Babylon Wah Tun Us Inna Rasta Mouse
Step inna one dance fi hold a medz
and di MC bawl out Jah, Rastafari,
praise to di most high, Selesai.
Before him, a sea of tweed caps clutch locks,
button-down linen shirts flaunt chest hairs and gold chains.
This cramped garage: sanctuary for slow sways, prayerful eyes, and ganja.
Okra tongues provoke boasy bwoy’s peace,
he backs out cutlass like a handkerchief.
MC seh, nuh war to wi ting, just love and unity
and di irie vibes carry on.
Blonde neighbour summons her pack
bawls Jesus off di cross like seh lions a prowl through di sound system.
Babylon’s batons bash doors
their speaky-spokey accents say, turn off this racket.
Ras dem disperse like mad ants,
some faces get ketch under Babylon’s boots,
speaky-spokey accents say go back to your country.
If flatten bodies on concrete coulda mek a boat
Babylon’s spit woulda send dem sailing home, long time.
COURTNEY CONRAD is a Jamaican poet. Member of The London Library Emerging Writers Programme, Malika’s Poetry Kitchen and BYP. A Bridport Prize Young Writers Award recipient. Shortlisted for The White Review Poet’s Prize and Oxford Brookes International Poetry Competition.