Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Performance piece- Caroni (1975) Ltd.

A silent mob of shadows,
slicing the dew of ah early morning haze,
grazing against fragile moments,
a savannah now laid waste in atonement-
for our skins and theirs,
for hours ah skimmed-
through history books with tired spines,
and still they couldn’t hold the truth I had set out to find,
but they can’t withhold my story from me,
for I was born the-
descendant of a woman of the cane fields,
and like medicine, the vaporized scent of it heals,
and fills meh empty spaces filling up,
Caroni could cup- my destiny in her veined hands,
in every riverbed encircling sunburnt grasslands,
that would harvest and invoke some memory that ah had inherited-
with a scented freshness for a Saturday at dawn,
a violet robe that nature put on,
bambooing itself through the grass,
and so too would cane also come to pass.
But this central wind have a rhapsody,
and these purple stalks trap a certain melody of brustles,
but in a violent twang that we never understood too well,
and to tell of it almost taboo to a westernized tongue,
but to the rhythm of a drumerless drum,
I could translate time into being a relevant reality-
and the sweetened tragedy stood as a smoke-screen to filter out tobacco,
die-versify de trade,
and to see the face of a people fade
between crops,
Taino to Kalinago to Amerindian to what
crocheted my conscience to these fields,
to Africa where they would steal
labourers to work for the life of sugar,
cutlassing through the feelings of a disconnected granddaughter,
but remembering to mehself that blood thicker than water
would ever be,
in dreams I would see the plantations all being set on fire,
ravaging a landscape, a colonial empire,
sending the warning up and over the hills-
Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico until-
even my Trinidad coloured and starched a night sky in red,
see, these cane fields bled-
the voice of a voiceless people,
in harvest, in war, in rebellion, in the dance of a festival-
and to the bajhans and mantras of east-indian labourers,
20,000 falling unemployed one day because-
of the crossed priorities of a rum republic.
So we subject-
these promised lands to breathe a different air about us
that come like a cursed memory verse
to mock any advancements we might make,
either now, or later.
But we have made an-
uncertain step carved by anxious feet in Caroni’s soil,
too fertile to care about these anticipated spoils,
the children of the cane,
and again the familiar episode of the innocence of a child
ruptures and cuts this country straight down the middle,
because- Sean Luke was only 5 years old
and only if these fields could talk then
they would silence the world,
but they would never speak
because our ears not ready to hear their story,
and so a battered king sugar descends from his glory,
never to raise his head to a red sky

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