Yellow Brick Road Chronicles: I is WE


The bitter taste of fear has numbed her pallet and
Dried out her tongue like a forgotten carpet left out in the sun
Lawd – she crossed oceans to get her life
Umph – she aint even gonna go there
Cause fear will tag up with doubt and anger
And dem three gon woo a stroke
Sista is too fly for facial paralysis
Hardliner shivers – as that February winter breeze
Guts her bones – bringing her tear ducts to overflow
She looks up to heavy grey skies – that pimp pisstossity
Spring better wake the hell up soon
She needs some hope right now
Since faith bolted like a runaway slave
Hardliner can even bother to squeeze more life
Out of this woe is me rant
She gon come out and say it – she is scared like a little girl
Like the drama queen she be – sista plonks down
Onto the yellow brick with the noble silver furred wolf guide at her side
Laying them ice blue eyes into her – pooling with amusement
Yeh – knock yuhself out – laugh at me

Hardliner sulks – yet knows that she should ascend this here
Bottomless black she flung herself into with the wild abandonment
Of a quintessential method actress

Imagine the result if you would pair this wild abandonment
With faith – perseverance – courage – tru….

Ok – ok – Almah

Hardliner scowls at the fiery Earth Mother Guide
Towering down on her

Who are you in this experience chile

Oh Lawd – one of dem questions
How about tired of this here UK experience
It aint working right now Almah
I’m freaking tired – I miss the sun on my back
The melodious surf of the ocean
Sinking my feet into the sand for grounding
Aint no freaking grounding in this frozen earth

Almah side sweeps sista’s woe is me
With the efficiency of swatting a mosquito
Asking again – who are you in this experience Hardliner
Not what are you – how you have been or where are you
Who refers to your state of being
Who you are in this experience dictates how you manage the experience
And baby – you have flung yourself into bottomless black

Not a good managerial decision – I take it
Hardliner pimps deadpan humour
Oh – I’m being humorous in this here experience

You are on an ill-advised path little sista –
The giant wolf’s voice warns in her shadowed dome
Hardliner marvels at the wolf’s resilience
No matter where she hides – he always finds her
Even in bottomless black

She looks up to meet the steely resolve in Almah’s eyes
Hardliner inhales deeply – feeling the rush of surrender
And humility coursing her mind and body
She apologises to the Earth Mother guide
Who in turn sizes Hardliner up with wizened eyes
Get up chile – she states – offering sista her hand

With her big gurl parachute panty on
Hardliner rises to meet the experience of adjustment
To life in the UK
Apart from marriage – her sojourns in Great Britain have
Left sista battered and bruised by sublime whoop ass
The word entrapment defined her experiences
Mainly because she could not escape her mama drama
And Saint Lucia presented the perfect escape
With her Saint Lucian family providing stability in her dysfunction
Hardliner flinches – painfully aware of how cray cray this sounds

You did what you thought made you feel safe at the time chile
When you know better… Almah offers

Yeh – you do better – Hardliner responds softly
And sista found enlightenment or more like
It found her and turned her inside out like a sock
Now she is constantly evolving – doing her inner work
Blah – blah – blah – and so forth and so fifth
Fast forward to following her Purpose to Britain
Where she is still being ass whooped

Dang mama – what gives – Hardliner asks Almah

Which brings us back to the same question
Who are you in this experience

Hardliner adjusts her big gurl parachute panty
To cover the region of growth she is about to come into
She mills over the question in her dome for a while
As they quietly stroll the yellow brick
Spirt gives her a nudge in the direction of an old school soca jam
Riding the wings of a saline wind

“Give praise children yeah, give praise
Give praise children yeah, give praise…”
David Rudder’s High Mass christens the air

Heyll – they have come off the Yellow Brick road
To a sweet beach spot –
Where the sun is holding court in a sharp blue cloudless sky
Adding shimmer to the water that gently laps the golden shore
If this was back home – it would be a perfect beach day
Home – the pangs of nostalgia hits her hard
Man – sista would even peel yam and dasheen right now
Which is saying something –
Cause it would take an emotional seismic shift
To spur Hardliner to face a kitchen sink – and peel hard food

