Picture Courtesy Mark Lyndersay
A little ditty/ ‘bout ANR and Abu/ set out this way cuz / rhyme’s less painful to do
THIRTY-TWO YEARS pass now since the Old Abu uprise/
and, every year, July 27 is still a shock but no surprise/ Babies newborn when Muslimeen first shoot up the place/ watching the mirror now, seeing lines in they face/ A new generation grow up “after de Coup”/ but we ent find someone yet who could tell we what to do/ What law to pass, what guideline to enshrine/ To make sure we never again hear bullets whine
Over our heads, in our ears, in our hearts and all our organs/ Lawyers still bailing out, doctors still stitching up all our gorgons/ All the same forces that was at play in 1990/ set in stone now and at war in this century/ An Islamic coup at home was just a dress rehearsal/ for the main production, and now a problem universal/ When society is nothing more than Wealth’s fortification/ the onliest sharity is upheaval from below and rebellion/
Is not to say we ent fling money all over the firetrucking place/ Is pelt we pelt cash, uno, dos it vanish without a trace/ Like hospital, school system, bus route, even Piarco/ No government ever change procurement to see where the cash go/ This is how we does do it and always has done it here-oh/ If a actor man have to act we, it ha’ to be Robert Dinero/ (Although, if we’s a Robert, we’s a Roberto Duran/ Excepting we cyar say, “No mas” in this here island)
Commission of Enquiry come like DEWD for PNM lawyer/ Million-duller brief sharing in a season of guava/ And the onliest thing that come out of all that bother / was a small fry book from a big time mermaid author/ How much money spend, how many files and statements read/ and nobody still could say unto now how many people did dead/ What it is about this place we call we own country/ that we put up quiet-quiet with that much of pure fuckery (And to my law school batch who reach so high up and so far/ I woulda take the cheque too, breds, eef I was still at the bar)
The first five years, the anniversary wasn’t even observed/ Three-four people no one noticed, excepting one-two vagrant roasting bird/ We put een eternal flame to make sure we would never forget/ Whereby the Woodford Square homeless does use to dry clothes when they wet/ What it is, what it is, don’t you know you has been hit?/ No time to get down, brother, when you’re this deep in your own shit
My Lords, I will be honest, My Ladies, it’s the truth/ I will not misspend old age same way I misspent youth/ Thirty-two years, yes, 32, and every year it gets harder/ To see the point, the firetrucking point, of this here Trinidad-er/ And Tobago, too besides, you had your role to play/ Tobago you were our anchor but you let us get a weigh/ Now we’re drifting, always drifting, deeper into misery/ How can we be both marooned and simultaneously lost at sea?
Bossman, Madam, Mistress, Doctor, give me something I could hold/ I don’t take basket to carry water, hot or cold/ Give me a inch, I’ll clean the yard, I’ll tie all them goat without no rope/ But Comrade, Citizen, Soldier I cannot make without a hope/ If there’s a chance, however thin, for this place we call our own/ Then I will band belly and replace nose to grindstone/ Sisyphus rolling boulder up the hill still, and ent have nothing else to do/ But, like my son did point out, every day, man, what a view!
It have tasks much more harder than the one Sisyphus did do/ ANR Robinson did get one and, when his time came, did it true/ What it is about this country, whereby for which Old Ray would die/ that would see plain heroism and not celebrate it, but deny?
Raoul Pantin, poet, playwright, newspaper man and hero/ lined up for execution five times/ Lived on at less than zero/ In fragile hands and head he carried for long years/ For us, the cumulative effect of the 1990 tears/
You want to know what living here/ and dying really means? George Francis: driver; SRP George; MP Leo Des Vignes/ An eternal flame burns, yes/ for vagrants to roast pigeons/ 1990 corpses move/ from smudges to mere smidgeons
Loraine Caballero/ is just one dead assistant clerk/ No horseman comes to rescue her/ No lantern in the dark/ SRP Solomon McCleod/ Malcolm Basanta in his league/ Arthur Guiseppi, totally shroud’d/ broadcaster Mervyn Teague
They didn’t die for us but they died here to our shame/ Forget the anniversary, if you must, but recall each and every name/ The other deaths may not be countless/ but should be counted all the same/ Not everyone who died was blameless/ but it’s we who take the blame/ for everyone who was not called/ but mano-mano or friken-friken still came.
BC Pires is into written word. The verses with the names of the deceased appeared in a completely different rhyme 21 years ago and again last year