Sunday, December 30, 2007

My Black Sister

This is an oooollllldddd piece that I wrote back in 05' and I just came across it in some net folder.

My Black Sister

Raising a new generation, haunted by an environment of uncertainty, we don’t know what it was that we lost, but now we’re indebted and covering all costs, all the morals we lost to the wind, that got scattered and didn’t return again, forgotten in the currents of the Middle Passage, but it was the under deck, in retrospect, our little lives they tried to salvage, our great souls they nurtured and fed what was taken away from us, we never submitted, never did they have our trust, broken still, but trying to mend, but alike particles disintegrate in their ends, the light that beams and transcends forth to this terrestrial plane, ripped us apart, losing identity gave us, their names, made us part of their New World games, this might look like 1750, but today it’s still the same. I saw this sister left behind on the cold concrete ground, clothes torn, spirit lynched, too crippled to find breath to make a sound, and now I help her to mend what my crooked brothers stole, deprived her of peace, love, robbed her of her soul. She gave into it because the situation was hopeless, she put up no fight, no resistance, and now she sounds so soul-less. Too many sisters I know who suffered the same fate…and they fall, Too many times that my sisters get this far…and they fall. Diabolic possession, terms and conditions, liberal livity or ignorant captivity, too many sisters make it here…and they fall.

-Arielle John
copyright 2005

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bible verse...

The Lord showed me this a few minutes ago while I was working on a piece...
Wisdom 7:15-16
"May God grant me to speak as he would wish
and conceive thoughts worthy of the gifts I have received,
since he is both guide to Wisdom and director of sages;
for we are in his hand, yes, ourselves and our sayings,
and all intellectual and all practical knowledge."

You'se a poet?

This one is for yuh
Truth seeker,
Soul speaker,
Peace teacher,
Especially for you
D Freedom preacher,
For you wisdom keeper,
I need you to think deeper…
No really…really deeper,
For you who bold enough to take a chance in this arena.
Being a
Re-vo-lu-tion-ary poet
In contemporary times,
Remember that you hold together a place
That has already been defined-
Clandestine presentation,
Coming from a blazing frustration,
Ah bursting implosion
Extending outwards.
Remember yuh original mission,
Ask God for clear vision,
So that in him
Yuh could only move forward.
You have to make sure that in yuhself, yuh always feel empowered,
So that other people could grab hope from you,
So understand this stage-
As the opportunity for change-
Starting right here, it begins with you.

Under d influence

Is now when everybody dun start to live a life for their own self,
No responsible adults and every thing in this world get
So impersonal
Everything commercial-ized,
Sell self an buy a false character to properly disguise- a suffocating soul,
But scripture pleads- be not conformed to this world,
So we hadda pull- our young people from the way of these influences,
The way they learn to grow up with out knowing who God is,
without knowing their own self,
Without a purpose in this life,
Vessels without direction, who don’t know the love of Christ,
I say it unregrettably, so might as well say it twice,
Yuh life could never know true meaning till you surrender it to Christ!
Cuz yuh talking about my generation, and the one coming up after, the fighters,
The unaccredited womb-survivors,
They aborted the rest of meh siblings in the name of liberalism,
Drug us till we chupid with all this feminist poison.
Boys on- drugs and I mean boys, fellas now in standard three,
Seven year old girls, recalling lost virginities,
Schooled in reversed values and mixed-up priorities,
And the longer we ignore it, only ‘swells’ the majorities.
Alternatively, they attack us with musical manipulation,
The control panel for the way we think and the killer of natural wisdom
A prison- for our conscience, to influence our innate decisions,
Music is the only thing on earth that does not need your permission-
To enter your soul,
And so it’s able to control- your mind at leisure,
So that we value less doing what God wants,
And attach more value to pleasure.
Measure- what yuh hear on the radio to what you see on the streets,
We endorse lustful desire pasted on rhythms and the mental lashing of boom beats,
And God keeps- on trying to pull us away,
But the music always turned up so loud, that we never hear what he hadda say.
Like the ites, gold and green Christians, who say that they just being ‘conscious’,
What more consciousness you want, than the revelation of knowing Jesus?
From the t-shirts, the belts, to the jewelry, and the rest of d rasta merchandise,
Stop promoting Selassie I, and stand as ambassador for Christ.
The hip-hop crowd, and every-other-fella’s dream of becoming the next rap star,
And if we not following American fashion, then it probably evolved from passa passa.
The rock crowd, heavy metal, eventually becomes too heavy to bear,
So the music itself becomes like drugs, feeding your emotions what yuh want to hear.
Teenage girls- to bulimic, wrist cutters and closed-in calorie counters,
False and empty promises is all this world could ever offer-
To us-
So we hadda put trust in the right place,
Just fall under the influence of Christ, and he will give you the grace.
Because we faced with so many choices, so many voices to get our attention,
But silence all the noise of the world and listen to the voice of redemption.
I used to be of the world too, in spiritual schizophrenia,
But you could never be a faithful servant of more than one master,
Everybody have a time in life, to decide who they living for,
If you living for this temporary world, or if you living for the Lord.
God gives us the freedom to choose, either life or death,
Choose life, and live under the Saviour’s influence.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Greetings out of Afrika!

