When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music


Clive Bradley

Trinidad & Tobago

Renegades have lit their candles 
in the night for Nosey in Brooklyn,
and on the hill by Desperadoes 
for Bradley, who made his music  

canticles against the guns of Laventille. 
Overlooking Calvary, he caressed his muse 
and ventured where only the brave dare 
and whisperers bubble a black spoon.

Each season, when truth came 
with the floods, the river overflowing
to the sea, this music would speak 
of renewal. Drunk with light,  

he would chase his shadow after 
the sun set and the glory faded. 
When old habits called, he answered 
with music and straightened his back. 

After the pretender was proclaimed
king, lifting his weary arms to steady 
the glory, they found him in a state
next morning, asleep in a drain 

in the suit from his coronation, 
the lopsided crown on his head, 
a dragon over him at the edge 
of water. A man's days are

measured, his talents counted and 
tendered in exchange for a hallelujah, 
for rain to consume the hill, drenching 
us with what sounds like an ovation.

 - Dawad Philip -


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