Poems by Reuel Lewi

• February 2014

Except in my realm which is the land of no return
men are everywhere subject to birth and death
—Bhagavad Gita

For Martin Carter

This is the dark time Martin
this dark you will not see, men file past
your corpse with strained faces.

Locked behind rusty iron bars
party disciples in the Commission House
count anxious ballots, others shout in protest.

At evening today is your burial
today you are quick
tomorrow you’re gone

Another poet born
would craft the world.
Smell of ghostly flowers

I abhor, yet they are borne
in my hand as pen and paper
which you will need in your otherness.

Therefore go boldly to thy kingdom come
and wear your wings in Elysium fields
and wear your wings till you be born again.

 

Shipwrecked

I am still here                                shipwrecked
in the Caribbean
made                                             famous
by                                                  Christopher

injecting mother earth
with cane tops
to make                                         ends meet

bending my ancient
back
in the sweltering                           heat

contemplating                                escape
from limey pack
Enmore estate
under                                             attack

Virginia discovery
make me worry

I planting                                      tobacco
switching                                       in time
to save nine                                   white mouth
niggers

never African
I am still here                                aground

in thoughts of                                Africa
after 400 years                               no pay
in sun hot

is time I call it                               quits
and make up my mind

 

Reuel Lewi is a Guyanese poet and dramatist and a former teacher in the Department of English at Buxton Community High School, Georgetown, Guyana. He holds a Bsc-Sociology from the University of Guyana and has published in the literary journal Poui, the Guyana Christmas Annual, and the poetry journal Timbucktu. His poems have also been broadcast on the Voice of Guyana Radio. He lives and works in Anguilla.