Sunday, March 30, 2008

We Are Nowhere We Have Not Been

We Are Nowhere We Have Not Been

By Kwasi Akyeampong

Up from Morant Bay Babylon came with their ego on their hips
Brothers held their breath as like venomous snakes they slithered among us
Sisters prostituted with unwilling ease willing adulterous coy for with to save a brother's lips

Up among the sheep Babylon came and grounded to dust another piece of us

"Whyyyyyyy?", the anguished mother cried as she held her fallen to her helpless breast.

'"How much more can we bear.."'

I will ever recall how with faces gird in funerary and debased with powerlessness came the chorus to her:
'"How much more can we bear.
Jah, we fight with determination..
And the seeds that we sow..
Jah Jah, we watch them grow..
In a pain of pure destruction..".

This was in the cool of a day, any day, 18.19..16.1980;
A stone throw from Stoney Gut, the never again laid dead

Though I will never forget that mother's desperation mocking rage.
Was it 1865, 1965, 1982 or was it 1973?
I can not now recall the time nor place I heard her anguished cry.

I search, I search, I search through wailing, weeping, moaning
Through pain, throught rivers of blood
Still I cannot name the place, the time I heard the mother's anguished cry.

Was it Kinshasa in 1959?
Was it Dar-Es Salaam 1969?
Was it South Africa 1983?
Miami 1983?

Was it Kingston, Jamaica?
Or Jamaica, New York?

It may have been Morant Bay
For I saw Paul Bogle with the "good book" in his heart
And the Rights of Man on his mind
And a musket in his right hand
As he led men cross pure Victoria's cleanest carpet
For to see once and for all if justice was blind or colour blind.

I remember it now as clearly as I am..
For the next time I saw Bogle he was dangling by his neck.

No. It was Nat Turner..
I am sure it was Patrice Lumumba...
Or was it George William Gordon..
It could have been the unnumbered preys of white sheets.

You know, It was Dada Sharpe..
For I remember his last words to me before that noose held him almost to the ground:
"I'd rather die free than live a slave."

But it could have been Malcolm X.
Was there not something at Avenue X?
Yes, I remember Turks' mother anguished cry.

That mother, that cry.
Did I not see her in Sharpeville?
Mom, where you ever in Louisville?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What I learn from the roach

The roach is unstoppable.
The roach is indomitable.

The roach is not mired in the past.
The roach in never complaining and seeking redress.
The roach just goes about its business creating a the next generation of super roaches while I kill myself trying to annihilate it.

If I take care of my business - keep a clean environment - the roach will leave me alone and respect my space. The roach is respectful - it respect me when I respect myself

The roach will inherit my earth.

I have discovered that microwaves does not cook roaches.

There are a few things here Africans can learn from the roach.

What do you learn from the roach?

by KWASI Akyeampong

I do not Want Freedom.

I do not Want Freedom.

I do not want it.

Freedom is who I am.
I am free.

I do not want to be me.
I am me.

Freedom is the way I be - being free.
Freedom is my being - a human-BEING-being-free.
I do not want freedom.
I am me being free, experiencing that there
are barriers to my experience of freedom -
and that I am the barriers -
I have a choice to die free or to live wanting
to be free and I choose what no one can give me - Wanting Freedom.

Most of us who want freedom want it for ourselves – result: a Sisyphus quest - jousting with windmills.
Some of us, like Mandela, declared being free.
N0 jail could hold him.
Sam Sharpe and Nat Turner declared that they would rather die that live not BEING Free -
for Freedom is not about our actions, freedom is the being that give rise to our
actions and our experience of being free.
Freedom is a conversation - speak it, be it.

I am free - right now.
What now?
There are barriers to me experiencing being free -
barriers to my expression of freedom.
Will I be restrained by them?
Will I be free no matter what?
Or will I just want to be free?
Will freedom be my self-expression?
Will freedom be my way of living?
Will I be obsessed by being free?
Will I be a Miles Davis of freedom?
Driven Mozart-ly mad by freedom?
Be Mohammed Ali? - I am Free!
Or will I be stopped and wanting
someone to cross me the hurdles.

I am free and there are barriers to my experience of being free and I am the barriers.
Now I am free no matter what.

Freedom is an expression of who I am - me being free.

Declare it,
Express it,
Be it - no matter what,
Experience Being Free.

So now you know.
What now?

by KWASI Akyeampong

Sing Me No Sad Songs

Sing me no sad songs
No do me wrong songs
No somebody done somebody wrong songs
Sing me no sad songs

Sing me no sad songs of yester-dreads
Sing me no sad songs of falling heads
Sing me no abuse songs
Sing me no Blues songs

Song me a blood red song
Sing me that happy song
A rata-ta-ta Stormy Monday song
Tuesday t' will be ours
Tuesday will be ours
Sing me that happy song

Sing me a song of The Thrill Is Gone
Gone, gone, from rusty needles
Sing me the song of The Thrill is Gone
Gone, gone, from rusty needles
Sing me a song of the time form lamentation's gone
Sing me a song of the time form lamentation's gone
And The Thrill is Gone from decibels and VU meters
Yes, The Thrill is Gone from decibels and VU meters
From fifths and sniffs
From fifths and sniffs
Gone Gone Away For Good, good
And Afromen get high on blood, should
Rivers of enemy's blood flow red, blood red

O, I hate the Blues
Sing me no Blues
No sad song -
Time for lamentation's through

Sing me a bloody Muddy Water song of blood red blood
From M-16 and B.B's guns
Sing me a bloody Monday Morning Bobby
Blue Bland song on Lady Day
When poets have no words
Sing me that song

Sing me a happy song of death
A song of new frontiers won
And daring heights stand upon
Yea, sing me a sad song of joy

Sing me the I hate the Blues song
Sing, sing me the I hate the Blues song
Sing me the song of white liberals and racists will not hear
Sing me that song that will contaminate the white Blues loving radio with death

Sing me no freedom song
Sing me a liberation song
Sing me a song that does not sing
Sing me that song

Sing me a sad song to make Zion sing
Sing me a sad song to make Zion sing:
"I miss that good nigger Blues"
Sing me a song to make Zion sing:
"Why won't those niggers sing, sing"
Sing me a song to make Zion sing:
"I wish that I could so sing"
Sing me that song to make Zion sing:
"I miss them Niggers.. them..them Africans
Sing me that song

Sing me a sad song of Joy!
by Kwasi Akyeampong