This was a beautiful Christmas Card that my friend Ryan from Zimbabwe designed and sent to me. He is an artist, but a businessman by profession...great with computer graphics, poetry, photography and painting. Artists have to eat I guess...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Images of my Christmas

This is baby Rihannah, in the Children's Ward at the hospital, she was just so adorable. She is in perfect health...her reason for being there? Her parents abandoned her...

This second baby is Beyonce (God have mercy on her parents for giving her that name). Another abandoned baby in the Children's Ward...

These two ladies are both matriarchs in my family. On the left is my grandmother, a woman whose fight I can still draw strength from.

Just some memories from Christmas this year...a Saviour is born to us this day!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pouring rain and the voices of children...

The children in my neighbourhood braved the pouring rain last Friday to go Caroling, it was incredibly warming, despite the less gentle December breezes. To think that the Messiah came as one of these, on a night just as cold...Jesus Christ the Light of the world.
It was beautiful...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Glory of Suns...

We were on the way to a dock yard in Chagauramus (sp?) about two fridays ago, when there was a beautiful sunset along the highway.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Out from the Caucus Mountains
To Michelangelo’s palette
From European monarchies and
Mental brick walls as scarlet
As the blood flowing from the wounds of his side,
Brick walls standing tall to try to hide
A revelation of Truth,
To make the story suit- white preferences,
For never did they make references
To Afrikan culture,
But stand waiting in ambush like vultures,
Ready to devour any trace of his true genetics and heritage.
Manifested Destiny to secure white privilege,
Contamination of the truth and so I call it sacrilege,
Sacrifice of the lamb on de stone altar of social status,
Then white-washed with envy and used to degrade us,
Us with black faces coming from the dark continent,
Us labeled as the inferior, the incompetent,
Descendants of Ham but not from Abraham’s promise,
That by these black hands- Almighty couldn’t accomplish
-any greatness.
But the greatest man to ever walk this earth was coloured just like me,
Assumed the position of a slave, to save humanity,
And with eyes with flames of fire, and feet like burnished bronze,
(if yuh don’t believe me, check Chapter 1 Revelations)
He revealed himself to us and behold- the Messiah comes,
Let the whole world hear it in de language of d drums,
Black Royals in exile, the Chains have been broken,
Jesus Christ is the truth so let the truth be spoken.

*King of All Kings- jed that too controversial,
Jesus Christ is the truth so let the truth be spoken,
Lift the veil from yuh face and let your eyes be opened,
Christ is the truth so let the truth be spoken.
-Arielle John and Amilcar Sanatan
Copyright 2007

Chinese Tradition

I stood at the side of the dining room table,
Looking on in a covered confusion,
Back and forth
Back and forth
From table to kitchen
And her mind caught
Up in her thoughts,
So that she doesn’t notice me.
I stand out of her way
Because she is too old
To cause her the trouble
Of walking into me
As small as I am,
As short as she is
But I’m growing up too
And I can almost reach her hips,
Then I’d reach her waist
Just now.

But how- it is
That she cooked so much food this evening,
And mummy made me a sandwich for dinner?
With the mixed scents of fried rices and stewed meats,
Couldn’t restrain my curiosity from asking her,
“Granny, Who come’in?”
And I knew in her mind there was something
That she wanted to tell me,
But my mother’s eyes and her’s met,
My mother- disapprovingly
While watching her – “Nobody”
I persisted as only a child would-
“…So who de food for?”
Then my grandmother spoke up from behind a new guilt,
Buried in a silent pause-
“Mamee and Papee”
…and there was nothing more.

A stern eye meant that no more
Questions are to be asked,
So I got out of her way,
And moved so that she could pass.

