Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi

Send Off For Old Major

Even the block bleeders kept their leeches in their cages
and the gunboys left their guns at home.
This one was for O.M –a neutral ground ting. 
A bashment in the barn to sail off O.M’s duppy.
See the Goose Gyal in their pretty feather frock.
See Big Body Horse toasting to his compatriot 
which is better than toasting a friend in this land.
Look all the people O.M touch with his wiseness.
Now look how his absence touch the bones of everything
in the barn -even the bale of hay -spikey like the Cock’s head 
over there bopping thick thick in its thickness.
Who was the best dressed? Who else but the Porkdem 
in the circle of the dance floor flinging yellow bandanas,
true O.M colours. You know he really did like yellow,
something bout the way it tickle his memory of home
cos you know this was O.M’s home, 
it just wasn’t his first home. Only him 
and the Duckie Duck gang came from foreign 
when rumour told them there was another God
in this land that nice the peopledem better.
But you know, cruel come in many flavours 
one might suit your taste more than the other,
so is it better or not as bitter? 
But that talk there is for the weekday,
let’s go greet Donkey who just trot through the door
with his laugh that used to scare the colour off O.M.

[Don Key what’s good my brudda, loving the kicks bro teach me]

before he could talk back something slippery, that Elephant 
Man tune came on; that one O.M used to play on cleaning day.
So everyone rush to dance in the circle: see      
         the lighters sparking a salute in the air,     
         the Mouse Clan grinding ‘pon one another,     
         the Goat with his goatee and jelly neck,     
         the Sheep who came with no invite,     
         the wocky dip on Miss Fowl,

         the barn wearing its best night,     
         the song sing-singing,

[O.M pass
                            pass and gone
                                                                    know him dancing live on].

CALEB FEMI is the former Young People’s Laureate for London. His debut collection POOR is out in November 2020 with Penguin.