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NELSON MANDELA, NUMBER 46664 IS DEAD; EULOGICALLY ELEGIZING DIRGE FOR SON OF AFRICA, HOPE OF HUMANITY AND PERMANENT FLAME OF DEMOCRACY


Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; aopicho@yahoo.com)

Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid beacon, has died
One of the best-known political prisoners of his generation,
South Africa's first black president, He was 95.
His struggle against apartheid and racial segregation
Lead to the vision of South Africa as a rainbow nation
In which all folks were to be treated equally regardless of color
Speaking in 1990 on his release from Pollsmoor Prison
After 27 years behind bars, Mandela posited;
I have fought against white ******* and
I have fought against black *******
I have cherished the idea of a democratic
And a free society in which all persons live together
In harmony and with equal opportunity
It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve
But if need be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die,

Fortunately, he was never called upon
To make such a sacrifice
And the anti-apartheid campaign did produce results
A ban on mixed marriages between whites and folks of color,
This was designed to enforce total racial segregation
Was lifted in 1985
Mandela was born on July 18, 1918
His father Gadla named him "Rolihlahla,"
Meaning “troublemaker” in the Xhosa language
Perhaps  parental premonitions of his ability to foment change.
Madiba, as he is affectionately known
By many South Africans,
Was born to Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa,
a chief, and his third wife Nosekeni *****
He grew up with two sisters
In the small rural village of Qunu
In South Africa's Eastern Cape Province.
Unlike other boys his age,
Madiba had the privilege of attending university
Where he studied law
He became a ringleader of student protest
And then moved to Johannesburg to escape an arranged marriage
It was there he became involved in politics.
In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC),
Four years before the National Party,
Which institutionalized racial segregation, came to power
.
Racial segregation triggered mass protests
And civil disobedience campaigns,
In which Mandela played a central role
After the ANC was banned in 1961
Mandela founded its military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
The Spear of the Nation
As its commander-in-chief,
He led underground guerrilla attacks
Against state institutions.
He secretly went abroad in 1962
To drum up financial support
And organize military training for ANC cadres
On his return, he was arrested
And sentenced to prison
Mandela served 17 years
On the notorious Roben Island, off Cape Town,
Mandela was elected as South Africa's first black president
On May 10, 1994
Cell number five, where he was incarcerated,
Is now a tourist attraction
From 1988 onwards, Mandela was slowly prepared
For his release from prison
Just three years earlier he had rejected a pardon
This was conditional
On the ANC renouncing violence
On 11 February 1990,
After nearly three decades in prison,
Mandela, the South African freedom beacon was released
He continued his struggle
For the abolition of racial segregation
In April 1994,
South Africa held its first free election.
On May 10,
Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first elected black president,
Mandela jointly won
The Nobel Peace Prize
With Frederik de Clerk in 1993
On taking office
Mandela focused on reconciliation
Between ethnic groups
And together with Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
He set up the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)
To help the country
Come to terms
With the crimes committed under apartheid
After his retirement
From active politics in 1999,
Madiba dedicated himself
To social causes,
Helping children and ***-AIDS patients,
His second son
Makgatho died of ***-AIDS
In 2005 at the age of 54,
South Africans have fought
a noble struggle against the apartheid
But today they face a far greater threat
Mandela he posited in a reference to the ***-AIDS pandemic,
His successor
Thabo Mbeki
The ANC slogan of 1994; A better life for all
Was fulfilled only
For a small portion of the black elite
Growing corruption,
Crime and lack of job prospects
Continue to threaten the Rainbow Nation,
On the international stage
Mandela acted as a mediator
In the Burundi civil war
And also joined criticism
Of the Iraq policy
Of the United States and Great Britain
He won the Nobel Prize in 1993
And played a decisive role
Into bringing the first FIFA World Cup to Africa,
His beloved great-granddaughter
Zenani Mandela died tragically
On the eve of the competition
And he withdrew from the public life
With the death of Nelson Mandela
The world loses a great freedom-struggleer
And heroic statesman
His native South Africa loses
At the very least a commanding presence
Even if the grandfather of nine grandchildren
Was scarcely seen in public in recent year

