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Roi Kwabena

Roi Ankhkara Kwabena

Dr. Kwabena was born on the Caribbean island of Trinidad in 1956. He is a cultural anthropologist who has worked internationally for over thirty years. He has been Writer In Residence (1990) at the Trinidad Public Library, Poet Laureate of Birmingham (2001-2002) as well as Senator in his country's parliament. He has hosted numerous readings by writers and actively promoted literature development. Kwabena's poetry has been commissioned for diverse purposes. He has lectured and performed at many schools, universities, cultural and social venues. His affirmative advocacy has ensured his suitability for a variety of specialist projects addressing wide ranging issues such as functional and Cultural literacy, therapeutic harvesting of Memories by elders and young people. Kwabena currently publishes the acclaimed international journal for cultural literacy: Dialogue


orifice of cocker

over millenniums convened
cocker an' derwent,
indigenous brigante, pristine scot-lands
trailing danes, vikings an' saxons;
confronted fortified murrish led romans
near borders of fells, near crags an' lake
fledging market town, here dwelled pondering
quakers, wesleyan, reformers, presbyterians,
anglicans, catholics an' cavaliers,
wordsworth: spy, lover an' poet
even dalton: scientist an' teacher,
fallows: zealous royal astronomer
as fletcher: pirate an' mutineer
without bounty were given birth
to trod narrow paths carefully
as do tourists or local ramblers
keen to record weather patterns
"never enough time . . . "
meeting places or churches now fortified
without guarded toll gates
from slither by locks, alarm
electrified fences an' chicken-wire,
beneath castled dull memory
of percy's clan defence against
marauding scots. Self-destructive bert
a brute or clear solway view
from the hay. Friendships easy
forged like little bridges near
green memorial to forgotten fallen
heroes. So bitches on leach can
pee against once saplings on
guided pursuit of space to breathe.
Dean's royal yew tree shelters
belfangan muurish graceful dancing clogs
attended with sax, duff an' accordian
to applause on narrow road

east haverfordwest

austere female wardens shut
on time access to castells or caers
two ends of a forked spectrum
afon cleddau from east an' west
recalls picton, williams, newton
an' carew clan/destined trails with or
without cricket starving southern
colonies high tide equanimity
bold misadventure anywhere fish dread
hungry aggressive seagulls. Stalking crossable
bridges and rusty rail dreams of brunel
connecting regenerated walled towns
spanning ports. Here tourists ponder
bargains seeking fleeting pleasures
hoping repatriated alternative prices
remedies for swollen ripened discontent
or relief of weather near ole'
borders. Cambrian peaks frame shooting
stars that hover with drenched cardigan's amazement
by one luna's rainfall measure in an hour
flooding summer news, blood of the innocents,
parents beseeching "get our boys back home"
so no tears- armed serving daughters
rumours of impeachment abound

sandale cul de sac

one time spring flowing crystal streams
concrete expansion of saynt lucien's blue
ranged madness, slapdash trenches
school friend kenny gill destined tragic
mud burial working
unstable sewer pipes
near much too large to modernise
burglar proofed bungalows
surrounded by tended feral gardens,
here beggorat's decision still induces fear
agitating chattel descendants. Covigne river
like waterfalls of rich plain, polluting factories in marriage
congo village near diamond vale, no more lettuce
cabbage bedded, zangee an' cayman,
or green pool,for wooden shacks
vehicles with brick houses jostle
for space, edging a walled rubbished
blue basin river wandering toward high brow
west ghetto moorings under
view of an afrikan built british citadel
"call dat george.."
an' make gulf reclaim mangrove
placate clamour for change
ritualise those deemed criminal deportees'
exterminate immoral commerce

sauced worcester

cold severn an' teem estuary never
nourishing mango, papaya, balata, gru-gru
or chennette nonetheless salmons strive upriver
unperturbed swans pose near canal-boat
emitting explicated diesel, shored fern cuffed turf
carpets silver birch, oak shadows on trek
restrictions for foot and mouth.
so no permission across a donkey brays an accolade
for dudley an' foley severe threatening
as nearby sewer odours belch

dissimilar abode agus

where bavarian weir vomits sanitised polluted
vassa. Had bertolt brecht witnessed
berlin wall collapse, might he now
appreciate maurice as a bishop's martyrdom,
luther's sermon or new aged nostradamas
lech field's vision of flame spewing is-real walled
contempt denounced travesty. Alleged heinous
atrocities bind captive elected custodians
dragged afore edict internationale. Idealist
conscious youth oppose memories
of guilt as humanity still eludes

mugran based

armed legislated relatives as predators
astride camels haunt wounded ass riding
famished sudanese broods
el fasher to nyala, kassala to juba: protracted
bloody bicker of bluewhite niles. Assumed
hydrocarbons deposits fuel calculated
genocide recognised or hidden
blameless generations dignity stripped
petrified an' naked woolly heads
keeping silence at these junctures
seeking external conflict resolution
awaiting precarious western compassion
guised as sky falling victuals


again two rivers
meet by same name
another lingua another place
out in comes
never the same

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