pacing past the bp station
price of oil scarce
in the news

a taxi speeds past
i guzzle a heap of diesel

i cough & cough again
(then jerked him
with the middle finger)

he slides alongside
the voracious pump
his taxi swallows fuel

i scratch my head
& shrug my shoulders
for glancing right

there’s a gleaming
nissan showroom
(“motors selling fast”)

vans & cars
paraded on the forecourt
vans & cars

i peer ahead & there’s
a long queue brooding

at the makeshift lights
i look up & sigh
stars are sparse though

a flashing aeroplane
glides through purple sky
i cough & cough again


don’t mention guns today

she steps over the crimson line
security guard swipes her
with metal detector.

tiny fingers retrieve
flowery pink pencil case
and her peers skip along

the narrow corridor
submerging into the classroom
where the history teacher

sits at the whiteboard.
resistant door clunked shut
and sealed them in.


This is America:


heavy arms & light fingers
swiped & typed endlessly.

gleaning eyes frazzled,
i peeked out the window

then back to the screen
sat at my desk
and laughed deliriously.

the wet grey day
darkened further.

tired cars skied
up & down the road
ceased. quiet.

this seering light
upon the retinas
ends now.

no reparations

(in the new ark)
a black beret neatly placed
by his mother surrounded
by three compadres
(in a white filled room)

steely brown eyes
focused on the interview
became almost tearful
as camera zoomed

brown face frowned
he spat a tortured concept
400 years a slave
in eloquent English

but there’s a disconnect –
for who can hear songs
of the pillaged past
sang along the Gambian River?


Why Schools Fail To Teach Slavery’s ‘Hard History’


wrote with slender ballpoint pen
asphyxiated shapes intelligibly unleashed
into a spoken world.

Words garner flesh the ancients said,
can you hear the sounds?
but the eyes follow silent left to right

(right to left with difficulty)
recurring images imprinted
almost like clinically performed oratory.