Then they closed all the windows
Locked the two doors as was custom,
Took the house lights off,
And in confusion I watched them,
The food lay bare on the table,
With tall glass of juice on its right,
One candle in a bowl of water,
“What a strange thing to do” I thought,
“What a very strange night.”

-Arielle John

Copyright 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Friday, October 26, 2007

Trip to Aruba (Continued)

"The tour bus pulled up alongside a beach, so I came outside and made myself a comfortable seat in front of the blue façade that surrounds this small land mass. The refraction of the sun on the bleached sand has given me a headache so I become warm and irritably restless. It could also be because my thoughts are just as confused as the fourteen languages they speak here.

But I know the secrets of this island, because the voice of this place has spoken through the very mouths of its people and they have whispered these unspoken invisibilities to my consciousness."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Excerpt from- Trip to Aruba July 2007

“On the sixth day I found myself in a place where it was so quiet that it spoke only with the voices of dead Amerindian men, women and children. The thing is, we were the ones who did it. So the fossilized blood found here has stained my feet, and the weight of it slows my steps down.

They say that this is a place of rock formations and that behind these walls, peace and tranquility are to be found. But I know better than that. Much better. For these things are neither tangible nor a receptacle for acquired tastes. Internal and somewhere that my mind does not allow me to be right now. Here the trees blow to accommodate the wind’s direction…but I am unlike these.”

Friday, October 19, 2007

Queen Mother

The heights of feminist ideology,
And as pure as such schools can get
She is beyond all earthly example of beauty
Her soul, solely immaculate.
Of motherly instinct amplified,
An agonized womb of a most rare pain,
Her radiance brighter than morning suns
Standing on the moon, she stands a Queen.

Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace, Pray for us.
-Arielle John
copyright 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

In commemoration of Blog Action day, the issue I have decided to highlight is that of illegal cell environmental threat. The photo shown in this post was taken this morning while sitting at my bedroom window which shows the close proximity of this cell tower to my home, moreso, my room.

In the efforts of taking legal action against the erection of this tower, the courts are yet to call the case, which shows the efficency of our legal system...
Below is a list of the risks that are faced by persons in my neighbourhood, myself included... the human/animal environment.
Internationally acknowledged experts in the field of RF research have shown that RF of the type used in digital cellular antennas and phones can have critical effects on cell cultures, animals, and people in laboratories and have also found epidemiological evidence (studies of communities, not in the laboratory) of serious health effects at "non-thermal levels," where the intensity of the radiation was too low to cause heating. They have found:

Increased cell growth of brain cancer cells
A doubling of the rate of lymphoma in mice
Changes in tumor growth in rats
An increased number of tumors in rats
Increased breaks in double and single stranded DNA, our genetic material
2 to 4 times as many cancers in Polish soldiers exposed to RF
More childhood leukemia in children exposed to RF
Changes in sleep patterns and REM type sleep
Headaches caused by RF exposure
Neurologic changes
(13) including
Changes in the blood-brain-barrier
Changes in cellular morphology (including cell death)
Changes in neural electrophysiology (EEG)
Changes in neurotransmitters (which affect motivation and pain perception)
Metabolic changes (of calcium ions, for instance)
Cytogenetic effects (which can affect cancer, Alzheimer's, neurodegenerative diseases)
Decreased memory, attention, and slower reaction time in school children
Retarded learning in rats indicating a deficit in spatial "working memory"
Increased blood pressure in healthy men
Damage to eye cells when combined with commonly used glaucoma medications
Another dimension of population control maybe..

Friday, October 12, 2007

Under full crescent moons...

There’s a crescent moon tonight
To cradle a North Star.
Fixed and proportionate
Like infant Child and Mother,
Green like New Life,
Green like new birth,
Watchful like planted seeds
That will rise from this earth
As foreheads do,
From a carpeted ground,
Chants and mantras,
Bearing the sound
Of awaited relief.
Devotion lives here
Though Iraq’s streets
Are littered with corpses,
These symbols lay as
Collected losses
Though never too heavy
To be carried on crosses,
But that of course is
Already understood.
But by name,
It is a brotherhood.
Not that any brother would
Shed the blood of his kin,
So rites of blessing,
Help take away
Appearances of
There’s a crescent moon tonight
To cradle a North Star,
And my head also bows in prayer,
May you soon find truth
Sister and brother.
Amani daima.
-Arielle John
Copyright 2006

Monday, October 1, 2007

Revolutionary Dreams

Another beautiful piece from Nikki Giovanni:

i used to dream militant
dreams of taking
over america to show
these white folks how it should be
i used to dream radical dreams
of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers
of correct analysis
i even used to think i'd be the one
to stop the riot and negotiate the peace
then i awoke and dug
that if i dreamed natural
dreams of being a natural
woman doing what a woman
does when she's natural
i would have a revolution.


