WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

My Tears

photo credit- mikeely.files.wordpress.com“Scottie! What’s up?” I shout as I drive slowly past.
“Misser Mutley!” “Teacha!” were shouts I heard in return,
From men sitting at the corner – most of them with heads downcast…
Men who look older than their age… nothing to do… only time to burn.

And as I drive by, another car, a black SUV passes me.
Dark tinted windows, special plates, the occupant hidden.
The men shout out a name… Their shouts reflecting both hope and futility…
As the black vehicle speeds up… deepening the sadness of those downtrodden.

Everyday… every night, these men are on Skem’s corner.
Men who I knew when they were kids and teens –
I was their teacher, soccer coach, unofficial counselor…
“Me nar work” is their cry now – an answer that is routine, as it demeans.

Most of the kids (or grand kids) of these men are at another site,
A hundred yards or so away, close to that Tinning Village supermarket.
They too sit around, gambling, smoking or getting into fights…
Nothing to do, time to burn, some work part-time as gun-toting bandits.

My tears trickle as I remember the hope in their fathers’ eyes.
I recall the passion as their fathers played for Hoppers or Empire.
I reflect on the swagger of those few who received the national prize
Of representing their country and showing their skill in cricket and soccer.

But today, too many are drugged, drunk or just sad and depressed.
Not all… because some still hope for help from the now so-called Big Man.
But for most, their hopes are dashed – basic needs remain unaddressed…
Still no relief… only despair for those men and boys below West Bus Station.

After thirty years of purposeful and unapologetic abandonment by Labour,
A community then sentenced to no development, no jobs, poor sanitation…
Wickedness perpetrated by the deceased ‘Widdy-Widdy bush’ leader.
Yes, thirty plus years of struggle amidst the mud, rubble and degradation.

But in 2004- that was all over because we elected a new leader.
We hoped, we dreamed, we salivated at the prospect of a new community -
Certain that Grays Green would take the lead in building a better Antigua.
Confident that we would make up for those years of being treated so inhumanely.

But, now six years later… the hope, the dreams are just about gone.
The salivation is still there… but it is driven by a bitter, rancid frustration.
A frustrating realization of six years of opportunities lost and plans unborn.
Six years of stops and starts, with the rhetorical promises left undone.

My tears flow: for the men… my former students… the players I coached.
For their grand-children – born into a cycle of political abandonment…
Now made worse since we have a leader who is apparently beyond approach…
A leader guided only by the whispers in his ears from the Market Street contingent.

My tears flow… these are my roots though I don’t live here anymore,
And I go back, drive by and walk through hoping that something has changed.
But each time, I am left disappointed – with my heart very sore,
It is the same old - same old… seemingly with leaders just re-arranged.

And when you ask, “Have you tried to help?” the inner pain digs deeper
Advice, suggestions, ideas and much much more all proffered in vain.
Plus over the years, unquestioning, unequivocal support for this leader…
And now, massive hopes for Grays Green have given way to massive migraines.

My tears flow… Where do we go from here in this situation?
We are represented by the most powerful man in the country!
But he doesn’t seem to be able to lead a Grays Green transformation…
Are the children doomed to suffer because they were born in this community?

Where is the man who supported the community cricket, netball and soccer?
Who stayed around late at night while those same boys back then played pan?
Where is the man who we loved, supported and voted for… over and over?
My anger has been so thick… I have had to read both the Bible and the Koran!

Where is my old friend… the once champion of workers from all over?
Where is my old friend once manager of Halcyon Steel Orchestra?
When I was a trainer of Empire… he worked hard hard as their manager…
Where is our old friend, the high ethical Grays Green’s Civil Rights leader?

The Big Man – now too big to pay attention to the people who put him there?
The Big man – only open to the Middle Eastern types and their Antiguan progeny?
Largely ignoring the people who kept elevating him year after year after year –
In his own words, ‘too busy in the national interest’ to attend to his own community.

In Grays Green, more is at stake than just any politician’s survivability.
At heart is the issue of almost four decades of dilapidation, deprivation and ruination.
And now he has been given what some say is another undeserved opportunity!
That Big Man better get it right this time – he could suffer a mass rejection.

My tears will continue to flow as I pass through my former neighborhood.
The people here are beaten and battered, and staggering on the ropes.
I used to think that the new leadership would change things for the good…
But now… I am as disillusioned as those who use dope to deaden their hopes.

When will things change? I don’t know if they will ever.
If it can’t be done in six years with the Big Man at the national helm…
What happens when he passes the baton by choice or with votes as a factor?
Will the children be condemned once again to more abandonment from them?

