Poems by Cornel Bogle

See di poet man deh
for Edward Baugh

Ah wah mek mi always inna crosses?
every sundeh mi catch dis man
eyes shovin’ through him
window ah watch mi every move
suh till mi haffi switch up mi route fi avoid him.

But dat neva change nuttun
cah him follow back ah mi
every weh mi guh.

Suh till one day mi deh inna bookshop
ah look supm fi mi daughter an
buck up inna him pon di backcover
finally learn him name –
Edward Baugh, di poet man.

Suh mi skip thru di book only fi
en up catch poem bout
one dead ooman who
moved from church to church
in search of God.

But deh man yah brite eeh?
jus cah mi learn fi blind him jancrow
eye mek it cyah see prey
mi suddenly dead?

Well, lissen poet man –
ah neva God mi di ah look fah mek
mi run from church to church.
Mi find Him long time.

Ah did you mi di ah hide from
wid yuh fassin eye dem testifyin
to temptation on di good sundeh
mawnin, drawin me closer,
callin me muse.



Left Behind

Scarred​ ​benches​ ​mirror​ ​the​ ​back​ ​window​ ​of​ ​the
bleached​ ​minivan​ ​as​ ​it​ ​drives​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the
schoolyard.​ ​My​ ​eyes​ ​reach​ ​out​ ​to​ ​the​ ​fading​ ​cricket​ ​bats
casting​ ​a​ ​long​ ​shadow​ ​on​ ​unyielding​ ​concrete.

Who​ ​left​ ​the​ ​bats​ ​behind?
I​ ​raise​ ​my​ ​head​​ ​​to​ ​the​ ​cry​ ​of​ ​a​ ​petchary
and​ ​the​ ​mistress​ ​shifts​ ​to​ ​Bennett.

My​ ​eyes​ ​search​ ​for​ ​the​ ​restive​ ​petchary,
but​ ​finds​ ​in​ ​her​ ​place​ ​bare,
embarrassed​ ​almond​ ​trees,​ ​their​ ​last​ ​leaves
consumed​ ​by​ ​small,​ ​pernicious​ ​caterpillars.

Cornel Bogle was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and is currently a PhD student in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. He carries out research on essays, friendship, dreams, and the Caribbean.