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Arts & Culture Last Updated: Dec 3, 2018 - 5:52:06 PM


In the Absence of Trumpets must Toot my own Horn
By Obediah Smith
Nov 7, 2018 - 11:32:23 PM

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In the
Absence of Trumpets
must Toot my own Horn

so it is my responsibility
to claim, to tame the breast
that Kemp Rd. is or that it can be

or to provide  a totally
contradictory image or symbol
for this street that is believed to be

beyond redemption/
irredeemable, irreversible

a worst reputation than
“Can anything good
come out of Nazareth” suggests  

planted by divine hands, by providence
in all such areas in our inner city,
are individuals, deeply steeped
in arts and culture, cultivated,

intellectuals, scholars
needing to be spotlighted,
singled out, highlighted, emphasized
to a greater degree than the negatives

than the negativity attached to-
stuck to these parts of town
afflicted with what severely
negative images…

does not help when
balance is possible or
when there is such good

so many amazing things
and some amazing individuals
whom these areas have woven

have given the country,
have given the world who
are unrecognized, made too little of

who knows of all the places where I’ve been
all the things that I’ve accomplished
all the things that I have done with a pen in hand

came home in July, 4 months ago,  
after 4 years away, in 11 countries in Africa
and there were no trumpets,  there was no fanfare

instead I had to wait for about 3 hours
before I was able to arrange
to be picked up from LPIA

all that gets emphasized
is all the blood that gets spilled,
the mayhem

but the fruits and flowers that areas
like Kemp Rd. produce are seldom
or are insufficiently celebrated…

I think of Dr. Donald McCartney,
from Williams Lane, just off Kemp Rd.
the gift to the nation that he is

there are those from these parts of town
who are- who have been

a stay against such areas as these
going to the dogs, falling apart,
unraveling, becoming undone,

who are to these places what
Dr. Cleveland Eneas, his Bain Town,

his Let the Church Roll On and other books
were and are to that inner-city area

these areas have produced
fruits and flowers, the fragrances
and sweetness of which could have
been produced nowhere else on earth

just like the amazing abundance
of fruits that is our cherished Junkanoo…

without a doubt, what I am, what I do
and what I’ve done are made too little of

too much hush about the fact that
Kemp Road has produced me and
others like me –
not unlike the silk of silk worms

not everyone and everything
about Kemp Rd. is coarse,
is broken, is lost

what about those
and what about things
that are whole and delicate,
made of unimaginably fine fabric


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2018
circa 10:40 AM Wednesday 7.11.18


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