I started writing in the 70s when all sorts of interesting changes were taking place in Jamaica – both good and bad. Writers were encouraged to use our 'nation language' as Kamau Brathwaite insisted on naming our patwa/patois.
Experimentation was encouraged in politics and cultural activities. Infancy for dub poetry and other experimental aspects of the arts. Culture nights were enthusiastically arranged under the titles - Poetry, Drama, Music in the Service of the Revolution. Heady days indeed.
I had ambitions of becoming a poet. It didn’t happen. I thought some of my attempts were lost until I found an old file with a few. I still can't find copies of the ones which won awards in the JCDC literary festivals of the day. Still looking for "God is" and "Plastic People."
Here is one of my early attempts: Alas the title should perhaps now be "In Jamaica" as we mourn the increased senseless killings.
IN THE GHETTO
Guns spit dead people
Fire eats flesh
False words entice
to make guns
the consuming fires,
to wield the machete