Media and politicians are vying
To outdo one another with their tributes
To Nelson Mandela, who himself disliked
The personality cult
That's one of the things
That made him unique,
Nelson Mandela was no saint,
Even though that is how the media
Are now portraying him
Every headline makes him appear more superhuman
And much of the admiration is close to idolatry
Some of the folks who met him
Say they felt a special Mandela karma
In his presence.
Madiba magic was invoked
Whenever South Africa needed a miracle,

Mandela himself was embarrassed
By the personality cult
Only reluctantly did he agree to have streets
Schools and institutes named after him
To allow bronze statues and Mandela museums
To be built
A trend that will continue to grow.

He repeatedly pointed
To the collective achievements
Of the resistance movement
To figures who preceded him
In the struggle against injustice
And to fellow campaigners
Such as Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli
Or his friend and companion in arms
Oliver Tambo who today stands in Mandela's shadow,
Tambo helped create the Mandela legend
Which conquered the world
A tale in which every upright man
And woman could see him
Or herself reflected,
When Prisoner Number 46664 was released
After 27 years behind bars
He had become a brand
A worldwide idol
The target of projected hopes
And wishes that no human being
Could fulfill alone,
Who would dare scratch?
The shining surface of such a man
List his youthful misdemeanors
His illegitimate children
Who would mention his weakness for women?
For models
Pop starlets
And female journalists
With whom he flirted
In a politically incorrect way
When already a respected elder statesman?
Who would speak out critically?
Against the attacks
He planned when he headed the ANC
Armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe
And who would criticize the way
He would often explode in anger
Or dismiss any opinions other than his own?
His record as head of government
Is also not above reproach
Those years were marked by pragmatism
And political reticence
Overdue decisions were not taken
Day to day matters were left to others
When choosing his political friends
His judgment was not always perfect
A Mandela grandchild is named
After Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi
Seen from today's perspective
Not everything fits
The generally accepted
Picture of visionary and genius,
But Mandela can be excused
These lapses
Because despite everything
He achieved more than ordinary human beings
His long period of imprisonment
Played a significant role here
It did not break him, it formed him
Robben Island
Had been a university of life for Mandela once posited
He learned discipline there
In dialogue with his guards
He learnt humility, patience and tolerance
His youthful anger dissolved
He mellowed and acquired
The wisdom of age
When he was at last released
Mandela was no longer
Burning with rage,
He was now a humanized revolutionary
Mandela wanted reconciliation
At almost any price
His own transformation
Was his greatest strength
The ability to break free
From ideological utopia
And to be able to see the greater whole
The realization
That those who think differently
Are not necessarily enemies
The ability to listen,
To spread the message of reconciliation
To the point of betraying what he believed in,
Only in this way could he
Serve as a role model
To both black and white humanity
, communists and entrepreneurs,
Catholics and Muslims.
He became a visional missionary,
An ecclesiast of brotherly love
And compassion
Wherever he was, each humanity was equal
He had respect for musicians and presidents
Monarchs and cleaning ladies
He remembered names
And would ask about relatives
He gave each humanity his full attention
With a smile, a joke, a well aimed remark,
He won over every audience
His aura enveloped each humanity,
Even his political enemies,
That did not qualify him
For the status of demi-god
But he was idolized and rightly so
He must be named in the same breath
As Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama
Or Martin Luther King
Mandela wrote a chapter of world history
Even Barack Obama posited
He would not have become
President of the United States
Without Mandela as a role model,

