed like the whole day; but, when I closed it, I felt big- bigger than my suck-a-finger self, bigger than dunking my butter bread in my tea, big like my mother's good-good school friend with the pretty, wide eyes, who used to pick me up and hug me up tight, but no more because now I could help her read all them heavy school books she had and maybe even get married because now I had read about it, she was sure to invite me to her socialist party.

The next book I remember reading was The Little Man, another children's book, about a slave boy that tore from plantation to plantation spreading news that the slaves were uprising. I was fascinated by the adventure of the insurrection; the graphics and descriptions of the pounding of the drums fixed my mind on the hand-crafted drum my beloved Auntie gifted my older cousins and me. The carved and chiseled wood, the stretched-tight goat skin over the head of the drum resembled the drawings in the book. How old could the drum be?

From then on, I patted the drum faster, pounded it harder, sprinting mile after mile, from plantation to plantation, rebelling. "Rise up! Burn down de cane fields!"

A book is a precious gift for a child. It can spark the imagination, ignite creativity and transport a young mind to intriguing places and times. A book can be more life impacting than a pair of Jordan's and leave longer-lasting impressions than a Polo shirt. Gifting a child a book sends a life message: reading must be valued; knowledge is better than silver and gold.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Black History: The Haitian Revolution (The Revolt That Birthed a Nation-Part I)

  Black History: The Haitian Revolution (The Revolt That Birthed a Nation-Part I)
                                          by K. Omodele 2016 @TheAbeng

Introduction- Slave Revolts In the African Diaspora
There have been hundreds of slave revolts in the history of the African Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Africans resisted captivity in slave forts, on ships and plantations. In St. John and Guyana, slaves took over whole colonies, tasting freedom temporarily, before being re-conquered and re-enslaved.* Maroons in Jamaica, Surinam and Brazil, and Black Caribs in St. Vincent, fought colonial masters and militias to establish independent/sovereign societies that existed autonomously within individual slave colonies. However, the slave insurrection that is distinctive in achieving an ultimate level of success (freeing the whole slave colony AND forming an independent nation) is the epic Haitian Revolution.

"The revolution is made by ordinary people, not by angels, made by people from all walks of life." ~ Dr. Walter Rodney

The Haitian Revolution was the most successful slave revolt in the history of the so-called New World (i.e. The Western Hemisphere). This revolution significantly affected dynamics in the histories of the West Indies, both Americas, the African Diaspora and Europe. Its events gradually formed a nation, but the revolution's leaders didn't learn their tactics in military academies studying the art of war or political science; nor were they propagating a new economic system or faith. These revolutionaries emerged off fields and fled plantations, first brandishing cutlasses, machetes, hoes and fire; then, with guns, cannons, more fire and cries of freedom, they executed revolts that became a revolutionary war that gave birth to Haiti** - the second independent republic in the Americas and the first nation formed by former African slaves.

Saint Domingue In The 1700s
In 1697, Spain ceded the Western third of Hispaniola to France. The Spanish called their colony Santo Domingo, the French called theirs Saint Domingue. In the 1700s, Saint Domingue was the most prosperous colony in the world and the richest in the entire French Empire. Africans slaved on highly profitable plantations where sugar was the chief crop, but others included tobacco, coffee, cocoa, indigo and cotton. By the end of the century, estimates have the population in Saint Domingue at:

-  30-40,000 Frenchmen (grand blancs and petit blancs)
-  22-27,000 Mulattoes and free Blacks (gens de coleur)
-  500,000+  Black/African slaves

"Nowhere in the West Indies in 1789 was there a greater hell on earth than the French Colony of Saint Domingue..." ~ Dr. Eric Williams
These various classes/castes within the society resented, often despised, each other. Being outnumbered over 10 to one, the Frenchmen, the plantation owners, were constantly on edge to hold on to the balance of power and so kept their African slaves in line by brutalizing them for slight offenses and beheading and racking them for insubordination. But these Whites themselves were divided by class: the grand blancs were the planters and merchants, while the petit blancs were the lower-class workers and laborers.
The Mulattoes and free Blacks had the right to own property but resented the fact that they had little or no legal rights.
Of course, slaves had no rights and so they despised the other classes.

*some leaders and members of these rebellions committed suicide rather than be taken alive and forced back into slavery.
** Haiti ~ Ayti was the Taino Arawak name for the island Columbus "claimed" for Spain, calling it Hispaniola (present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Ayti ,means "Land of high mountains"

The Haitian Revolution Part II - Leaders of the revolution: Boukman, Touissant, Dessalines, Christophe, et.al.

