Poetry: V. Ramsamooj Gosine

V. Ramsamooj Gosine

Emerging New People

It was a community of new people
The emerging upper class
Of an emerging nation
Who carved out lands
Planted new houses.
And hired help, unskilled
 Who arrived in truck loads
Sitting meekly like wet toads
And built fences and strong iron gates
And it was safe even with alsation dogs
And very few mongrels around
Rejected for being one step lower
Now roaming in search of garbage food
Placed unprotected by the roadside

The helper in English-nurse uniform
 Left the child unattended
Another chore to complete
Who swiftly made her way to the kitchen
And the child four years from birth
Clearly ambitious, so it was said,
Had climbed the strong gates
Up above, just under brooding clouds
Vultures foretelling of a future
Danced a black dance
Before the gate crumbled
Soundlessly, so the maid said
And the alsations sprinted  
Lapped pure blood
The maid still preoccupied in the kitchen
The mongrels outside seeing
Barking, running along the fence
Unable to rescue

Declining Oil Prices

There was a bit of confusion
When the oil price tumbled
Budgets were thrown aside
There was a hurt and a pain
But clearly puzzled
For no one foresaw tomorrow

Somewhere beneath the rocks
A pink flower slid through the cracks
Almost an invisible one
No one saw imagined it existed
But it was there for searching eyes
Eyes though that had ceased searching

Oh little flower, Oh little flower
Who’ll buy you now? the florist said
Our floating money has gone
Dwindled into declining prices
I am not for sale, the flower mused
Has never been
I am nature
I come and go
Appear everywhere
In every form
I am a spirit you don’t see
My beauty intangible
You know not what you have
For you are the blind rich
Caught in the world of purchasing

And the birds flew and saluted the flower
And the water sloped its way to the plains
And the flowering trees lined the river banks
And all waved at the smiling air
But the oil prices kept tumbling
And everyone remained sad.
Fear crippling their unthinking minds
For they know not what they have

A Chronicle of a Price to Pay

The distress call came at dark four
Not meant for Ronald but was shot
A price to pay

Raymond, his twin look alike
Discovered Ronald on the grass
Spread-eagled red flowing
He walked past his mother
Past the brown parcel
Filled with yesterday’s sale
He refused to hand over

Raymond had sold well the commodity
Gotten from toilers of the rough seas
Who dodged coast guards
Who fought pirates
It was their business
And they called the shots
Often too fired annihilating shots

Raymond enriched uncontrollable  
Established his own turf
Pocketed refused to yield to men
Who disapproved demanded descended
‘You get your percentage,’ they had said.
‘We want ours.’

Two weeks ago reported in the press
South American beheaded a disobedient
For establishing his own kingdom
Much to their disgust
Still walking past his mother
He could not tell her
No. He couldn’t.
But the exchange was there
And he would soon go too
He saw himself lying in his brother’s place
He not his innocent the intended target
A bitter price to pay

The Door

On hungry days I had been there 
And had not seen the door.
Which had been there I am sure
I had passed through it many times,
In and out stopping to speak to someone
Now firmly locked a commotion outside
No food today. I would have to seek elsewhere.

Indistinctly I saw a baby boy, perhaps three
Robin, I was told later, was his name
Was looking around scared
Forgotten by his caring parents
Discovered missing on reaching home
And so had raced through the midday traffic
Never an easy thing to do

The workers busy tidying up the place
Heard no one call beat the glass windows
Where Robin remained screaming

The word, baby, played on the parents’ minds
For they had gone through many a trying time
The Gods had not favoured their conceiving attempts
And here the successful issue was trapped
Perhaps die from anxiety was their conclusion

But the door was important to all
A symbol of accessing and denying
Always there was a door
That we saw and never understood
Except when our dreams were being shattered

It was sad they told the police what had happened
They were very caring parents, they confessed
And he was their only child, they confessed
They weren’t careless, they confessed
And should not be condemned for this one error
Just this one error, they confessed
A momentary lapse in judgment, they had said in defense

Robin alone had wandered off we were told


In Brentwood Park West
My neighbours were kind to me
More than delighted 
But that noisy workshop next door
Turned out elegant pieces of furniture
Stacked on a platform for all to see
Many saw nobody bought
Skilful Johnny wouldn’t surrender
I felt badly for him
Bought a rabbit hutch outside my range
His one sale for the week

I hailed him out daily
Exchanging pleasantries
He let me in his life his struggle
And I had said, and didn’t regret it
That he should sell to Windsor Town
 That carried wide-ranging furniture
And was pleased a good deed done
But my good deed surfaced his anger
‘I know what I am doing. I know my work.’

Slowly he ceased responding
Seldom now did I see him

Slowly vans came
Trucked away his work
This pattern continued for weeks
One day he bought a truck
To transport his own furniture

I saw him progress
I felt good for him
His struggle had ended

I continued to wait to hail him
To congratulate him
But our meeting  place remained empty
One day I too ceased looking out

Johnny continued to grow
Now a sign on his doorway welcomed you
I felt so good for him
 And took the courage to walk into his business
‘Oh sir,’ his secretary said. ‘You need an appointment.’
‘I live next door. I know him.’
‘Still you need an appointment.’
I pretended then I wanted something made
Hoping this would do the trick.
‘Sorry, sir. Mr. Johnny takes only big orders.’

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