Cross Country?

By Gene Wilkes

To write an acrostic poem
Was much too difficult for me,
So I penned instead this doggerel
'Bout the Award controversy :
Mr Cross was cross while crossing
Cross Crossing to collect his pay.
He hear his name get cross out
From awards Independence day.
He din use de zebra crossing
And nearly get he tail lick dong,
And, to make tings worse, de driver
Dare to call him a cross-eyed clong.
"Well, look at mih crosses," Cross declare,
And he and de driver cross tread,
"Doh leh mih cross a lash on yuh,
'Cos today somebody go dead!"
Now all across La Trinity
Everybody runnin dey mout,
All kinda cross-talk taking place,
But few know woh dey talkin bout.
Some say dat a large cross section
Of this cross-breed society
Get cross because a pundit say
He want a crossless Trinity.
Chalkie say dat since Columbus
Name we after the Trinity
We can't allow the Trinity Cross
To be changed with impunity.
Criss crossing the land campaigning
To retain the Trinity Cross,
But who'll crusade to compensate
For Indigenous Peoples' loss ?
The shadow of a cross was cast
By his sword planted in the ground,
Where "Cross-bearing" Columbus went
Aborigines don't abound.
Others, like Chalkdust, also say
Dat de word Trinity mean three,
And de cross is, like a plus sign,
Acceptable to all ah we.
They tryin to push down we throat
Their version of the Trinity
Forgetting the Christian concept:
Three Persons in One Deity.
I think we should go back to roots
And call it the Kairi Award,
Out of respect for the Natives
Slaughtered in the Name of The Lord.
Now if my cross words puzzle you,
It doh mean dat we should cross swords...
We eh bong for Trinity Cross
Among we National Awards.

Nuff Said !

© Copyright – Gene Wilkes, Cocoyea.
Posted with the kind permission of the poet.



A Note From The Gull

The article "Change Trinity Cross" in the Trinidad & Tobago Express covers some of the main issues of the debate surrounding the Trinity Cross and the appropriateness of the title in a society where Christianity, although the dominant religion, shares the religious space with several other belief systems.

This poem takes an uniquely Trinidadian approach to the discussion, playing tirelessly and with humour on the word "cross" while at the same time providing an overview of the debate. It also introduces some serious and more subtle aspects of the symbolism of the cross and the barbaric actions that were carried out under its banner.

Personally, I always thought that it was the sighting of the Southern Range and the three peaks that brought to mind the Trinity. Perhaps an Hindu explorer might have seen the same three peaks and thought "Trimurti"!!! The Triad or Trinity has long been accepted by many cultures as a powerful symbol. If you think about it, some basic concepts come in threes: the unity of spirit - body - mind; past - present - future; line - plane - solid; creator - preserver - destroyer, mineral - vegetable - animal; length - breadth - height, good - better - best, thesis - antithesis -synthesis, sat - tat - aum, red - black - white, discipline - tolerance - production and on and on and on.

And about that cross, since we are not allowed, it seems, to find commonalities or to refer to the Swastika of Hinduism and Jainism, an interesting point to bear in mind is that the cross or saltire as a symbol predates Christianity and has also been found in Amerindian cultures. There's no escaping the ubiquitous cross. Seems like we're just caught in its crosshairs!!.... Couldn't resist. Thank you, Gene.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!