References:
Fick, Carolyn E. The Making of Haiti: The Revolution from Below. Knoxville, Tenn., 1990.
James, C.L.R. The Black Jacobins: Touissant L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. 1938. Reprint. New York, 1963.
Williams, Eric. From Columbus to Castro- the History of The Caribbean 1492-1969
Williams, Eric. History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago. Reprint.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Abeng Poetry: Pounds of Black Ice (Urban Poetry)

               Urban #Poetry: Pounds of Black Ice (Justice Can't Breathe)
                                 Copyright  K. Omodele 2015

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

You stop us; frisk us
with yuh Giuliani justus*
You sweat us; no let up,
Now it's ninety-six degrees
You go me swingin' on a noose
in this Home of the Freeze
Strung up in a tree
It's so hard to breathe.

You got me 'gainst a wall
moving slower than Diallo
reachin' for I.D.
Your gun hand tremblin' like leaves
yuh fingers twitchin' up to squeeze
tension tighter than a sneeze
You want me down on my knees-
strange fruit me up in trees?

Fifty lead-starred shells
hammered young Sean Bell
pounded promises of life
from his never-will-be-wife.
Black Life? Candle flames
flickerin' in Chi-town** winds;
flutterin' blades of grass
driven by the breeze.

So tread light, Trayvons!
Noose tight! My fight?
Those iron tones and shifty vibes
Garner-ed behind officers' hooded eyes.
I hear the CRACKing of yuh whip
in gavel CLACKS and cuff CLICKS
Mass incarceration slick; three TICKS-
TOCK. Lives stocked behind a fence.

You say, "Justice is blind." Right!
The dirty slut couldn't see?
Charleston BLAMMED down to his knees?
Rice Mama soaked in tears of grief?
In Staten Isle I can't breathe
Oh Eleven London banged up
Oh Twelve Linden pushed her hands up
Now, Cleveland stand up? Slut can't you see?

Chocolate cities screamin'
Baltimore burnin'
Same song 'round the world
Same turntable*** turning-
spinning sounds of strife,
how a pounded Black life
is worth so much more than pounds of black ice.****

In this world of ruby sunsets, can you believe?
Justus got me on a noose, it's so hard to breathe.

* justice for some; justice for a selected few
** Chicago
*** record player
**** black ice - black diamonds

Thursday, January 14, 2016

WRITING IS CATHARTIC


"#Writing is cathartic; it is a cleanser of the conscience, it is sanative to the soul." ~Kaya Omodele

http://consciouspen.blogspot.com/2010/12/catharsis-when-i-write.html

http://consciouspen.blogspot.com/2015/01/caribbean-poetry-ca-thar-sis-ii.html#VoF22LYrlkq

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CARIBBEAN POETRY: Broken Trust a Haiku

copyright 2016 K. Omodele

Broken trust's a burst -
'way kite; heart string snapped, dropping,
flopped from breathless heights.

#haiku #poetry




Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's Resolution: Live In Life's Moments (Dirty Diapers and Baby-Daddy Material)

by K. Omodele @theabeng

Bless up this New Year, bredrin and sistrin!
Resolved- let's all immerse weself in Life's moments. Let's notice beautiful, even intricate things like "the color purple in a field before we piss God off." See, some of we go wheelin' through stretches of life at a million miles an hour, tryin' to make up for wrong-way turns and dashed-way time. But lost time is a thing we can never reclaim, no matter how we try.
Wait! You don't do that? So, it's only me, one, then? Alright...
Sometimes I just have to remind myself to brace and be still within an experience. Live it, breathe it, touch it, taste it, take it in, live within it. And when I do, I wind up creating meaningful-life memories I'll draw up one day like a bucket from a well of knowledge and wisdom.

Like nappies,* for instance. I'm my mother's first son, and child, and I was seven going on eight years old when my little brother came along. By then I was constantly revving to get out the house and go liming** with my ragamuffin friends, them. One day Ma drew down my gears long enough to show me how to fold my brother's diaper (because they were square pieces of cloth then, no pampers), put it on and pin it up before I jammed back into gear again and screeched tires out the door. Over the years I changed his and my sister's nappies a few times.

