Sunday, March 9, 2008

Taj Lounge

For this year's Black History Month I did a collaboration with photographer, Ocean Morisset at New York City's Taj Lounge. Checkout Morisset's own site ( for some of the most beautiful and dramatic work around!....In the meantime, here are three pieces I offered Taj beginning with the calling on those who recently crossed over, including my grandmother Agnes Dera--

This one's for Mish, btw...

In this place
This sacred place
We held so dear to our hearts
And in our collective consciousness
This bothered ground we called our home;
Our reason to fight again and again
All in the name of pan-African Salvation
We stand in truth
Having resolved our struggle with the pale one
And with one another
To now simply be
Each of us
Doing what we were called to do
As dedication to the promise
Those before us had made
Before relinquishing their very breaths
To aborted uprisigns and public castrations

In this here place
With our hands clutched together
Bowing our heads
As we call upon those who await us
For the renewal of our plight
We so lovingly pay homage to
This borrowed soil
On which we've chosen
As our point of reference
Without division of any kind
But with the conviction of one force
One people
One objective
In the name of spiritual egression

It is at this moment
That we make the decision
To return to our most basic of rituals
As in before captivity and social bufoonery
To look on and ahead
Without the meaning of 'I'

That this day
We begin at the end
At the beginning again
Our heels fixed firmly
In our agreement to transition
Having learned from our past
Leaving behind the chains that once defined us
And lift our heads towards the All Knowing
To finally
Once and for all
After being forced to despise our own
As we sing the praise of justice and forever
Give the sign
Then disappear.

There is a stench in our Jamaica
A law
We know too well
An obvious intrusion
But too deeply Woven in our ways To admit...

Tropical breezes
Over charred, leftover bodies
Carry shattered wills
Up North
To the Mainland
Where others
Have fled but
Where sacrificial
Souls take their revenge
By invading our living rooms

They burned him alive, this young lad
For acting too much like his kind
A familiar sight to the badges
A burden of sorts
Like the melody of the strange fruit
That still haunts our minds

There is a stench in our Jamaica
And a mother who declares,
This is God's doing
Or they'll com foh me too

No pity for the different
But honor for the killings
Caribbean negritude at its worse
While married men play in the dark

They stoned her to death, the latest one
And this after raping her
One by one
Her sister all the way in Zimbabwe heard her cries
As they held hands under the same forgiving sky

There is a stench in our Jamaica
Blood marks in Brooklyn
A bullet in Newark for every face who braves their truth
Suspects are shadows
Protected by the Bible
A paradise of convenience
A treason of sorts
To the one who still misses the luscious blue hills
That look over food market chatter
And the Rastaman's repugnance

If not his own father
Then it will have to be the pale one
Who gives him water when no one else takes the cause
Suspects are guilty
But protected by the Bible
And tradition reflects a people's mortality--
I kill you, I kill myself

There is a stench in our Jamaica
And a patriot who's not welcomed in his own land
Jah have mercy on the poor
God bless the child that can't leave home.

Photo of dred by Ocean Morisset

You kill us
With your guns
But we keep coming Back and coming back
We die slowly and
In our blood
But we coming back And coming back
Our will to live Ignores all logic
And we keep
Coming back
And coming back

The Moors tried
To show you
Martin tried
To love you
But still you murder us
But we keep coming back and coming back

You would have known better
If you looked passed Your Good Book

Stay with me, now...

That we change faces like the moon
And we keep coming back and coming back

Sean Bell
But we keep coming back and coming back
For we are spirit

Stay with me...

And spirit never dies
So we keep coming back and coming back

Your son
His music
Your daughter
Her new man

And we keep coming back and coming back

One day your lies will tell on themselves
The way vultures lead hyenas to dead carcasses
That's why we keep coming back and coming back
Coming back and coming back

So that the day you meet your Maker

Stay with me, now...

Will be the day you aim and fire
Not at us
But at yourself

So we keep coming back and coming back
Coming back and coming back
Coming back and coming back
We keep coming back and coming back!

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