So we’ve come to escape/We’ve found the perfect island/I, on a slave ship/And you, on Delta and British Caledonian/Refugees on the beach. Poems by Jeffrey Brathwaite-Izzaak.
ETERNITY The walls of our Racism Would all come Tumbling down Our sacred beliefs Mementos, family heirlooms The inner sanctuary Our private streets Would become Highways of purity Unity, the brotherhood of man, When we get there After this life Eternity In the land of freedom No more lynching of Bodies and hangings on inferior psychology No more travelers, Kurds, And sub-Saharan refugees, It will be all right It will be ok One father One son And we'd all be his children One family Soon as we cross the threshold Into the light of Glory It would be so pure This thing called Eternity One in seventeen Versus one in three Mass incarceration And what it's done to me All the projection And narration Of the brave and the free Would have no meaning On the plantation Of Eternity. ‘To understand things you must get close’ ‘How would we be brothers From across the moat, When we cannot float in our sinking boats?’ ‘Well, in the Revelation ‘‘There would be no more sea’’ Such are the visions of Eternity… SATURDAY MORNING STAIN March waters were a reservoir of translucent crystals Sensational sands Reefs, the tides withdrawn Stunning me into belief Saturday morning on the beach In a dazed stupefied estate Going to White Island Must be like entering heaven's gates White bright ethereal delight I imagined I'm going In spite of the shard slicing the right thumb Daddy's at the well Aunty Vancilla is washing Blood I need a cloth band! Daddy is unconcerned ‘What happen to this mad man.’ But I'm a youth With holidays plenty Enough hours to burn some And forget heaven And going to the island Saturday morning so beautiful Has gathered stains At the Devil's hands My whole mind has changed And, I'm going home. REFUGEES We are all refugees Looking for the perfect place to live A safe haven Away from the war, crime, barbarity and materialism Begin a new chapter Turn a new page Away from mental slavery, the KKK, even Donald and his gang, Global warming, dying corals, shrinking forests and rampant capitalism. So we've come to escape We’ve found the perfect island I, on a slave ship And you, on Delta and British Caledonian Refugees on the beach Paradise we believe we've found No more disease, unease Constant pollution 9 to 5 to stay alive Nah! Pick up your guitar and strum Stretch your feet Relax and drink some rum Hold on! For how long? We cry for Aleppo ‘Oh no!’ ‘Look at Homs!’ ‘Palmyra, such a beauty They tore her down’ Who did it? Why? How? Where did it all began? ‘Now the flow of refugees It's making us crazy No! We can't take anymore Hold a referendum.’ But we are all refugees Running from some kind of persecution The pilgrims Turned on the Indians Castaways on the Aborigines Boers on the Zulu nation Everybody wants to claim a space To make his own At the expense of the ones we meet We forget the story Of where we all coming from Monkeys from the sea Or a woman and man Refugees from the Creator Turned refugee from the Creation So what's going on? What's the problem? Who would frame a solution? Is it Brexit? Are you a Liberal? Far Right Or Republican? UN NATO the Agha Khan Or the Church Roman? We are all refugees Many things to run from Like demons chasing us down Down to the underground Where we would lay down Refugees of the earth Refugees in the dark We forgot who we really are Treating refugees like diseases So finally We are confined To that place where we belong Refugees in a refugee kingdom. IN THE PRISON OF MY MIND I've been made a prisoner Of this estate in my mind Hemmed in by the borders Of the things that I've learnt in my time Limits in physics and biological chemistry Is Sunrise really the beginning of a new day? I ask the Lord to bless me. I've been made a victim Of circumstances in my life And it's not where you are But what you do to arise In the neighborhood of my vicinity Even there, the lines are drawn Along ethnicity ‘Accept what you can't change And wait patiently’ I ask Allah to bless me. I'm not going to heaven No, Not yet Cause I'm not ready I need meaning first But who can help me? An apostle on the road? Or a monk in the monastery? I live by the code Secular and orthodoxy And every day I pray, Yahweh, do bless me Is there a system Created for the lies to live? And truth fighting to survive? An interlude before the prelude A time for a man to get ready to meet his God? But what are the probabilities An idiot like me Standing before a universe and the Almighty? Somebody, tell me Dey know the story ahready That's why ah go India For blessings from a million deities I've been a remnant Visiting graveyards Looking for ancestors Years and their names Going in the way of all the earth But writing volumes all the same Solomon the king spoke But he rebelled, so I gave him the discard But as you blessed him already Do also bless me, David’s God YPRES REVISITED In these fields of Ypres These trenches deep The canals and waters seep This mountain of a hill so steep Of emotions of sons Rifles, bayonets, urine, handkerchiefs And lonely earthen caskets Do remember, to bring flowers to Flanders These hundred years As they celebrate Our sacrifice -The ultimate After the bloodshed on Calvary Dried out among rock crevices near Gethsemane, Was not enough The world needed me It wanted us Holy, holy, let us pray In this winter of bitter destiny Though as scarlet our aberration be Whiter than snow and the Fuhrer's medal for bravery Do remember the fallen. Remember we. Sound the bugle on a deep wind The young and innocent holding hands The scream of the wounded, the loss of the dying What did we do to forever inhabit these plains? To have our names indelibly stain these fields? To save an empire and its hegemony Blood had to be spilled - we killed and were killed. One hundred annuals’ passage hovering over our graves So when you young warriors come to lay down your guns Do remember the fallen; and bring flowers. [FROM “STRAY IMPRESSIONS OF RHAPSODY] Jeffrey Brathwaite-Izzaak was born a ‘refugee’ of mixed African European ancestry on the Caribbean island of Carriacou. From before the age of ten, he began writing stories in the oasis of his mind, transferring some of them unto paper later on. Nomadic by inclination and practice, he scours the landscapes of his consciousness, island, region and the world beyond, mining, collecting and documenting his findings through the written word and photography. To date, Izzaak has self-published two collections of poetry and is soon to release a third. In between, he has completed a sojourn in Grenadian theatre, written one play for radio and authored several documentary articles on aspects of Carriacou culture and heritage.
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