This poem has been a favourite of mine for a while now...


she wanted to be a blade

of grass amid the fields

but he wouldn't agree

to be the dandelion

she wanted to be a robin singing

through the leaves

but he refused to be

her tree

she spun herself into a web

and looking for a place to rest

turned to him

but he stood straight

declining to be her corner

she tried to be a book

but he wouldn't read

she turned herself into a bulb

but he wouldn't let her grow

she decided to become

a woman

and though he still refused

to be a man

she decided it was all


-Nikki Giovanni

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bone of his rib...

It might be of a greater comfort if I took my idealisms to heart, rather than this reality that start-ed some time ago between us. Too many prayers did my shuddering voice utter, the orations that made my very soul stammer, still can I love another… Why should I bother with men at all? Yet they say it was the womb-man who caused them to fall, all over a disagreement written across a rib. A contract to prove that we might never find peace, until every single grudge is released, but we keep- our half of the covenant...

-Arielle John

Copyright 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Colonial Girl's School

I remembered this poem while I was talking to a younger sister of mine with a situation she was facing in my old school. It seemed only too relevant...

Colonial Girls School

Borrowed images

willed our skins pale

muffled our laughter

lowered our voices
let out our hems

dekinked our hair

denied our sex in gym tunics and bloomers

harnessed our voices to madrigals
and genteel airs

yoked our minds to declensions in Latin

and the language of Shakespeare

Told us nothing about our selves

There was nothing at all

How those pale northern eyes and

aristocratic whispers once erased us

How our loudness, our laughter

debased us.

There was nothing left of ourselves

Nothing about us at all

Studying: History: Ancient and Modern

Kings and Queens of England

Steppes of Russia

Wheatfields of Canada

There was nothing of our landscape there

Nothing about us at all

Marcus Garvey turned twice in his grave.

'Thirty- eight was a beacon. A flame.

They were talking of desegregationIn Little Rock, Arkansas, Lumumba

and the Congo. To us mumbo-jumbo.

We had read Vachel Lindsay's

vision of the jungle.

Feeling nothing about ourselves

There was nothing about us at all

Months, years, a childhood memorising

Latin declensions(For our language
--'bad talking'--

Finding nothing about us there

Nothing about us at all

So, friend of my childhood years

One day we'll talk about

How the mirror broke

Who kissed us awake

Who let Anansi from his bag

For isn't it strange how

northern eyes

in the brighter world before us now


- Olive Senior

Sunday, September 23, 2007


A little tighter and our souls could make contact,
Whoever lets go first would always be the one that-
Tries to be more careful,
Since both of us are too fearful of what could happen
If dreams attained fruition,
Being a pair geared by a similar mission,
So this hug is all that can cushion-
Reality’s blow.
Because though
We’re free to choose the way we can go,
Human longing begs yes,
But Marx’s opium pleads no
I am somehow always the one to first loosen my grip,
Though you embrace me up to this minute, because

So we remain caught- between yearning and wanting,
And this hug goes on for seconds and counting…
…you inhale…once…and again,
Yes this hug does mean something…
-Arielle John
copyright 2005

Saturday, September 8, 2007

No reclaim

In the days when Men were not afraid to cry...
Lead us not into temptation but deliver his mind from frustration felt even now.
Long-term memoirs of how often we fall short of perfection, and how we get caught when we change our direction, with road signs remaining pointed at us… but within my disgust-
I find fragments of forgiveness so I mould them into a chrysalis, to encase his wounded soul.
I extract the iridescent nectar from his tears, and combine it with the wisdom of his seventeen years, and I turn them back to alchemy’s gold.
Emotions control- all that makes us vulnerable, like shaolin blades it makes pain inevitable, and karma makes the cycle go round.
Though some things remain regrettable, and my double-dosage of pain means that his must be trebled, I replace his lamentations with a crown.
May the birds still announce his footsteps when he walks, may nature in consolation return him all he has lost, and let him divorce- himself from the past.
For presently life presents a new morning, he hears, sees and feels it, for it quenches his longing- because I believe... I see to his heart.
Copyright 2007

