Tuesday, February 06, 2007

words of wisdom

Wisdom is power and power is wisdom, one with each other, perfecting the whole.
Be you not proud, O man, in thy wisdom. Discourse with the ignorant as well as the wise. If one comes to you full of knowledge, listen and heed, for wisdom is all.
Keep you not silent when evil is spoken for Truth like the sunlight shines above all.He who over-steppeth the Law shall be punished, for only through Law comes the freedom of men.Cause you not fear for fear is a bondage, a fetter that binds the darkness to men....

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Steelpan My heritage LIVES


Do RE-member Ancestor Clive Bradley
Veteran Steelband Arranger

ogun lives on

(for clive bradley)

was up spring flow road
we met and it was raining
sxango was peeling. So
we sheltered under a mango tree
discussing heritage issues
both adamant of the need
to protect the arts for prosperity
he agreed with a sparkle in his eyes
reminding me of struggle for pan
plus where it was today
i countered i was a writer
and he smiled at me suggesting
that one day too i would stand sheltering
from yemanja here
to yet tell a youth
just as he was doing same
i queried whether he understood
power of Orishas
protecting our PAN
he accepted ...
so today i shout:
Ogun lives on...
as i pour libations for this the general...
whose music
and company i am proud
to announce i had
pleasure to enjoy


may the ancestors be pleased

courting new apeals

Courting New Appeals
By Roi Guanapo Ankhkara Kwabena

Lord Harris's statue
with fountain have escaped
many vicious assaults of vandalism
over recent years. This public square

in Port of Spain with stately trees
still shelter white-collar labourers
on lunch break from
the sweltering sun at noon
alongside half naked vagrants
wary of clogged city streets. At night, here

becomes a sacred haven-discreet
for persecuted transvestites. While
obliquely opposite towers
the impregnable stone walls
of the Royal Goal, constructed

early in the last century
by skilled artisans whose
descendants would serve time within
at her majesty's pleasure....This monumental

institution has restrained
common offenders and civil disorder :
water rioters, trade unionists,
black power radicals, military mutineers
an' even Islamic fundamentalists...

Royal Goal remains a treasure
to behold. An imposing vestige
of a now compromised system
that ostentatious political cronies
are attempting to dismantle.Behind
these walls
faceless men, in white short trousers
with matching vests
sit precariously on Death Row
as their defense lawyers
seek to defy local verdicts
of state execution
Now in postulated affectation
of self righteous apathy
democratically elected
British trained legal advocates-once
defense lawyers to the highest bidders
now as regional Attorney Generals
assert it is time to abolish
a convicted man's right of appeal
to the Privy Council....none of these licit opportunists
cloaked in the rainmentof tempered tradition
considered challenging
this patriarchal eighteenth century
method of castigation.........despitethe mature
judgementof the same Privy Council condemning
the barbaric tenure of incarceration
with cerebral trauma
of impending strangulation....

© Copyright 1997 – Roi Kwabena
Reprinted with kind permission of the author.
Source: A job for the hangman /by Roi Kwabena.
Port of Spain; Birmingham: Raka Publications, 1997.