“Our Father who has given us this art
So that we can all feel like we’re a part
Of this earthly heaven – Amen
Forgive us this day our daily weakness… Amen
Oh merciful Father, in this bacchanal season
Where men lose their reason
But most of us just want to wine and have a good time…”

The Caribbean flavouring in the air is so potent
Hardliner gets it now
This here breakthrough is about identity
Roots – ancestry – grounding
Who is she in this relocation experience?
She is a West Indian living in Britain
She is not and was never British
Well now – this awareness is suddenly all up in her face
Totally at war with the serene energy of her sweet beach spot
Yet Holy mas has set fire to her waist
Furiously spreading throughout her body
To set up shop in that place beyond her gut
The place holding her defining essence

“…De Father in his mercy – he send a little soca
To make de vibration raise – so Carnival day
Everybody come and celebrate
Everybody come and celebrate”

Ooooooh C’mon now
Spirit has gifted girlfriend a beach fete
And she gon milk this celebratory experience
With arms outstretched to high heaven in praise
Cause she is Caribbean folk
It is nice to feel this affirmation reverberated in her core
Cause it is so easy to get lost in the melting pot
That is British culture
Hardliner has always known her roots
But she has also thought herself to be hybrid
Understanding to a certain degree what it must feel like
To be a mixed-race child with identity issues
Sista never quite felt Saint Lucian enough –
Cause she can’t speak kweyol
Aint too keen on hard food – much less like to peel it
She was never into soca or calypso
Sista’s waist now alit with David Rudder’s soca conflagration
Aint all that supple and churns out a hard wine
Devoid of that inbred sweet rhythm of abandonment
Carried by Lucian women
And then there is the fact that she feels culturally
Disconnected to Britain – with her Lucian upbringing
And her hybrid accent that sticks out like an Indian weave
Failing to cover the tell-tale signs of hard hair
Spotting the base of the scalp in knotty boys
One thing though – aint no green fig and saltfish
Does go down copacetic like when she is in England

So here she in this redefining moment
Finally affirming – I is Lucian – We is Caribbean
Born in England – but birthed by Saint Lucia
The land that gave her cultural heritage
Ancestry and family – the foundation of her badassery
Which has been passed down from women kinfolk
Who continue to watch over her

A line in one of her poems is offered on wings of
The blessed saline wind caressing her face
I am one grain of sand that multiplies under Serengeti skies

I is WE – Almah smiles
Baby you alone cannot stand up to this experience
You carry your women kinfolk with you – past and present
Their strength – courage – wisdom – joy and iron will
Is in your blood – your DNA
When situations in life intimidate you –
Cause pee to run down your leg
Carry all those badass women into those situations
They paved the paved the way for you with their blood and sweat
To be here – to thrive in the world of your making
In such a world you have no need of bottomless black

I is Lucian – WE is Caribbean
Hardliner feting now – rolling with her hard wine
As David serenads her back onto the Yellow Brick Road

“And everybody say, ou a a oo a a – I love meh country
Let me hear you say ou a a oo a a – I feeling irie …”

Sweet heaven Spring has hit the Yellow Brick
With trees pimping gorgeous peach and buttery yellow blossoms
Whilst sista marvels at Spring’s splendour
Her hand is gifted a red rag
Cause Holy Mas has faded out into another soca classic
Yes Lawd – Super Blue is mashing up the Yellow Brick with  Bacchanal time
“…Sunday – is Bacchanal
Monday – is Bacchanal
Tuesday – is Bacchanal
Wednesday – is Bacchanal…everyday – everyday
Express yuhself – wine
Express yuhself – grind…”

This right here is her spring Road March jam
And Hardliner is working a fierce wine
It may be hard – but she eh care
Yo Almahhhh – where dee beer?


One thought on “Yellow Brick Road Chronicles: I is WE

  1. That walloped me in a way I wasn’t expecting … tears in my eyes. Those roots run so deep. And they are who we are. This relocation is bringing seismic shift and awakening. I know it is tough and terrifying now, as most big changes often are, but this is the cocoon before the emergence… You are going to rise and soar, no matter how distant that moment feels. You were made for this very time, right now.


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