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?
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.