Wed | Feb 20, 2019


Published:Sunday | July 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM


Is So


When the noise becomes too loud

she careens like a John Crow scavenging for food

her thoughts explode like bullets and her eyes swim

into the Rio Grande where she is a rock being cooled

by the sweet gentle water

When doubt covers him like scabs

he walks barefoot all round Parade shouting

about the next coming and ascending to

his rightful place of glory and salvation

while his mind tries to drown out the voices of those

who torment and condemn him just for being poor

and uneducated - but he will show them

When they cannot see beyond seeing

and hope is a field of yam infested by termites

when hunger gnaws in their belly

when vexation is curse itself and every door

is sealed shut they wheel and tumble down

wheel and tumble down until they come back

to their rightful selves and take one one coco

fill basket and ask the day when is fi we turn

- Opal Palmer Adisa





July oppressive heat was overbearing

As the Scirocco type winds came whipping

Down into the valley which was rimmed by

Brooding mountains and wilting trees

People went about in a daze

Sapped of energy and entertaining thoughts

Of times spent in Northern states

Dogs begin to dig holes to lie in, goats running

Unerringly to cover and birds flying in high patterns

To escape.

The soil is parched and caked

Grass turns brown and adopts a droop stance

Leaves wilt and surrenders to the relenting heat

But then thunder peals, and the elements are in accord

To intervene in addressing this imbalance in nature

Small water droplets kiss the clops of earth

And the olfactory senses are assailed

Of all the aromatic fragrances in nature

None can emulate the earthy pleasant and distinct smell

That frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period

Of warm, dry weather.

I am sure you have wondered at the noun that could nail

that singular smell,

It is Petrichor, that is the name of an oil that is released from the

Earth into the air before rain begins to fall, and in Grecian lore is the blood of the Gods

It has to be.

- Ainsley Wilson




Changing the Rules


I tried to play it with the Big Boys

But the Big Boys kept reminding me

I wasn't enough with my Degree

Maybe I was too fat

Too black, who knows

Maybe I didn't kiss the ground

Or bend my knees

See, they kept changing the rules

One minute they needed thinkers

Next they wanted likeability

Next they wanted ghetto vibes

From teenage girls

With a lot more lip than me

I was an angry feminist if I had an opinion

But too docile if I didn't give one

A robot, follow instructions!

Think/don't think!

Speak/don't speak!

Serving a master

Who's never pleased

Nine months after leaving the Big Boys

I'm alive and a lot more free

Now I'm at home

Changing all the rules on the Big Boys

Who keep on changing all the rules

On me.

- Lisa Gaye Taylor