Monday, September 3, 2007


First dey used to call us ‘third world’, but now is ‘developing countries’
Capitalism doh end without revolution, so until then it will jus accommodate the centuries,
So let we get past de euphemisms, to put down something substantial,
Dissecting our local reality but without becoming partial
Because we gargle- with acid to numb our tongues,
So that we could see all that happenin, but wouldn’t dare make a sound- about it.
Cuz sometimes the opposition put yuh in a position where you yuhself might begin to doubt it-
That this ‘third world’ label already branded into yuh flesh, and they make sure to have it heavily mentally impressed,
But only if yuh choose to accept it-
Get respect from them? We won’t.
At least… not yet.
Instead we get enough problems to give us a new alphabet
To teach our children-
So from the time they reach age 5, we should teach them that
A is for AIDS coming from
B for biological warfare
C for corruption, consumerism and cancer,
D for drug trade,(a.k.a. America’s welfare.)
E for exploitation and environmental damage
F is for famine, free market forces, free trade and financial drainage.
G is for globalization, global warming and godlessness
H is for homosexual legislation, hedonism and a chronic air of hopelessness,
I is for indigenous peoples, the sufferers from day one.
Whose culture has been totally dissolved to house empty western tradition.
J is for justice being denied,
K is for kidnapping circles,
L is for the legalization of abortion,
M is for the music that funnels- rebelliousness to our young people. Like a needle,
N is the New Age nonsense, able to pierce people’s minds so easily, neglecting to hear the word of God, and so cling on to everything earthly.
O is for the oilfields formed by the fossilized bodies of dead black African slaves,
P is for population control and the silent witness borne by their graves,
Q is for the questions, all the right questions that still not being asked,
R is for a racism that when elections surface, slowly becomes unmasked.
S is for sexual vice, fully promoted by the media,
T is for terrorists who call others terrorists, but doh see themselves in de mirror.
U is for the ugly scars, left on this nation’s history,
V for vendetta on Palestinian soil, victims of provoked anarchy.
W is for words of wisdom now holding no weight on our human consciousness,
X is for the times that we cross out God and replace him with our self-centeredness.
Y is for the years before anything in this place could get done,
And Z is for the Zen mentality, this country’s most potent poison.
So while the thousands obey the herd instinct,
Only dead fish does go with the flow,
Cuz all the darkness in the world,
Could never stifle the light of one single flambeau.
So know,
That it still have a fight worth fightin for,
How to use silent weapons, in the quietest of wars.


- Arielle John

Copyright Ó 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Art Of War

I think abstract like wooden crafted-cut designs that show the workings of knives and lives who designated their times of creativity to make wood-stains become the focal point of a canvas adorned prettily with pastels and acrylic ideas strewn in a collage of the excitement, vivacity and meditation of a market vendor with a body so slender and a head-wrap and her goods at her feet, or was it the one with the mother standing and her child climbing to reach the sash of her ragged dress or the one with someone's grandmother decked in her Sunday's best on the dirt road where her principles were sown to grow into your mother or father... Or was it the one I saw after where Aunty Martha danced deeply into memories of plantation-side gathering when we had assembled to beat drums to summon freedom that was to come, was to come. Not even moments like these can become undone in time's passing for they are rooted and lasting in the minds passed from the ancestors to us, they are gone but they trust that these redemptive deja-vu's stay in-tuned into our everyday living and so that implies our ridding of negativity and ignorance of the past lives of our original family. These ideas remain for the time when the sculptor takes back up his hammer, the artist his brush, and the warrior his dagger. For too long have higher powers beat us senseless in this psychological panorama and mental lashing of lies and deception that threw us off the scales of justice outweighed by greed and malice of those dividing to conquer, but cast your anchor in your people�s history to launch you into the future's unforeseen mystery and learn how to create harmonies within your living space and how to erase the laziness and bad habits spotting across your lifescape so that what you portray if frozen can be a portrait of things to aspire to. Most important though is to know who are you, man know thyself, and then learn thine enemy, for too many forget 'self' and they fail so easily. Knowledge is your power, know what you're standing for, for this my friend, this is the Art of WAR. UHURU.

