Honorable mention at the MacKnight Black Poetry Competition in 2009.
NOTE: The following poem is the creed of a Rastafarian. It is written in Caribbean creole English and has 108 lines divided in 12 stanzas, each having 9 lines. All numbers represent the integrity of Jah (God, Buddha, Dumnezeu etc.). For instance 108 adds up to 9 which is the ideal number. Also, 108 contains “0” in the middle, which represents the circular and all-encompassing nature of Jah. 12 adds to 3, and 9 is a multiple of 3. The language used has a specific meaning. Always use first person personal pronoun such as “I n I” (instead of “I”) or “I” (instead of “me” or “my”). Words that usually represent concepts would have “I” incorporated, some verbs are fused. (“Irie” – “I man free” or I am a free man; “I aan n I a knacka” – I am here and I have a good heart/soul/spirit)
I n I forever loving Jah
a Rastafarian’s creed
The day king Solomon was here Is far away and ever near He had a son as bright as him Who had a son, who had a son Who had another son, who had a son Until 225th was king As Garvey n dem said, He was d Black Messiah, D Creator Head.
Oh Jah if only I n I had known That I is true descendant of d throne That I n I can be a king An emperor or vagrant Have any type of work that’s known But all d same live under Jah I blessin Then I n I won’t go no war jus so But come together as a whole For Jah to thank, true heart n soul
I n I forever loving Jah In times of illness, trouble or desire It’s d I-losophy I’m living by Praising H.I.M. Sellassie I Negus Negusti, King of kings D one who brings us igher n igher Back to Africa d mother land Someday will I n I be der Oh Jah, please hear my prayer
D time has come for me to say Jah der will come that day When u embrace our eartt and nation And stop the suffering to bring salvation I know that day is far away Or maybe is about to happen We r same people n we waitin Rastafari Jah ever livin n Spreadin our love n blessin
I tank u Jah that u exist And pray we come as one Jah is Rejoice ur greatness n ignite The love n hope in I n I Feel free in dis world full of fear N have d courage to go down And burn dat Babylon one time aroun Jah is Jah is Irator Jah is d might So then let us all “get together and feel all right”
I life is lovin life I life is blessin life I live in accordance under Jah I love, I pray, I eat I man for soul, I mind and body I love n purity comes from within Its sacred instinct born in Jahselfin From ooman’s womb when I a baby That how I have dreadlocks, n for d fight I ready
I am what I am since creation And vibes within I is givin me liberation No one can touch them No one can interfere No one can disturb I will still spread d lovin N I will still carry blessin n be heard Righteousness, justice n equality I man, Jah is, Irie
Livity is happiness But d happiness don’t come from out Happiness come from within Jah is one grace, one happiness, one freedom Therefore Jah is, Jah is inside N u cud try n find a place to hide But that not possible in any way Coz Jah is everywhere u say So only ting to do is pray
D more you look D less u see D quickness of ur eyes dey say It does deceive ur body but Ur mind in power comes Together with d soul will i-talize ur strength And bring back reason To apprecilove d piipl and not hate Coz Jah is everywhere Jah is great
We r d devils We do d wrong tings We enslaved d animals and call dem pets We say dog man best friend But did dog ever agree us to befriend? I now try this to higherstand Why man dis Devilon expand But same time say ‘In God we truss’ It sound all for material lusst
But Jah is Jah is everywhere And even if u flee from Jah U fin soon nuff that Jah is der So all me bredren n sistren Go deh know Jah is and give tanks N let d reggae music guide ur ranks Biko “one love is one heart We’ll get together N feel all right”
I kno I kno I kno Jah is I aan n I a knacka (I am here and my heart is good) Love, purity and blessin “now xcuse me while I light my splif Oh Jah I got to take a lif From d reality I jus cant drif That’s y im stayin wit dis splif” “Get to my herbal meditation N smoke dis holy medication” —- more time!