Trinbagonian Psalmody

Sometimes you move just so and the heavens grow
Or you talk too hard and an angel’s lard
Fall and make holy bread upon your tongue.
Or you on the street and your heart don’t beat
And the world like hell with an oven heat
Because flour white, heaven white
And blind, you always blind.

Sometimes you send God wave, He rant and rave,
So you turn your back, you give God back,
Your face turn green, your soul get lean,
And fool, you still a fool.

Then it have such nights when the holy sights
Of the angels’ law there outside your door
Could move your heart ‘til your poor heart
Start to jamboree like mad.

So you lock up tight but the bol’ face night
Come again with flame and it have no name
For the thing that loose, like a tiger choose
To roam your dream tonight.

You scream, you scream, but it only seem
That the earth asleep and the answer deep,
Too deep to understand.

Now your head done damp, your crystal lamp
Guide you through the trees to upon your knees,
You pray so hard that you loss your guard
In the shadows where you are.

So you take the breeze and what else you please
You run and run till you reach the sun
Then the day come swift, the darkness lift
And you feel to pray aloud…

Yes you pull back drape, your whole soul gape
‘Cause you see God eye and it fill God sky
And it sound like love, it roar like love,
It make you pray aloud…

I born a child and I die a child
My body tame but my spirit wild,
My soul like rain and it fall a while
Till the ground done fill and the angel spill
Sun and wind from far.
Sun and wind from far.

Amen, and Amen.

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Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Summer Edward currently lives in Philadelphia. She is a Masters student in the Reading, Writing, Literacy program at the University of Pennsylvania. She blogs at http://www.well-lovedtales.blogspot.com/. Her poetry and art has previously been featured in St. Somewhere, as well as Philadelphia Stories and tongues of the ocean.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Summer,
I do believe that good poetry evokes the memory of other good poems.So, I think of Esther Phillips 'Just Riffin' and of the gifted Kei Miller's 'Speaking in Tongues'as coming from a similar enlightened place. Not to mention having just read Andrea Levy's 'The Long Song' and so I do feel that this poem could have leapt from the lips of her heroine Miss July.You are an extremely gifted poet whose poems are in dialogue with the canon.Well Done!Nancy Anne Miller

Summer Edward said...

Those are wonderful compliments, thank you! I must read those poems you mention, but I know other work from Phillips and Miller and yes, it is that kind of spirit of brave, 'creolized' (used tentatively) language that I hope to evoke in my poetry more often. Thank you for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Love this poem! It is so evocative and poignant.

Anonymous said...

dope

G. NEWTON V. CHANCE said...

Like it. Like the whole thing except, "to upon your knees".

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