My eyes were once red as a result of thirty summers of tears…
Now, I am feeling blue as a result of the unfulfilled promise of the last six years…
Neither red eyes nor blue feelings are good for the soul that cares…
This is the pain of a teacher, a coach, a counselor – and yes, a friend who despairs.
These are the tears of a roots man… who now can only turn to prayers!

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18 Comments In This Article   

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RE: My Tears

#18 Concerned National » 2010-11-25 16:07

Strategy/Rationale: Required. A collective effort by all, working with the PM I think is a good strategy to start with! By coming together and providing input and suggestions for positive solutions are far more rewarding than not... As to What should be done? How? Who? and Where?... "Why not"? At least, that is how I see it before we irrationally start adding fuel to the fire which will ultimately contribute to a further state of degradation to our suffering Nation. Let us all do our part, by accepting some of the responsibility, or if possible lend a hand where and when possible. After all the PM is only one man with only one vote.
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Concerned National

A Courageous Reflection!

#17 Dr. Isaac Newton » 2010-11-23 11:31

Thankfully, Dr. Mottley’s reflection moves us from shedding tears to mournful weeping and again into rejoicing that the people of Gray’s Farm are fast becoming enemies of the politics of fatigue! Judged by a system of justice and virtue, history may find the PM Spencer to have been an infamous creature of expediency and the trappings of fleeing power. To be honest is to accept that PM Spencer is leading the nation, prodigiously contrary to expectations of transformation and positive social change.
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Dr. Isaac Newton

A Courageous Reflection!

#16 Dr. Isaac Newton » 2010-11-23 11:27

Laced with pathos and passion caught in poetic tears of critique and confrontation, this article celebrates the vivacious, surefooted resilience of the human spirit. That spirit emerges from the most depraved economic location in Antigua. It is neither ironic nor paradoxical that the PM represents this constituency. Spencer has been carrying the burden of leadership crisis and identity disappointment in ways that has failed to compliment his people’s goodwill and stamina. It is as if Spencer has made a pilgrimage to Mecca without evidence of tangible compassion, for the very people that magnificently furnished him with so much hope.
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Dr. Isaac Newton

VOICES FROM THE GHETTO

#15 OO7 » 2010-11-23 11:01

THANKS A LOT MY FRIEND......I HAVE LIVE ALL MY LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY SO I CAN RELATE TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.. AN EXCELLENCE PIECE OF WORK. THERE IS A CALYPSO SONG BY SINGING SANDRA OF TRINIDAD THAT MIRRORS YOUR ARTICLE. LOVE ,HOPE AND FAITH...ALWAYS. THANKS A LOT MY FRIEND
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OO7

#14 A Concerned National » 2010-11-22 06:38

Good observation... Mr PM please take note of Dr Mottley's observations. More than ever your constituency needs your kelp. It is unfortunate that you have to govern the country and your local constituency at the same time, but others have done it and I am sure you can as well. It has been said that charity begins at home.
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A Concerned National

I too believed

#13 Past student » 2010-11-21 03:53

My Dear teacher coach you have always inspired me . Please don't cry but grind your teeth and continue the fight . Your success teacher , coach and friend is an example that we can go forward without the big man . The people of this down downtrodden community will rise to you teacher , counselor . I came from that same group Sir with Dr. Oswald Thomas , Simon Lenard , George Purcell , Kim Parker , Joshua Fabian to name a few that you inspired into success . All still young men and women who have made great contribution not only Antigua but internationally. Please find hope in this sir . Thank you sir for molding me into what I am today . Strong willed , fairless , refined ,fair minded and successful and a responsible farther to not only my children but to all those I come into contact with including those from your Grays green community .
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Past student

Very powerful..

#12 Transform Antiguan » 2010-11-18 13:03

As a product of the Grays Green Community, I must say the message in this article is very real and true .... but what ache my heart most is the fact that the man who represent us is the most poweful man in Antigua, Barbuda and hail from the community who knows our suffering.
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Transform Antiguan

Master piece

#11 Love for all » 2010-11-18 09:54

Wow, Dr. Motley this piece actually brought tears to my eyes and struck a sharp pain in my heart.

As My Way of Helping stated "They were waiting on the wrong big man... the bigger man is God. I strongly believe that change will only come about when we all decide to consider others better than ourselves while having an attitude of godly sorrow and putting our faith in God and not in man!

