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A Coup Called Covid

I have far too much respect for poetry to sully it myself but, somehow, writing this small homage to the people who died in the bloody, pointless 1990 coup attempt seems more bearable if it rhymes

THIRTY YEARS plus one/ (lagniappe – or "in the chamber"?)/ Have we learned one thing at all/ from five days of blood & siege & danger / As a country, as a nation, as a group of firetrucking jokers/ Who say that wicked Hoosay day changed a thing with power-brokers/

30 years (plus one, we doesn’t bother to remember)/ July 27 cyar hold an ember to 19th of November/ Opportunists seeking Michael-waves brought the people out (to loot)/ Fanned the flames to sack Queen Street and burn it down to boot/

And if you think it ent have Trini equality in troot/ Verily I say unto you/ You shall know them by their fruit/ Hi-Lo’s doors were broken down by white boys from Cascade/ Massey Days swiftly undone just like the underpaid/ And the churches, how they prayed/

(And the temples/ and the mosques/ and roadside pastors, too besides/ Sucking blood at ten per cent/ of the earnings of vampire brides)/ But 30 years (plus one) have passed to our shame/ And hardly that total amount/ Of people bowed heads at the eternal flame/

Looking back again, what was the firetrucking point?/ Burnin’, Catch a Fire, but no Confrontation, look now, just roll another joint/ If we can’t make it out of here with just a little push/ We will get by somehow (ie, with a gramme or two of cush)/

Rewind, press pause, advance, hold on, freeze-frame/ Mecca’d illusions revealed as just one more Trini game/ Play yourself, jump up and wine down low/ Now is Uzi diplomacy & SLR love that Trini know/

The only things we liberate through we Trini-style jihad/ Was murder, crime & home invasion good too bad/ The only thing the Good Imam spawned from his tenacity/ Is one criminal gang called “Muslims”, and a next one, “Rasta City”/

What did we gain from our week of bullet-backed invective?/ Nothing at all, it seems to me, except Freetown Collective/ Lou Lyons & The Mu (offspring of an upriser)/ To me (admittedly a fan), it’s really no surpriser/ that the son’s pop songs could greater change mindsets and attitudes/ than the dad’s million WWII bullets and Koranic platitudes/

What is it about ourselves as Trinidadians/ that make us fete-til-you-drop defenders and its guardians / What value do we place on ourselves and one another/ when, to date, we have not troubled ourselves to bother/ to count the dead/ and name them, too/ (Look, BC, don’t make me tell you ‘bout your mother)/

Raoul Pantin, poet, playwright, newspaper man and hero/ lined up for execution five times/ Lived on at less than zero/ In fragile hands and head he carried for long years/ For us, the cumulative effect of the 1990 tears/

You want to know what living here/ and dying really means? George Francis: driver; SRP George; MP Leo Des Vignes/ An eternal flame burns, yes/ for vagrants to roast pigeons/ 1990 corpses move/ from smudges to mere smidgeons

Loraine Caballero/ is just one dead assistant clerk/ No horseman comes to rescue her/ No lantern in the dark/ SRP Solomon McCleod/ Malcolm Basanta in his league/ Arthur Guiseppi, totally shroud’d/ broadcaster Mervyn Teague

What to do with people killed? What medal or what plaque/ Could ever take away the pain/ or bring dead people back?/ 30 years (plus one) and what really can it mean/ That we haven’t even learned to take a life-saving vaccine?/ Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it/ The first time as tragedy/ the next as mere horse shit/

Real virus, fake coup, a boo slacker, Dr Fauci/ Firetruck science, believe the Facebook page of your bhowgie/ 30 years (plus one) of a very Trini coup/ Where “make as eef” is the onliest thing/ Could beat back “wha’ you go do?”/

Only Trini would burn down his house/ To warm up KFC/ Only he would pay for thing/ When he could get it free/ Whether he denying virus or resisting coup d’etat/ It have nothing more dangerous/ Than a Trini dunce who feel he smart/

30 years (plus one) and ignorance is still king/ A generation of dotish bobolee and thing/ We never will have a thing we could call “our finest hour”/ But at least we should recognise when water more than flour/ If you want to raise yourself above the true obscene/ Hush your RNA/DNA mother-arse/ And take the damned vaccine.

BC Pires is a poet and he didn’t even know it but he couldn’t help but show it and if you have a beat now throw it or send an email (no letter-bomb) to him at bc@BCPires.com. The verses with the names of the deceased appeared in a completely different rhyme 20 years ago

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