Sunday, April 29, 2007

Still Searching

~by Rudi

Reasons for the lack of love are floating everywhere.
I’m searching for some hope, some sign that isn’t even there.
My heart is ready, wide open now, no barriers do I see
Then why is no one coming in, what’s so darn wrong with me?
The one I’m looking for is kind; she’s funny, smart and true,
Her heart is pure, her smile is bright, her love spans through and through.
Is this too much to ask, unreasonable my request?
‘Cause this I believe describes her well, the one who fits me best.
She’s kinda short, well shorter than me; well, if I may be so bold
Complexion dark as the most rare pearls, or fair as the marigold.
Mushy? I know, well, I don’t care, it’s just the way I feel
Too bad, who knows in what time or space this figment herself reveal.

It’s funny how every girl I know wants a man who’s honest and kind,
Yet when he happens to avail himself, in an instant, who once could see, are blind.
“Where is my knight in shining armour? My prince I wait aloft.”
But when he comes to rescue her, “ Da bwoy deh, lawks ‘'im too sof’.”
It seems they want someone with an edge, one who might bring them hurt.
To tell their friends, “’im was once a dawg, but see ‘im I did convert.”
The ones who already ‘come correct’, dem damn well best be cute,
Cause if dem too short, dem nose too big, dem hair too rough, dem knock-knee ben
Shoe size too small, head size too big, “Oh no, dat bwoy, he’s jus’ a frien’.”

Another thing that baffles me like peas without the rice,
Is, in all my years I never thought that a boyfriend could be too nice.
To offer her a back rub to lighten a stressful day;
To know just when her cycle starts in case she wants you to go away;
A call to say I miss you; walking on the outside of the sidewalk;
To listen quietly on the phone while she talk, an’ talk, an’ talk;
Sacrifices made just because you like her being around
To watch her sleep, listening to her snore just ‘cause you like the sound.
Too bad, right now, right nowadays, some things seem not to matter
This whole poem could be a total waste, just blank directionless chatter.
Or is it just a ploy to see how much attention it finds?
Too bad, it seems I’ll never know…not good at reading minds.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Translation: Sonny's Lettah

Original: Sonny's Lettah
By: Linton Kwesi Johnson

From Brixton Prison, Jebb Avenue London S.W. 2 Inglan
Dear mama
good day
I hope that when these few lines reach you they may
find you in the best of health
I doun know how to tell ya dis
for I did mek a solemn promise
to tek care a lickle Jim
an try mi bes fi look out fi him

mama, I really did try mi bes
but none a di less
sorry fi tell ya seh, poor lickle Jim get arres
it was de miggle a di rush hour
hevrybody jus a hustle and a bustle
to go home fi dem evenin shower
mi an Jim stan up waitin pon a bus
not causin no fuss

when all of a sudden a police van pull up
out jump tree policemen
de whole a dem carryin baton
dem walk straight up to me and Jim
one a dem hold on to Jim
seh dem tekin him in
Jim tell him fi leggo a him
for him nah do nutt'n
and 'im nah t'ief, not even a but'n
Jim start to wriggle
de police start to giggle

mama, mek I tell you wa dem do to Jim?
mek I tell you wa dem do to 'im?

Dem thump him him in him belly and it turn to jelly
Dem lick 'im pon 'im back and 'im rib get pop
Dem thump him pon him head but it tough like lead
Dem kick 'im in 'im seed and it started to bleed

Mama, I jus couldn't stan up deh, nah do nuttin'

So mi jook one in him eye and him started fi cry
me thump him pon him mout and him started fi shout
me kick him pon him shin so him started fi spin
me hit him pon him chin an him drop pon a bin
- an crash, an dead

More policman come dung
dem beat me to the grung
dem charge Jim fi sus
dem charge mi fi murdah

mama, doan fret
doan get depress an downhearted
be of good courage
till I hear from you
I remain
Your son,

From Brixton Prison, Jebb Avenue London S.W. 2, England

Dear Mom,
Good day.
I hope that when these few lines reach you
they may find you in the best of health.
I don't know how to tell you this,
because I made a solemn promise
to take care of little Jim
and try my best to look out for him.

Mom, I really tried my best, but nonetheless
I'm sorry to tell you, poor little Jim got arrested.
It was the middle of rush hour,
everybody was hustling and bustling
to go home for their evening shower.
Jim and I stood waiting for a bus,
not causing any fuss

when all of a sudden a police van pulled up
and out jumped three policemen
all carrying batons who walked straight up to me and Jim.
One of them held Jim and said they are taking him in.
Jim told the policeman to let go because he wasn't doing anything
and he's not a thief; never stole a thing.
Jim started to wriggle,
and the police started to giggle

Mom, let me tell you what they did to Jim...
let me tell you what they did to him...

they thumped him in his belly and it turned to jelly,
they hit him on his back and his ribs cracked,
they thumped him in his head, but it was as tough as lead,
they kicked him in his seed (groin) and it started to bleed

Mom, I just couldn't stand there doing nothing

So, I poked one in his eye and he started to cry,
I thumped him in his mouth and he started to shout,
I kicked him on his shin and he started to spin,
I hit him on his chin and he fell on a bin
- and crashed... and died.

More policemen came down
and beat me to the ground.
They charged Jim on suspicion
and charged me for murder.

Mom, don't be afraid.
Don't get depressed and downhearted
Be of good courage.
Until I hear from you,
I remain
Your son,