And so it is not so important
That Mandela is now portrayed
Larger than life
The fact that not everything
He did in politics succeeded is a minor matter
His achievement is to have lived
A life credibly characterized
By humanism, tolerance and non-violence,
When Mandela was released
From prison in 1990,
The old world order of the Cold War era
Was collapsing
Mandela stood at the crossroads and set off in the right direction
How easily he could have played with fire, sought revenge,
Or simply failed; He could have withdrawn from public life or,
Like other companions in arms, earned millions,
Two marriages failed because of the political circumstances
His sons died tragically long before him
It was only when he was 80 and met his third wife,
Graca Machel,
That he again found warmth,
Partnership and private happiness,
Setbacks did not leave him bitter
Because he regarded his own life
As being less important
Than the cause he believed in
He served the community humbly,
With a sense of responsibility
Of duty and willingness to make sacrifices
Qualities that are today only rarely encountered,

How small and pathetic his successors now seem
Their battles for power will probably now be fought
Even more unscrupulously than in the past
How embarrassing are his own relatives
Who argued over his legacy at his hospital bed
Mandela was no saint
But a man with strengths and weaknesses,
Shaped by his environment
It will be hard to find a greater person
Just a little bit more Mandela every day
Would achieve a great deal
Not only in Africa
But in the bestridden geographies
Epochs and diversities of man,

In my post dirge I will ever echo words of Mandella
He shone on the crepuscular darkness of the Swedish
Academy, where cometh the Nobel glory;
Development and peace are indivisible
Without peace and international security
Nations cannot focus
On the upliftment
Of the most underprivileged of their citizens.
N0thing  Jan 2014
Segregation
N0thing Jan 2014
This world is divided
By boundaries
Of love,
Of hate,
Of differences

Due to this,
People suffer, with pain
And laugh, with joy
But most just complain

Yet, when looked at closely,
One will notice,
The brush marks left,
By who created the circles;
The one we call society

Brothers have turned on brother,
Neighbour on neighbour,
Child on child,
Because of this word:
Different.

Black or brown,
White or asian,
All are divided
With words of segregation

But really,
Arent we all the same?
Human is our name
And humanity should be our game

Yet, no,
The world goes on to display
And point out the flaws in one another
Because of this word:
Different.

In the end,
This world is divided,
By no one else,
But ourselves.
ryyan May 2011
Once upon a time.
In a land far far away.
Their existed a rhyme,
About the greatest game ever played.
This is the said rhyme 
preserved from the acclaim the game has gained.
Passed on to generations about the game at it’s prime. 

A game that should be reclaimed from the fame its gained at the present time.
This game came from the brain of a person
who aimed to have the time of his life. 

Town ball was for all. In any season: spring, summer, winter, or fall.
Town ball was a ball for all: no despair, grief,  or strife, could spawn.
The rules were simple
Hit ball: bases touch all. 

Teams were never full. 
And the field could sprawl.
Everything was in play just like everyone could play.
No obstacle was in the way, no direction out of play.
Yet, according to the natural law of capitalistic America,
An evolution began to make money.
**** you Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet!!
You may have nothing to do with baseball, 

But you spawned the evilest idea of them all. 

That evolution is caused by natural law, 

and the evolution of baseball is the downfall of all that is America.
Baseball was at one time a game of fun; 

good times shared with one another under the sun. 

Eventually they agreed to decree the official rules, 

And it was not Abner Doubleday who would have the last say in history,
for that story is a myth that we should flee from like fools.
Instead it was Alexander Cartwright who penned the knickerbocker rules.
These rules spread to the rest of the clubs,
and eventually it was coined the New York game. 

No longer could anyone play but only the ones who could slug.
If you wanted to win, it would be a sin,
to put in the has been who brought the game shame.
This game spread during the civil war. 

In down time to escape they played for fun instead of being bored.
The game spread like never before,
and soon the game covered the entire eastern shore.
The N.A.A.B.B.P was formed and by 1867 four hundred teams were born,
and in 1870 the Chicago Cubs actually won!
They actually were good before 1908,
heck some people might even say they were great. 

I don’t mean to taint their slate or bait your hate.
I just wish to point out that its been some time since that date,
and you Cub fans still must await.
Meanwhile these gentleman clubs would compete in the heat,
for they wanted to prove they were the ones to beat. 

