On a random sunny afternoon, sometimes thoughts, ideas, musings from the past, present and future merge as you look skyward. The deepest blue sky and potent yellowy sun start to speak to you in rhyme. So you close your eyes and respond in kind…maybe with something like this…
The third Bond Film still ranks in the memory for several reasons. The gold painted lady, the ‘ejector seat’ stunt and ‘that Jag’, then Bond on the table coming perilously close to becoming a soprano and not living to ‘sing that particular tale’.
At Christmas approaches I’m sure we’ll see the usual catalogue of Bond movies to remind how the whole ‘spy movie’ thing got started and seems here to stay.
‘There’s no mystery to Black History‘ (that’s my little poetic saying). Parents from Jamaica. I have traced my ancestry back to the point when slavery was just abolished (around 1834).
And now nearly 200 years later in the UK my son and daughter are just learning about Black History in school. Wow. Is this ‘Titantic’ ship starting to turn? Who know, hopefully for everyone of colour, wherever we are all are, whatever status we hold, just maybe there are slivers of light appearing amidst the once long and eternally dark tunnel, that we have been treading.
As a would be poet, below is my first take on the many wonderful black inspirational people that have had endure; so people like me, don’t have to as much. More to follow throughout October (and maybe beyond) on other topics.
WHO ARE WE? (starting with the past)
We could be the person on the bus
Your name may be have been Rosa Parkes
Your life made to suffer by the colour of your skin
Yes; they have tried to eat us; those ‘white sharks’
We were the people without a voice
But Martin Luther made them hear
Look what they did to our dear proud brother
Because he made ‘them’ see what they all feared
We are the ones that move fast
Yes; Jesse Owens showed the dictator this
In the face of complete and utter oppression
It’s something that hasn’t quite fallen over the precipice
We have own Marvel Man from the past
No wheelchair in sight; but his name has an X
A voice for black empowerment
And contrary to many he wasn’t always vexed
A personal mentor; the first black female poet
If you don’t know; Phillis Wheatley was her name
George Washington recognised the talent
For every poet; she should be in your ‘hall of fame’
We need to be like our once enslaved Frederick Douglass
He fought to support those via the abolition of slavery
Putting pen to paper for all to read
His life, his very own Black History
We are the ones that Marshall the Good
Overturn the wrong for the right
Winning against segregation for the learning to occur
We thank him for providing; ‘out of darkness’ we too now have light
We are among the ‘greatest’ ones that had to rumble
The man with fists and feet of flight
Yes Cassius/Muhammed Ali knew how to move
You couldn’t stop him talking either; any day or night
We are the ones that have had to ACT
Mr. Poitier the consummate pro; won an Oscar
Imagine that in an era for his accolade
Showed that black people could also raise ‘the bar’
We should be Harriet Tubman the saviour
Literally saving over 300 enslaved souls
Nursing her community to a better educated life
She was dedicated, selfless and bold
We are the forerunner’s to make things happen
From a seat of power to make the change
Shirley Chisholm started the political race
And now her stepping stones has put us on the front page
We are the entrepreneur’s with a million in the bank
Madam C J Walker knew how to make ‘hair pay’
Making jobs for over 3,000 people at that time
Means we continue to use her genius every single day
We are everyone, everything, just like you
We have beautiful, hair, colour, skin and eyes
We are proud, clever, funny with intelligence
We are here, we are all together, let’s all keep aiming for that prize…
Samuel Peterson, a frantic, stubborn man, leapt forward in huge strides, as he targeted the 1615 from St. Pancras station. The tannoyed voice ricocheted violently across the air, entering Peterson’s ears presumptuously. A female, high pitched tone droned on about the train he was about to catch, so he hoped. His legs moved swiftly now, like a greyhound chasing that ever moving plastic rabbit.
Sweating profusely, panting heavily, his 13 stone out of shape body, lumbered towards the train, sitting noisily on platform 3. Entering the cabin, exhaling for moment to draw breath, Peterson scanned the seats from his bespectled view. Cabin H, first class, yes that’s the one, seat number 13a. Fourteen pair of eyes drilled his. His stature. His demeanour. Decisions about Samuel permeated their minds. A tall, scruffy looking, male with no discernible instant appearance to determine his ancestry, perplexed the other passengers.
A large, untidy beard, covered his facial skin, as did his baseball cap for his head. An expensive pinstriped suit, finished off with white tatty trainers, sounded alarm bells in already prejudiced views. Without completely recoiling, as Peterson shifted towards his seat, eyes averted his as he drew near, as though Peterson was a storm or a hurricane heading in their direction. Then the moment of truth, seat 13a. There with her head down in 13b, sat a lady, about forty years old, auburn hair, glued to her electronic device. She didn’t look up once, as Peterson, fumbled with his bag in the overhead space. He spied her, eying her over, from her head to her feet. Deliberately taking his time to address his bag, compensating for the being intently watched by two men in seat 16a & b. This pragmatic opportunity delivered itself like a gift.
Finally slumping unceremoniously into his seat, Sarah White looked across at Peterson. ‘Hello Sarah. We were wandering when we’d have this meeting. You know what I mean don’t you?’
‘Don’t start Sammie. Drop the bullshit and give it to me straight for once’, Sarah fired back again turning to face the window she sat against.
‘I’d love to give it to you straight, you know that right’, Peterson desperately wanted to smile, yet his professionalism didn’t allow that sort of emotion or frivolity. His voice even, no discernible accent.
Sighing, shaking her head, Sarah White’s beautiful, cosmetically manicured face, bright emotionless eyes, began losing some of colour, vibrancy and sparkle.
‘You lot better understand something’, she started, her voice low, yet determined. ‘If anything happens to me…’ Peterson and Sarah were interrupted by the attendant serving drinks. Peterson ordered two white tea’s with one sugar.
‘You were threatening something’, Peterson continued Sarah’s last repost, as she anxiously stirred her one sugared tea.
‘It doesn’t’ matter anyway’, Sarah reacted sharply, sipping her tepid beverage, ‘ your organisation will find out soon enough’.
‘Umm I see’, Peterson, muttered to himself, something he rarely did. Then he turned to face Sarah, rather seductively, knowing she despised him and his intentions. ‘My secret love, oh how my heart is saddened, as thou’s last journey on a train, leads to your final resting place’. His words faded as the sun does at around 840pm in the summertime. Sarah’s body relaxed, her eyes closing gently, settling into her seat, she drifted into a never ending cycle of sleep.
Peterson sat upright, nonchalant, calm, normal. Chirping could be heard from his right hand jacket pocket, the Mission Impossible theme tune by Lalo Schifrin. Peterson extracted his phone an answered. ‘Is it done’?, was the question. ‘What do you think? Peterson bounced his rhetorical question at his caller. ‘Of course, she’s sleeping’.
That morning, Samuel Peterson, awoke snuggled up in bed with his wife Sarah, who didn’t know about his murderous intentions to divorce her..