You feel dat?

These two pieces – ‘Black’ and ‘Dat’ – from the Wadadli Pen Open Mic series are written by series host Glen Toussaint:

This Gemma Hazelwood photo of Glen Toussaint was actually taken at August Rush's Expressions ... yep, he's a regular there, too.


I must not

I cannot

I shall not

I will not

I refuse to shed tears

I will make an example of

Will become the example to
allay all fears

I must not bend or break

The film is gone from my
eyes and I can see you

Smaller, weaker, slower,

I will be that light

Your weapons do not
impress me

Whips, chains, guns

I break them all, my will
is MY weapon

I cannot bend or break

My mind is focused

My thoughts are my own

The fool is dead and so is
the monkey and the jester

Dats how we’s do good right

My mind is clear, take
your fog and your haze

Set to blaze, I possess a

I shall not bend or break

My bones are iron

My flesh is rock

Skin like obsidian quilt

Hair like whip cord

Evolved into something not

This is what I’ve become

The end result of your
psychological sodomy

Your spiritual alchemy

LOOK at me

I will not bleed

I refuse to cry

I reject pain

I will not die

My heart has known fire

My heart is on fire

My heart owns fire

Call on the gods ancient
and new

I rebuke you

All that was me, lay dead
and ashen

All that is me has awoken

My will is my weapon, I
will live for freedom’s sake

I will not bend or break

Glen Toussaint 2011 ©


You feel dat…?

You doh feel dat garca????


Tell me you can hear dat den.

What you mean hear what?


Well at least you can see dat, right?


Garca ou ka fet blag, garca

You joking if you tell me you doh feel dat



You foolin if you can tell me you doh hear dat



Garca, you mad if you tell me you kya see dat




Padna, is feel you feeling dat long before you hear dat,
you know

You really mean you don’t know what ‘dat’ is


It’s the lapou-kabwit, the steel pan, the iron band

It’s the Nyabinghi, the Cannoes, the Conch shell


More than that,

It’s the earth, and the sea

It’s the wind, rain, sun, heat

Shaleh, garcon, from your feet go up

Shaleh, garcon, when your woman get hot


Its still more than that

Its movement and years

It’s the rhythm, the riddim

The ebb and flow

Of life, of colour, of vibe, of contrasts

Between distinct and indistinct

You hear dat boy! Hai sah, you hear me little while

Dat – make me sound like a poet chile’

Like I educated and ting

But wait…

Aha you starting to feel it

Yes watch your face, man, is dat

Yes man, chain break, you feel it

In your ches’ right dere, you feel it

Hai…it sweet not true

Dats de ting man,

Watch you, it sweet.

Fling back and jump

Sweat and shout,

It building force,

Move, move, MOVE garca

Turn around, fall down, roll, get up padna

Twist and bend,

Buss’ out again

Yeah man

You feel dat now

Yeah garca

You hear dat now

Yeah padna

You see it now

Yah man, DAT
is de ting man,

DAT is it.

Glen Toussaint© 2011

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