Just hear me, hear my call

 

Quick Links

1995, 1996, 1997

1998, 1999, 2000

2001, 2002, 2003

2004, 2005, 2006

2007, 2008, 2009

2010, 2011

Category: Trinidad Society Date: 20 Mar 05

Like most of us I like cranking up the music in my car as I drive, my own mini karaoke party, before the attrition of the day starts its incessant gnawing.

 

Most of us know that cloying crooning song that goes something like “I just called to say I love you,” and the in-between verses that protest repeatedly in different ways that no particular holiday or festive occasion was responsible for the said call.

 

The mind works mysteriously, and I found myself singing along to this maudlin music. Except some entirely unexpected words came out of my mouth and this is what I remember of it. Its appallingly terrible rhyming but then I am no songbird, just a commentator, feeling like a broken record, unable to rouse our politicians out of their lethargy to listen to their people.

 

No walking easy, in the sunlight,

No coconut water in the moonlight,

No picnicking in the hollows

No standing around waiting for friends,

No gazing around at the swish of the trees

No even stopping to shoot some breeze

I just called to say the party’s over

I just called to say the kidnapping is here

I just called to say another mother’s crying

I just called to say they shot her boy

I just called to say bolt your door

And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No driving around, with windows down

No giving tired strangers a drop to town

No stopping off to part a schoolboy’s fight

No telling a weeping woman next door her rights

No disciplining one another’s kids

No children weaving in and out of the streets

I just called to say there’s always a solution

I just called to say the police do try “their best”

I just called to say witnesses need protection

I just called to say that crucial cases should be fast-tracked

I just called to say that the judiciary needs attention

I just called to say implement the laws and reports

And that is one way to deal with the crime

No politicians even pretending they care

Just tea room brawls and witch-hunting out there

No accountability, no inclusive government

No sign of reducing 50 per cent rampant illiteracy

No acknowledgement even of 40 per cent poverty

No savings of oil money

No diversifying as we should be

We are just positive, compared to Haiti

And we say we are a developed 2020 country

I just called to say people aren’t stupid

I just called to say we are willing to make sacrifices

I just called to say the Prime Minister must mean well

I just called to say he is insulated and distant, surrounded by yes men

I just called to say people feel the country is at a standstill

I just called to say everything else is crumbling,

from TSTT to traffic jams

I just called to say if you implement the law in

small ways every day

Things must improve

And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No cure for the moribund health authority

No feeling safe in a taxi

No sending out your grown children at night

No helping people to help themselves

Just gimme gimme work ethic shows might

I just called to say the middle class is now the enemy

I just called to say success through hard work is a bad word

I just called to say people resent those who walked to school barefooted to be educated

And that is called the new democracy

I just called to say all children are now in schools

I just called to say but still what’s the point

If they are leaving without learning to read

No electricity or lights for rural areas

No roads or schools for out of town voting areas

No opposition to stand up for constituents

Just people bobbing about in insular little worlds

I just called to say the Government’s engine is running

I just called to say but its not in gear

I just called to say we better stop idling

Before people rise up in anger or simply disappear

I just called to ask if anybody’s listening

And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

 

horizontal rule

 

 

All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur