Tuesday, 22 January 2008


when I see curtis in august dat yellowbone day after de rain in five rivers

leaning against dat blue wood door and he show me he sore foot how it ban up

say it pain him like hell and creak the hinge so ah peep it how it bandage

and how foot fly does zoot there so in his earthen room with the linoleum and smoke

I never did know dat 2 month later I getting this message in winter

when the cold have teeth and the grey does come down like a ol’man resting after lunch.

it choke me right here so and a couldn’t ‘ven talk

never thought it would hol’ me so

but no matter how you stretch and bend it

family come first

that same curtis we did love the same rockers and roots

that was heavy down in 79

is he who uses to ram bass on eight track and tape tape gi mi

is he one dusk in new street by the ravine say fellas leh we go an get some dead

dead as in chicken fried! and had us walk all round the indian farmlands of tacarigua

past unfinished villages and the unprimed masonary of slow houses

red brick dust and the dirt road we trod

seeking the smell of burning oil

and creole seasoning

and was take curtis take us to some backyard place like a slaughtery

and buy up a few bag a frozen fowl

and we now glum and despondent but laughing all the way home about how we been got

dead mean chicken live or dead back then but dead mean curtis dead today

and today I put on my long coat and went out into the night to teach

and all the while feeling the rumble of this dead

this sudden tug as if curtis and I were attached by some tough gossamer web

that sudden so it snap

and he gone reeling


that august day I snap him leaning on the brown bottom door, he had plans

said he woulda break down the ol house he father built with my mother and rebuild it

because the wood was rot and the rain did leak and this land is ours

and I wondered then, wee poopa , but you foot

you foot like it weeping black rain and I know sorefoot from long time

when it so it doh heal

mother mabel from champs fleur had one a bad one that never heal

it use to run pus

and she often bouce it on a bench when she ketch spirt with goblet in hand

in church on Sunday night

is curtis he father give the keys to the truck when forklift did jook out he life on the port

and curtis turn man

see him they

he did always love car an mechanical thing

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Dr Roi Kwabena 1956 - 2008

Dr Roi Kwabena born 23/7/1956 Trinidad died 9/1/2008 England

I never had the good fortune of meeting Dr Kwabena but I was introduced to his work via a mutual friend. Another Trini poet man done.


“........only five pounds yuh send?
bread, sugar an’ milk gone up.........
buses doh run.... water still go
now severe-threat in charge ah de water in maraval
so we looking out fuh poison...

money hard to come by....we down here suffering
sure..we have gas, oil, menthanol....
....steel, an’ sugar exporting..
buh mangrove still vamping...
factories not hiring.....even race horse protesting....
crime rampant as jurors hunted
laws improvising an’ english q-cees hustling..
buh teachers’ money still owing...

yuh ask for news? any news is sad news.....
doubles-man an’ market vendors still on de run
kidnapping an’ family murders add to dis shame
while meh OLE gran still worried sick ‘bout she pension...

cable an’ wireful, wid sure-hell come back...
even powertake an’ brit grasp follow fashion
buh maxi still accept short change
yet parts expensive..so only insurance profittin’
as sprangers still roam in de night

de only difference is de den opposition
must now salute for de independence parade...

senator..ah sure yuh would ah like tha....”

Roi Kwabena (from Selected Poems)