Two Pieces

Christian girl

You can't begin to understand me Christian girl,
Because of your closed-in crystallized dwelling box,
Painting you a picture of perfection.
You dream of Cherubim angel-choired cathedrals,
White robes, golden books,
Only things that purest thoughts allow.
Yet the irony lives somewhere between these lines,
And outside the confines of your memory,
That's where I took up residence,
Among the residues of truths and purged untruths and doubled half-truths
Of the tongue and of the pen
Only then can you understand me-only then.
I offer comfort of admitting my previous (your present) standing,
But you still stand here reprimanding me
Because of the things I see as necessary.
I didn't go to truth Christian girl,
Truth came to me.
The blessings of the almighty Creator
Have made Anaya Jahzara a few moons later
The aspiring womb-man with ceaseless ambition,
As long as her strength can suffice,
Catholic girl, isn't she not your sister in Christ?


When it is that I can't get you out of mind, you're out of sight, out of grasp, and I'm out of luck, but such are we that dip and sway to life's rhythm making wavelengths across unknown distances because I remain oblivious to where you live, work, or spend most of your time. But I keep in mind every detail I can capture in our minimal message exchanges or how we relate to each other, but somehow I know no other like this illuminated, ablaze, inextinguishable brother who ironically quenches my thirst for life-giving words, or speech that causes enemies' corpses to turn in their earthen housing , this dialectic dousing and mental arousing that leaves me in my position of standing ovations from explicit orations that simply spiritually satisfies me

Three Short Pieces

Caught between in the net of a passion on death row and a distant devotee who I should be loaning my thoughts to, but this is something I forever knew that my grip should be loosened from these penetrated desires that cause this miniscule fire to rage within the restrictions of my capillaries, but this inflammatory appeal tends to heal as it flows through veins, through god-made lanes that maintain the traffic of life as it surges and creates urges to want to, but forgetting to remind you that possibilities are drenched with the libations of the impossible nature of the matter and that focus should be marked on the latter part of sentiments and the former that represents my reality. And so, this one takes the spotlight on my stage and with lights in focus and curtains drawn, I- the anxious patron applaud the performer's standing that he can still love me despite my demanding mentality.

To Zion we go
Wandering Israelite, cast into exile from some unfamiliar terrain with scorching suns and swollen rains and sweltering warmth and blistering cold, elements of this foreign land unknown, where seeds are sown in infertile soils and thorns choke and weeds destroy good intentions like widespread pretensions of false gods and pagan culture makes way for my exodus. Lost- from birth, no fault of my own, I seek to find back my home, over seas, over sands, the promised land- Alkebulan.

Streetlight called desire.
Jiving Jazz that adds a special touch to the soft light loaned by the lonesome lamppost that stately stands to guide travelers of the night, that reveals the passion of lovers daring to become lost in each other. The cool, breezy, air ever-moving and intruding on a congregation of dried leaves that scrape the pavements as they exit into the unknown. Of the weeping piano that sobs for lost lovers and the bass that somberly uncovers the grief of some bar-ridden victim, who allowed his emotions to trick him into its fatal folly, Coloured blue and verb-less lyrically, but still expresses this misfortune and anomaly.

Copyright 2006

Monday, July 23, 2007


Open Mic and Open Art Show
Come enjoy an evening of
Poetry, Art, Rapso and Music

On Saturday 28th 2007

At the Sangre Grande Civic Centre

At 6pm

Admission: Free

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Let him write

Brown school shirt and khaki pants,
Rubbing his left eye with his right hand
Picture him in a forward movement,
Hesitantly, with legs straddling across a pavement,
Grazing cigarette butts and a city dust he can’t see
Because his eyes, wet and swollen shed what he
Only wished a father could understand,
But his tongue would never dare to explain it.
Because on the other hand,
Their ears are shut tight to the silent pleas
Of ink across these pages.
For he wrote with the ambition of Kings and the wisdom of sages,
Who could promise us better tomorrows.
But in the hollows of his nervous stomach-
He digests their scorn,
And in the torment of this mental havoc,
Rebellion was born,
Not only to warn
Us of who he will become on the day after this one,
But to have his feet drag and his heartbeat to run,
Into a place, and at a pace that that caused it to stop.
Not only to stop, but to erupt- into a cold silence.
Because dead souls make no noise…
And so his silenced voice harmonizes with a Charlotte street breeze,
Picture him, distressed, stumbling and with weakened knees,
For in his hands are manuscripts that recorded every semibreve,
Quaver and Note that echoed the arrangement of his life story,
This young, dreary face intensely worried- about losing himself.
See the books and pages as they cascade into the bin,
One by one,
You need to see him for who he is
For he is your own son,
And you have punctuated his dreams with a full stop.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


These poet words, nuggets out of corruption
Or jewels dug or dung or speech from flesh
Still bloody red, still half afraid to plunge
In the ceaseless waters foaming over death.

