My Jamaican Tongue (Poem)
by Malachi D. Smith
MY JAMAICAN TONGUE
My tongue too sweet
For me to throw it away
When you hear me talk
Ah nuh play me a play
Like my professor friend
Who got circumcised
Dash weh him Jamaican tongue
To get recognized
My tongue is African, Caribbean
Drum-talk, flute, pan, percussion
Banjo, mento, ska, ska, ska
Rock steady, Rasta, reggae
Politics, sugar cane
Sweat, slavery, blood and pain
Blend dat with English, Spanish, Chinese, Indian
My tongue is out of many one
Mi naa dash weh mi tongue
Mi love it to mi heart
Before so mi go back home
Because me and it naa part
It too sweet like calypso
Your tongue is ballroom dance
Mine is go-go
I don’t have to draw out my vowels
Like Robin a shoot his bow
I make my point, my tongue just flow
Like notes from Don Drummond’s trombone
I don’t envy you for yours
So leave me with my own
You think is everything I say
I want you to understand
My tongue is a disguise
Part of my oral tradition
When wi ancestors died
And couldn’t afford to leave legacy
Dem wrap up dem tongue eena tie-head
And pass it on to wi
Stop yuh renk
Your tongue was derived
And so too is mine
If yours is whisky
Mine is pure wine
Rumba, fire dancer , harp, goat skin
Your tongue is her majesty’s
Mine a fi wi sentin’
So you can cast your innuendos and aspersions
I don’t give a damn
Cause when you hear me talk
You must always hear Jamaican.
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