Once again Dr. Motley thank you for this article.
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Love for all

The biggest man

#10 my way of helping » 2010-11-17 13:16

They were waiting on the wrong big man, these one are selfish and greedy, the bigger man is God. we need him and must show him we are worthy. Are we worthy? look at the entire situation and people?
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my way of helping

" Big Man" will never come

#9 Dig It » 2010-11-17 12:23

I must say that this is one of the most touching and worth-reading article I ever read on Caribarena! Thank you, Dr. Mottley, for bringing the pains and sufferings of the men at Skem’s corner! Time is something that most of us try to make the best of! Yet, when you have nothing going on for yourself, and do the samething everyday, it goes very fast. With it, comes gray hair, broken promises, and hopelessness! As the good doctor put it: "born into a cycle of political abandonment." For years, the men wait and wait, for the Big Man to come and rescue them from their plight. However, Big Man doesn't have the time and only sees them as X to stay in office. With a successful record of representing people for years, Grays Green should have been much better than what it is. Yet, you have some bloggers who supported Mr. Big, and would say the hope and dreams are still yet to come in Grays Green! Sometimes, I wonder, if they drink foolie bush tea at night!
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Dig It

The Cornel West of Antigua

#8 Socrates » 2010-11-17 08:07

The other day I listened with keen interest as the great American academic Dr. Cornel West appeal to president Obama to hear the cries of black America who placed him in leadership. Dr. Mottley who have echoed similar sentiments in regard to the change of a dear friend who has authority, equal expectaion and expectancy thrusted upon him. Whether or not your friend realizes that he has fosaken the people who hoped in him is another issue. I say we see neither red nor blue, we start a new party!
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Socrates

a reveting piece

#7 fnpsr » 2010-11-17 05:11

Dr. Mottley, this piece was very riveting and I feel your pain. It literally held me to my chair. Here is an excerpt from a post I wrote on another subject. “This constituency belongs to the Hon. Prime Minister and as such he should be working on a daily basis to improve the lives of his constituents. It is really ironic that the Hon. Prime Minister would have the worst looking area on the island, commonly called “The Ghetto of Antigua”.

The problem that I see is that the Hon. Prime Minister is the Leader of the island and as such does not have time to look out for his constituents. This is why I suggest that the Leader of the Island (the executive) should be elected to govern the island and leave the elected members of parliament (the legislative) to represent the people and look out for their interests. This would be another constitutional change that is required.”

“Let’s fix the little things before we attempt to fix the big things”.
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fnpsr

well said

#6 tenman » 2010-11-17 04:28

Doc well said. Bruce as you also stated, we have no long term plans.

..
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tenman

No future without a plan

#5 Bruce » 2010-11-17 03:49

What you now see is the result of not having long term plans that went beyond the political rhetoric. Nothing more than a lack of proper organisational leadership on a community level. Where is the master plan? Who was appointed, delegated to carry out the master plan and see about community matters as "the Big Man" saw about the country?

"Where is the man who supported the community cricket, netball and soccer?
Who stayed around late at night while those same boys back then played pan?
Where is the man who we loved, supported and voted for… over and over?

Thank you for your contributions to sporting activities within the community but beyond that what?

Mr.Mottley... .many many more are crying with you!!
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Bruce

Love is the answer

#4 my way of helping » 2010-11-17 03:24

I start crying after reading only about 6 paragraphs. I will have to read the rest on a later date, you deserve and award for this.

Their is no love, how can you (all of us) not try to help (each other), why haven't we try to make sacrifices to help each other. Please Prime Minister, please opposition, please one and all.

I honestly cried and i am not just saying this, this piece, this fact made me cry. it made me cry, it made me cry for the poor, for the innocent and even for the criminals. I keep saying to people on this site please consider everything before you send a criminal to prison.

Thank you Dr Mottley
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my way of helping

RE: My Tears

#3 Dink » 2010-11-17 02:36

This was painful to read... but artistically done :(
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Dink

@ Dr. Mottley

#2 Morris » 2010-11-17 00:51

As a product of the Grays Green Community, I must say that this piece is very true and deep. Good work!
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Morris

RE: My Tears

#1 mudmanvl » 2010-11-17 00:39

I share your pain..... We have suffered from benign neglect over the years and the NEGLECT continues. More than anyone else The Man should know how we feel because he is one of us. The time for action is now and it is NEVER too late to start helping your own. Remember, old people say "parson christen he pickney first" so start to do something for us so we can seethat you mean good.
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mudmanvl

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Marcus M. Mottley Ph.D

Marcus M. Mottley Ph.DMarcus M. Mottley, Ph.D. is an Executive Coach, Organizational Consultant & Clinical Psychologist

 

 

 

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