These poet words, nuggets no jeweler sells
Across the counter of the world’s confusion
But far or near, internal or external
Burning the agony of earth’s complaint.

These poet words have secrets locked in them
Like nuggets laden with the younger sun.
Who will unlock must first himself be locked.
Who will be locked must first himself unlock.


Martin Carter

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Forgotten Holocaust: The Eastern Slave Trade

The Arab Slave Trade is the longest yet least discussed of the two major trades. It begins in the 7th century AD as Arabs and other Asians poured into Northern and Eastern Africa under the banner of Islam, either converting or subjugating the African societies they came upon. In the beginning there was some level of mutual respect between the Blacks and the more Caucasian-Semitic Arabs. Mihdja, a Black man, is said to be the first Muslim killed in battle while another, Bilal, is regarded as a "third of the faith." Dhu'l-Nun al-Misri, born in Upper Egypt near Sudan, is regarded as the founder of Sufism. Today Sufism's greatest stronghold is in Southern Egypt and Sudan. Islamic prosperity was based upon Black as well as Arabic genius.

The children of a stinking Nubian black---God put no light in their complexion!
Arab Poet, late 600AD,

But as Islamic prosperity grew, so did an air of hostility towards many Blacks, Muslims or otherwise. Some Arabs complained about having to work next to Blacks in high positions. After the Prophet's death, even the descendants of Bilal received negative treatment. Arabic writings became laced with anti-Black sentiment. This reaction of Blacks at the time to this can be seen in the writings of a contemporary 9th Century Black scholar in residence at Baghdad by the name of Abu 'Uthman' Amr Ibn Bahr Al-Jahiz. Al-Jahiz, to confront a growing tide of anti-black sentiment in the Muslim world, published a highly controversial work at the time titled, Kitab Fakhr As-Sudan 'Ala Al-Bidan, "The Book of Glory of the Blacks over the Whites." Al-Jahiz in his work contended that even the Prophet Mohammad's father may have been of African lineage.

These new attitudes towards Blacks by Arabs marked the beginning of African enslavement. Though not based solely on race, the Arab Slave Trade did focus heavily upon Africans whom Arabs now saw as inferior to themselves. At first these Arabs raided African villages themselves seeking humans for sale. This not being always successful, they soon enlisted the aid of fellow African Muslims or recently converted Blacks. Wrapping themselves within Islam, these converts rationalized the slavery of their non Muslim brethren as the selling of "unbelievers." At other times the Arabs would demand tribute in the form of human bodies from Africans weary of the fight against Arabic-Islamic incursions.

The Arabs took advantage of regional wars in Africa to buy captives from the victor. They also used the old divide-and-conquer technique. They worked one group against the other and took or killed the best and strongest.
S.E. Anderson, The Black Holocaust for Beginners
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Assata Shakur

My name is Assata ("she who struggles") Shakur ("the thankful one"), and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government's policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO program. because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it "greatest threat to the internal security of the country" and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists...

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Dream Raider

My luck travels on a beam of light,
That comes not in any shade of white,
But as black as starless skies,
As deep as the truth in the pupils of elders’ eyes,
And as tall as the African’s ambition,
Able to pierce like Japanese ammunition,
A conscious understanding,
Like intuition,
I see positioned
His black protruding eyes,
With lids maintaining themselves as connected horizons,
So if he was to blink twice within every second,
Then I live for two complete days
Sunrise to sunset,
Sunrise to sunset,
Because somehow the sun-rising
And we ain’t come off the phone yet
From since the 10:22 the night before,
Cuz every time we go to hang up it always have something more,
that either one of us forget to say,
I sometimes get lost and completely enveloped into his ways
That the thought of him stays
For hours on end.
So these two knees I bend
In prayer daily,
So that he will receive right guidance,
But the moment exists here
Within the silence
That we both fully understand.
For the stories of our lives have been written by the same hand,
And thus I do what I can
To maintain my sanity
In joyful hope,
In joyful hope.
So while he touches my face to calm me,
I excuse myself,
I plead you excuse me,
For I am unable to cope
With this surge of hormone-tainted,
Deeply frustrating adrenalin,
That his soul just extracted from my emotions,
Squeezing from them the useless potions
I tried to drug my conscience with.
So in the corner of my room I sit,
And I put my thoughts to rest with the turn of a page,
I put a silencer on the nib of my pen.
I put his spirit to rest by digging a grave with my two hands
Then I sealed it with needle and thread.
I took the fan off because this place is too cold for my existence,
I found myself in this place of hate, and so I treat love with strong resistance.
I switched the light back on, because the darkness began to scare me,
Then I prayed to sleep again, because my dreams couldn’t bear to come near me.
Who are you to bring truths to myths that I myself had made up?
Who are you to barge into my dreams to have my emotions unlocked?
Who are you as bold-faced as night time, yet as quiet as soft morning dew?
Identify the origins of your being,
I ask you again, who are you???

