Son Of The Soil
At home in his village a son of the soil
Sits fingering the scar of a memory.
He tries clearing his misty mind
To exorcise yesterday's ghost
But voices rap his brain with recollect haunts.
Taking a scenic view of his native land
He presses replay and archive pictures
Coiled like a hose, unreel spools of history
In relief blessed by Jesus on a wall
Framed with an open heart
Near the Virgin Mary watching.
Youngsters on rooftops
Dance cocoa beans with the beat
Of bongo drums etched in their bones.
Guava wood tops crafted skilfully
Swerve and swirl pavements like ice skaters
Then settle down and fall asleep singing.
Sapodilla, Balata and Dongs
Never hang around long enough on trees
To see 'Mamey Cipote' in full bloom
Flog Puttygal, Mangoes, Chenette and 'Kaimit'
Trumping them for sweets
With sugar cane sucking teeth in the background
While the Bushmaster waits.
Rocks take a beating from linen
Until they bleed black.
Shillings and 'tanners' are pocket exiles
When son of the soil plods to Apang's shop
For goods on tick and searching his ledger
He wonders what he still owes.
Bicycles peddle carbide lamps at night
And roads sign names in French and Spanish
Shouting them in your face.
Colonizers roar boom out masterly
And he scans the scene remembering.
Poverty and pain hide behind empty smiles
And he trembles in solitude,
Sharpens his mind and focuses
Biding time learning.
Anger builds and burns like coals fiercely
Driving his locomotive across bridges
With rusty rivers below,
Across roads hiding in shadows,
Across plaited rails muttering
In foreign tongues
And into caves caked in grime of donkey's years.
Then on the horizon coming, long coming,
Comes that great day with cries of jubilation -
'Massa Day Done' rings out victoriously.
Freedom dawns and feet upright plant a stance;
Now the Minstrels stage no-show to dance.