Martin Carter

Rookie (1927-1997 / Guyana)

Not I With This Torn Shirt - Poem by Martin Carter

They call here,
-Magnificent Province!
Province of Mud!
Province of flood!

Who are the magnificent here?
Not I with this torn shirt
but they, in their white mansions
by the trench of blood!

I tell you
this is no magnificent province
no El Dorado for me
no streets paved with gold
but a bruising and battering for self preservation

in the white dust and grey mud.
I tell you and I tell no secret -
now is the long past time for worship
long past time for kneeling

with clasped hands at altars of poverty
How are the mighty slain?
by this hammer of my hand!
by this anger in my life!
by this new science of men alive

everywhere in this province!
thus - are the mighty slain!

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, December 23, 2007

Poem Edited: Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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