-Arielle John. copyright 2006

Monday, May 28, 2007

1994 Rwanda...
Never again???


We Dream, we live.

He collects my beliefs into the crest of his palms
And pulls them into his chest,
He sees me as one close enough to him
So I help put his spirits to rest.
But Blessed
Is He, who can understand the royalty of Afrikan subjects,
Who all have been cursed at the hands of a world
Which prefers to see us as objects
Of a prolonged exploitation.
But just as these heavenly bodies
Move correspondingly in rotation,
And even with his eyes open
He dreams of revolution,
I dream it also…
Uhuru Daima.
-Arielle M. John. copyright 2007

Sanctified Sleep

I bless his dreams every night
By uttering quiet words
Expressing my love
Across into his semi-conscious drift,
When his mind is too weak to sift
My speech
Of its reason.
For we have welcomed a season
Where our emotions blossom
And ripen
Sweet tasting to my lips,
For the fields of his thoughts are
Mine to harvest,
Reaping the blessings
Of countenance
Gathering the graces of providence,
All collected as fruits of
Our labours combined.
For it is with him I find
My Peace
- Arielle John.
copyright 2007.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Finding my basis between the trappings of a rock and a hard place,
Straining to smile with a semi-contorted face,
After having to endure living in a space
Like this
When it’s as if
The blindness of those around me
Already didn’t fit
The description of sound righteousness,
The sympathy invoked by their short-sightedness
Leaves me exhausted almost daily
But maybe
(and I say maybe)
One day they would see it
And not only see it
But one day believe it,
Cause though we’ve been hit-
By this spell of ignorance
I plead one day that they would get a chance
To come to realization.
Cause real eyes are occasioned
With blessed opportunity,
One day they will see the value of Black unity
And one day we will restore our Black community
One day
Some day
Some time to be.

Uhuru daima.

Friday, May 18, 2007


My head slowly turns in a languid orbit
Balancing my thoughts on cerebral density
Trodding on echoing pulsations of fluid
Pain administered in a building intensity.
Hair strands I let loose left to flow over
The smoothened cliffs of these rounded shoulders,
Plunging downward to penetrate the air,
My thoughts mimicking the sound of crashing boulders.
My head laying lower than my hand on this page as I write,
Reason for poetic verse has guided my pen for the night.


I sent this lotus adrift while stooping at this bank and
I left it to float away
From hands that never did delay
To limit the boundaries of your scorching flame.
Like a cascading thought you came
Making yourself a seat in my mind,
So I took my finger and signed
This earthen floor with my touch,
Its potentialities I never rendered as too much
For none is impossible with the Father.
But how many of these flowers must I gather
To bury my emotions with
To calmly and steadily send adrift,
Across this expanse that separates us.
A cone of peace to enshrine your red passion,
So I send you this lotus.
-Arielle John copyright. 2007

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Backyard Blessing

My heart beats together with the earth’s biorhythms,
My back against her soil and my hair is interlocked in- this grassy surface.
I look fearlessly up at the skies but the blue bewilders me and so shrinks my eyes,
But only to behold it better.
For today I received a letter
Written with the penmanship of water,
Dotting my face, falling from my mother’s flower bucket.
I inhale the green, the overpowering freshness, of this
Paradise in my back yard.
Where these suns set stages for birds that glad-ly and so effortlessly
Call the evening to its close,
And my clothes are made into passage ways for these evening breezes.
For when she breathes it’s- The very air of life
That stifles the day,
to usher in the night.
This air that now creates a chill and its constant flow sometimes is spilled
Into my nostrils, filling my senses with her essence.
Mother is here and I feel her presence.
Only Naturally.

-Arielle John