A few years ago, I was zipping through another patch of life again and made a pitstop with the fiance over my littlest sister's home to visit my then new-brand nephew. After a couple hugs and two talks, Lil Sis asked me to change Nevvy's dirty diaper; but, she was grinning with my girl like it was some sort of challenge; like it some type a daunting mission like she wanted me to go invade Iraq or something so. Silly rabbits...
I un-taped is pamper; wiped, raised him by his tiny ankles, wiped again; discarded wipe; laid new pamper and discarded old; powdered and covered him then taped pampers up- straight, like that. The two of them looked on, amazed. The fiance had whipped out her camera phone, muttering, "Yep, good baby-daddy material right here," under her breath but the video captured her. Please, I am a King!
Don't know why they looked so shocked; I didn't even have to fold and pin.
#creatingmoments

*diapers
**Liming/lime - hanging out, to hang out


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Renaissance Man: Blessed Earthday, Ivor Edson Brown

By K. Omodele @theabeng

"Don't judge the man you see before you by those you seen before!" ~ I.E. Brown, The Love Ethic

Today is my cousin Ivor Edson Brown's Earthday, which means it's the anniversary of the day he drew his first breath on Earth.
I mentioned before, on this blog, our final reasoning over the phone, talking clear 'cross the Pond. I could tell you how, in our catching up with each other's life, he listened tentatively and was compassionate when imparting his wisdom. I could share how we laughed, hard, 'til we belly nearly buss, at a Church Street memory- me, at seven and fresh off the plane from America, gripping a cricket bat over my shoulder like a baseball bat, waiting for my cousin to bowl me the ball.

I could tell you 'bout his mind- BRILLIANT; whenever we'd notice one another Online on FB, we would drop in and chat about history or economics or music, sometimes expound on something that caught his eye here in my posts. See, Cuzzo and me, we shared the Rodway passion for African history, culture and art. And, dissecting politricks.*
I could go on for days 'bout his gifts and talents; our tribe's creativity permeates his poetry and saturates his song, tapping form from hip-hop styles and melting tone from Windrush**/Caribbean themes. I could express what he means to us that knew him, those who came to love him. But here, you can see for yourself  www.iebrown.me

Born in London to a Jamaican father and St. Lucian mother, Ivor also spent years in Georgetown and Vieux-Fort; so, Ivor is truly a Son of the Caribbean. Like the Caribbean sun, he shines passion-hot and flows with his convictions.
I heard, somewhere, that a man's true wealth isn't measured by the amount of possessions he's acquired in life, but by the amount of lives he's touched. Then Ivor, Man, I hope you know how we feel about you.

Remembering Ivor Edson Brown  www.iebrown.me

"For if you always think of me, I will have never gone."
Never Gone! Never Forgotten!
One Love, Cuz...


                  Ivor's #CaribbeanPoetry

                 Amongst The Architecture
                 copyright Ivor Edson Brown

Let's blaze it up in the name of those that death became
and those who name loved ones amongst the slain.
Aggression is almost instinctive in the city where the blitz* hit,
estates dominate the landscape of every district.
Where men love to boast about crime, bait theyselves up,
Police had done spy them from a mile.
Now, which one of these stooges can come test my heights?
We're fire and ice, like logic and the fool's advice.
My Garveyite foresight, reveals to me what fools see in hindsight.
Looking beyond the hype, price tags and bright lights,
beyond all-a-dat drawing knife and gun fights,
beyond the stereotypes that plague the inner city.
The ignorance only serves to make the crisis worse,
the devil's ways infiltrate even the wisest church.
Me and my people deal with life science, year to year
and still stay shitty and pissy like estate** stairs, for real.

I drink with Africans straight from the continent
and live amongst immigrants in my estate tenement.
Speaking with my pen again, I think in black ink.
Sisters, youths and grown men again, come we make the link.
I wrote this, hoping you will quote this to one another,
take it with you as you travel through this concrete Gomorrah.
In a left hand drive with Dutch plates, my brandy spills,
bunin' lean-up on the right, sliding down Brixton Hill.
Watching the fatherless play crime games in the early hours,
Getting their name mentioned, screw face, sour.
Over estimating power, under estimating their potential,
75% of black youth leave school with no credentials.
Coming off their estates calling that ghetto,
'cause there's coppers on the outside and guns in the middle.
False prophets say the working on it, speaking in riddles,
the average age of killers dropping north and south of the river.
Equipped to kill and contemplating murder, that's a child, lord.
Fools drift to sleep and slide off.
Pseudo Afrocentric baby mothers and fathers clashing,
gwan neglect your seed, I guarantee your revolution ain't gonna happen.
That's the legacy from the black holocaust years.
I urinate on architecture built on the proceeds of slave trade.

Look into yourself for answers.
You better have a plan for your child 'cause the system's
got plans for us.

copyright I.E. Brown


To read more of Ivor's Writing    www.iebrown.me
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