Yet promoters wanted money so they charged the food you eat.
Then they fenced in the meet.
No longer could you watch the teams compete from the street.
If you wanted to know who would defeat you must enter with a receipt
to show that you payed for your seat.
There you would meet, eat, and greet,
and keep track of the game on your score sheet
Eventually the wood frames turned to concrete

in order to hold more people inside their games.
And the players started to earn fame.
And eventually everyone knew their name.
No longer was the game a game for games sake,
instead it was meant to entertain the fame-craved.
All that matter was the money made at the gate,
and since then the game has never been the same.
Before players would score more and their would be less of a bore.
Fielders caught with their fingers the stingers thrown,
but for catchers that was absurd.

Before, fans would abhor to the idea of a fielder with a glove adorned,
but eventually the planted seed, grew steadily, and the fielders glove was born.
At first their was no web extended between the finger and thumb.
Because that would make it so easy to catch it would be just dumb. 

Yet, somehow the web spread and eventually it won. 

Now any *** could catch between finger and thumb
and the hand would not become numb.
This lead the dead ball era dread at the start of nineteen hundred.
And ego went to Owen Wilson’s head as he lead the league with triples.
Thirty six triples the record was set
and will never be broken it has been said.
But instead its embed into the unread
record book for others to go ahead and try to break with dread.
There were several reasons that lead to the dead ball.
First of all, the same ball was used until it started to unravel.
Second, was that you would draw a strike for every foul ball,
And lastly was the spit ball which would dance to any squall.
All these reasons made the pitchers un-hittable. 

And batters seeing their batting average fall
would take a bar crawl and bawl.
But then a savior came to us all. 

This man hit the ball so far that it would fall somewhere past Senegal.
The claims were esteemed that this man was best of them all. 

Yet, he was traded for money to fund a curtain call. 

This man’s name was George “the Babe” Herman Ruth. 

A pitcher turned outfielder because he was a great hitter is the truth.
The great bambino or Sultan of Swat,
nothing could stop him when he was hot. 

And he hit the dead ball era out of the park and it was forever lost. 

He had more home run’s as an individual, than any team,

Except for the Phillies who were good it seems.

Babe was the hit man

Pitcher he was no longer

The same change came

With this emphasis:
Babe Ruth symbolized what was

the rest of the game. 


They said pitch no more.
Sluggers are what fans adore
outfields became small. 


Power was the talk

Every team must have a guy
who hits with power. 


George “babe” Herman Ruth
and Lou Gehrig, the Yankee’s
became the very best.

Then the depression came and rained on the parade of the baseball game.
Yet, families with radio’s would listen to the games as a sort of hope. 

To escape from the world that they known. 

To escape to a game that reminded them of better days.
Then WWII came and stole away the players. 

Baseball’s talent level was now in multiple layers. 

and because of lack of talent Ted Williams batted over .400 percent
and Joe Dimaggio hit the ball again and again. 

for 56 consecutive games he hit the ball back to where it was sent.
Yet, eventually the players would return and baseball would mend. 

But not before the ladies got their own league. 

and men it did intrigue.
Is this for real?
Or a joke?
They would laugh.

Then they would choke. 

When they saw that this wasn’t just an act.
The girls continued,
“Everyone used to be able to play the good old town ball game!
“This is no longer town ball,” the men said, “the present game is not the same,
Instead its now played for money and fame.”

Oh how the good old days always change.

“Give us money” the women exclaimed,
“We’ll take your fortune we’ll take your fame!”

Some men said, “you complain! Its not the same,
you have to be good to play this game,
you can have your separate league if you need,
But this game of fame is only for white men of age!”

Oh how problems never change
Instead they always stay the same.
Yet, it wouldn’t be long
Before the trumpet would sing its song. 

That segregation would possibly end. 

Not for women but for African Americans. 

Segregation had always gone on. 

***** leagues rose up, but finally segregation’s time was gone 

due to a man named Jackie Robinson. 

