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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM


I am a Poet. I live on Kemp Road, in the House in which I was Born
By Obediah Michael Smith, Nassau, Bahamas
May 23, 2013 - 4:48:28 PM

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People empty out any sh** through my street, as if it were a dumping ground for any sort of garbage: figurative as well as literal filth.

People were out in groups, on both sides of my street, when I looked out earlier today.

I inquired, shouting out a question to someone on the street who seemed to know.

"Was there a car accident? I asked.

"No," was the reply, "gunshots!" I had heard what I thought was that sort of noise a little while before but I was not sure.

Soon after, an ambulance went speeding by, away from the scene of whatever it was that occurred.

The other morning, about a week ago, at 4 a.m., somewhere down town, a tourist was  killed, a man from the USA, attempting to defend a female companion who was being robbed.

He was shot in the neck. Four men, not long after, were arrested.

All or nearly all of them were from my street or from streets off my street. The sort of sh** that gets smeared on what is already a bad reputation.

They come from here or they come through here to let it out. Anything at all. Anything would do.

Constant disturbances with music, unbearably loud, played by un-neighbourly persons too nearby or by others passing through, without a bit of respect for who resides along this street.

Out to entertain us and what we are is assaulted; without end, shaken up, our street, our houses, the sky overhead.

All of this is still insufficient, in terms of what is let out upon who resides on Kemp Road and by your neighbours, fellow residents.

Neighbours of mine fling whatever they do not want over the fence between our yards: bottles, cans, shoes, what is left of a broom, what is left of a bicycle.

In my front yard, a similar story, with a greater number, by far, contributing: beer cans, soda cans, Styrofoam containers, empty of what they ate or containing still what was unwanted, of what they had to eat.

These things thrown down anywhere in the front of my yard as if it was officially the garbage dump.

Are there Bahamians? I wonder.

Are these civilized people? Is there no sense of national pride?

Is there no notion of patriotism - no sense of sanctity, regarding the earth and our creation: and all creation?

Are these people citizens of anywhere? 

How distressing it is to have to share community; to have to share identity with such persons?

They do not or I do not belong.

We certainly cannot  be members of one same world - of one same set of values.
 
The 10 Commandments is at the from of every Milo Butler exercise book in my possession.

I have dozens of them I've filled with poems over the course of more than twenty years.

These Commandments, from Exodus, in the Old Testaments, it seems have never been laid out before the people I live with, share a nation with, share the earth with.

What awful stewards they are: a blight upon the earth, upon the land, upon creation, rather than everything they do being an act of worship.

We are the holy family.

Have they not heard?

And all the earth is holy ground, and like Moses before the burning bush, we are called to take off our shoes!!

4:26 p.m. 20.05.13    


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