“The Body Politic” – Poem by Caribbean Poet Nicholas Damion Alexander

Three Worlds One Vision


Systemic Racism
Source: Common Dreams

My Poetry Corner October 2016 features the poem “The Body Politic” by Nicholas Damion Alexander, poet and teacher of English and Philosophy from the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

Alexander’s work first caught my attention with “My Mother’s Salt” published in the anthology of 100 Calabash Poets, So Much Things To Say (Akashic Books, 2014). In the first of four stanzas, we learn that the poet is of mixed ethnicity – union of a black mother and white father that brought diversity to their lives.

My mother cooked with salt,
flavoring our lives
with the spice of her choice…
A white grain from the sea
that added new worlds of taste
to children made of mixed spices.

But the union of the poet’s parents did not endure. In “The Love of a Father,” Alexander confesses that, with the passage of time, he…

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  • marc matthews  On October 3, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks Bannuh… Bannuh dem wuk hard hard fuh institute um to justify the DARK…an’ every ting fuh sustain um…an we have fuh be so aware of the ways we help out the light.

  • NDTewarie  On October 3, 2016 at 4:39 pm


    Years ago I wrote it
    “I never cried for my father”
    Now tears come to my eyes
    And I apologized to Him
    For years I carried this burden
    It really tormented my soul
    Now getting there I see my folly
    It didn’t happened as it should be
    I am thankful at least I had a father
    And is I admire kids with fathers
    They are so lucky maybe deadbeats or otherwise
    But they still have them even on a part-time basis
    At least they know what a hug is
    They experienced holding hands with Dad
    They know the joy of getting birthday gifts
    Or maybe Santa’s visit or Christmas gifts
    Their eyes lighten up seeing their dad at graduation
    Or hearing the words “I am proud of you”
    Blessed are smiles from such fathers
    Or taking a son to the cake-shop1
    Irreplaceable fathers with kids doing their homework
    Fathers forgiving sons for sweet mischief
    All these gems I have missed
    And I tried to give them to my sons
    And I smiled as my dad should have done
    And the pains ebbed
    And life goes on.


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