And in 1947 he broke through with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Because his team was convinced they’d make more money by Lou Durocher
Yet it came with its troubles because Not everyone on the team was happy 
And some fans were just down right ******.
Some teams such as our beloved St.Louis Cardinals even threatened to strike. 

They were not going to play if Jackie played because they had that much dislike. 

But Jackie and the Dodgers pushed through all the hate that spewed. 

Other players, managers, and fans  were rude, crude and would start feuds. 
Then they would brood every time Jackie’s name the roster would include.
But after awhile people would conclude that he was actually very good.
And after review others would start to include rather than seclude,

But this integration was long over due.
30 years till segregation could be totally subdued.
The lessons we learn are hard ones that is true. 

And it takes awhile for an entire nations perspective to take a different mood.
Now with baseball integrated the game be televised. 

This allows the money in the game to rise. 

The league now expands west; 

New markets they must test.
But hey! the players want some of this. 

They want to start a free agency. 

But this is the last thing the owners need! 

But the players want to be able to move between teams.

The players want money. Oh how things never change.
But the players got what want. 

They now can negotiate and the owners this does haunt. 

The game now is wrapped inside this twisted shame of money. 

Thats all any body wants so they find ways to scheme. 

Thus steroids came to the scene. 

Players now could be payed more if they played well. 

This meant that to hit the ball far, big muscles they would have to build.
In order to get that edge over everyone else. 

These players used steroids to get their help. 

Yet that was not cool with the public 
Because steroids put you at risk. 

They are dangerous at best,
and the league didn’t want to run the risk. 

Plus what about records that have stood the time test?
Are they going be broken now and no longer exist?

All because someone drugs themselves to have a bigger biceps and chest?
Someone please lay this all to rest! 

Baseball today is such a shame. 

Its boring with all of the commercial and pitcher change breaks. 

Something needs to change. 

Because its been turned into a sideshow. 

Thats the only reason why kids even go. 

To see the park, get hot dogs,
and baseballs that when put in the dark they glow. 

Then when you get home. 

you ask them what they remember about the game 

and they say, “I don’t know”. 

This game used to be interesting. 

But now I find my channels flipping. 

Even Golf is more fun to watch. 

at least they hit that ball a lot!
Baseball should but I doubt ever will, 

Get rid of all the pitchers it has to refill. 

No more pitching changes; That would increase the thrill!

Maybe players could hit the ball if wasn’t coming 100 mph every throw. 

and instead of pure talent pitchers had to use strategy,
of when to and not to throw 

That 100mph hour fastball.
Get rid of the sideshow. 

Then maybe kids would go. 

Maybe then we’d go back to being enthralled. 

Back when Baseball was actually Baseball. 

But I doubt it will because money is what matters now.
Sideshows make money so its always going to be allowed.
But I’d like to disavow
I’d like to dropout. 

I never really watched it much in the first place. 

but now I know of a better game.
Oh and one final thing to say. 

We should just go back to town ball. 

That game sounds so much cooler than baseball. 

You could really make some unique obstacles

Put in a fountain or maybe even a wall.
It just sounds like a lot of fun. 

I plan to play it this summer some. 

Everyone will be welcome. 

And we’ll have fun under the sun. 

And it won’t really matter who will win. 

Because its about having fun, building character,
and growing relationships
The end.
Dark Jewel Feb 2015
Adjacent heart,
Segregating the mind.
Differing opinions.

An argument,
On line.

Segregation of the mind and heart,
Different from the soul.
All do battle,
To decide your fate.
In this world.
RAJ NANDY Mar 2016
Dear Poet Friends, and all true lovers of Jazz!  Being a lover of Classical and Smooth Jazz, I had composed first two parts in Verse on the History and Evolution of Jazz Music. Seeing the poor response of the Readers to my Part One here, I was hesitant to post my Second Part. I would request the Readers to kindly read Part One of this True Story also for complete information. Please do read the Foot Notes. With best wishes, - from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.


