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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

CARIBBEAN POETRY: Catharsis II: The Lost Writers' Colony

        CARIBBEAN POETRY:
Catharsis II: The Lost Writers' Colony
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

CARIBBEAN TRADITIONS: Ring Games (Small Days)

CARIBBEAN TRADITIONS:Ring Games (Small Days)




"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 sweet 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

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