Poem: Not like Jamaican Schools

How the raas did Jerome get gun,

Have de nerve fi point it at Jaquanda

Just cah she nah like him dat way?

How him tink dat gun, dick & odder long ‘ard instruments

Mek him a man?

Mi was foolishly lucky mi talk him out of firing

Today

But what about de next bad bwoi wannabe?

Him bredrin Jason, Matthew and Azrael –

Did dey put him up to it?

And him parents?

His mudda seem irie but

Fadda never come Parents Evening.

What about media? Which one?

Music videos, violent games, “reality” TV,

Porn, or alla dem?

Now mi know, and mi cyaan forget,

Dis nah Jamaican school.

Even sitting ‘ere in mi favourite chair

Wid slice of mi breadfruit nah comfort mi no more.

I haf fi do sum’n.

Back ‘ome I had power, influence.

Mi nah need approval fi give extracurricular lessons on life.

‘Ere in Hingland I need government approval

Just to go de normal mile

And de extra mile lead to court.

Yout are raised in de battery farms of maths, Hinglish, Science,

Brains slaughtered on exam papers and fed to national league tables,

Then supposed to survive free-range In 9-to-5 job where jungle law reign.

‘Ere only parents raise pickney-dem,

How can dem learn proper carry-on in society?

I need to go ‘ome.

Won’t haf fi pay for mi breadfruit,

Won’t haf fi sekkle for pictures or videos of mi wife,

Won’t haf fi deal wid no more gun.

But ain’t dat leaving de problem fi breed?

Did I not co-create dis destiny wid God

And ‘im push dat stray soul from de edge into my care?

Was I not de one who brought

Pre-slavery history, International politics

And ‘ome cooking to Jamaican curriculum?

Now mi wan run from anudda chance to change lives?

KMT. I kissing mi teet’ at miself.

Mi staying.

But … it was a gun…

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