Sando City Weak

By Gene Wilkes

I want somebody tell me why
We does celebrate City Week
When a healthy, cleaner city
Is what we really ought to seek.
Sixteen years now I saying
That I find San Fernando stink,
Now, tell me, when you walk the streets,
How you does feel and what you think?
Ras Kommanda tell we in song
"We bringing back Sando Alive"
The Industrial Capital
Go be where Art and Culture thrive.
We had a mayor who, some say,
Was a man quite unorthodox,
But that was just because he was
Inclined to think outside the box.
Many of his good intentions
Languished from lack of approval,
Ideas that may not come to pass
With his unexplained removal.
His experiments with traffic,
Like the High Street pedestrian mall,
Failed because the big store owners
Didn't want street vending at all.
He move vendors from Gulf City,
Break down they bridge over a drain,
But drag racing at Cross Crossing
And the PH drivers remain.
He talked of plans for Skinner Park
Multipurpose Facility,
Which, as a sportsman, would have been
His most outstanding legacy.
But he get huff by Patos,
Who reorder priorities,
Building the Tarouba Stadium
For World Cup Cricket if you please.
But shouldn't we pay attention
To problems we face every day,
Affecting all the citizens
As we move about, work and play?
We need parks and open spaces
That eh filthy and stinka pee,
The children's playground shouldn't be
Just the arcade in Gulf City.
The San Fernando waterfront
Is enough to move you to tears,
But we hearing bout plans for the wharf
For more than twentysomething years.
Must Sando be, as Denyse say,
Where vagrants does drink from a drain,
While politicians promising
The same things again and again?
Let us stop constructing houses
And start building communities,
We doh really need more ghettoes
Lacking basic amenities.
We get a brand new Mayor now,
And hope that with him we will get
A new scale of priorities
With much less emphasis on fete.

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



A Note From The Gull

Perhaps these issues will finally be addressed as an increasing number of persons continue to voice their concerns about the impact of the environment, both natural and built, on individual and societal well-being. Personally, I don’t think that this is a priority for those who make the decisions about project funding…and just don’t get me started on CEPEP's masterfully arranged and painted stones. Healthy environments, intelligent design and the commitment to securing it for housing, public space and buildings sends a message to a people. It says that the space that is Trinidad and Tobago is valued. It says that the people who inhabit that space are valuable. It says that there is no discrimination between one group of people and another. When public spaces are designed with people’s well being in mind, the message that is being transmitted is that every individual is entitled to beauty, to safety, to spaces that meet their needs. When high standards are set and met, perhaps it begins to dawn on the man in the street that he is indeed deserving of beauty. Perhaps he begins to find inspiration in his environment, perhaps he begins to feel the stirrings of pride and a sense of belonging. Perhaps the high standards secured by others on his behalf becomes his own standard. Perhaps in such an environment/society which is first generous to him, he can begin to relax, to look around to others, to want to be part of a community, to feel less besieged, less driven to secure by whatever means his crumb of bread.

How interesting then that the motto of San Fernando is: "Sanitas Fortis" - In a Healthy Environment We Will Find Strength. That can certainly be applied to the entire nation as well as the following: "Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so. 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!