THE STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC : PART-II
               BY RAJ NANDY

        NEW ORLEANS : THE CRADLE OF JAZZ
BACKGROUND :
Straddling the mighty bend of the River Mississippi,
Which nicknames it as the ‘Crescent City’;
(Founded in 1718 as a part of French Louisiana
Colony),  -
Stands the city of New Orleans.
New Orleans* gets its name from Phillippe II,
Duc d’ Orleans , the Regent of France ;
A city well known for its music, and fondness
for dance.
The city remained as a French Colony until 1763,
When it got transferred to Spain as a Spanish
Colony.
But in the year 1800, the Spanish through a
secret pact, -
To France had once again ceded the Colony back!
Finally in 1803 the historic ‘Louisiana Purchase’
took place ,
When Napoleon the First sold New Orleans and  
the entire Louisiana State, -
To President Thomas Jefferson of the United
States!     * (See notes below)

THE CONGO SQUARE :
The French New Orleans was a rather liberal
place,
Where slaves were permitted to congregate,
For worship and trading in a market place,
But only on Sabbath Days, - their day of rest!
They had chosen a grassy place at the edge of
the old city,
Where they danced and sang to tom-tom beats,
Located north of the French Quarters across the
Rampart Street,
Which came to be known as the Congo Square,
Where one could hear clapping of hands and
stomping of feet!
There through folk songs, music, and varying
dance forms,
The slaves maintained their native African musical
traditions all along!
African music which remained suppressed in the
Protestant Colonies of the British,
Had found a freedom of expression in the Congo
Square by the natives; -
Through their Bamboula , Calanda, and Congo dance!
The Wolof and Bambara people from Senegal River
area of West Africa,
With their melodious singing and stringed instruments,
Became the forerunners of ‘Blues’ and the Banjo.
And during the Spanish Era, slaves from the Central
African Forest Culture of Congo,
Who with their hand-drummed polyrhythmic beats ,
Made people from Havana to Harlem  to rise and
dance on their feet!      
(see notes below)

CULTURAL MIX :
After the Louisiana Purchase , English-speaking
Anglo and African-Americans flooded that State.
Due to cultural friction with the Creoles, the new-
comers settled ‘uptown’,
Creating an American Sector, separate from older
Creole ‘down-town’ !
This black American influx in the uptown had
ushered in,
The elements of the Blues, Spirituals, and rural
dances into New Orleans’ musical scene.
Now these African cultural expressions gradually
diversified, -
Into Mardi Indian traditions, and the Second Line.^^
And eventually into New Orleans’ Jazz and Blues;
As New Orleans became a cauldron of a rich
cultural milieu!

THE CREOLES :
The Creoles were not immigrants but were home-
bred;
They were the bi-racial children of their French
Masters and their African women slaves!
Creole subculture was centred in New Orleans.
But after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803,  -
The Creoles rose to the highest rung of Society! @
They lived on the east of Canal Street in the
French Sector of the city.
Many Creole musicians were formally trained in
Paris,
Had played in Opera Houses there, and later led
Brass Bands in New Orleans.
Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Oliver, and Sidney Bechet
were all famous Creoles;
About whom I now write as this true Jazz Story
gradually unfolds.
In sharp contrast on the west of Canal Street lived
the ***** musicians,
Who lacked the economic advantages the Creoles
possessed and had!
The Negroes were schooled in the Blues, Work Songs ,
and Gospel Music;
And played by the ear with improvisation as their
unique characteristic !
But in 1894 when Jim Crow’s racial segregation
laws came into force,     # (see notes below)
The Creoles were forced to move West of Canal
Street to live with the Negroes.
This mingling lighted a ‘musical spark’ creating
a lightening musical flash;
Igniting the flames of a ‘new music’ which was
later called ‘Jazz’ !

INFLUENCE OF THE EARLY BRASS BANDS:
Those Brass Bands of the Civil War which played the
‘marching tunes’ ,
Became the precursors of New Orleans’ Brass Bands,
which later played at funeral marches, dance halls,
and saloons !
After the end of the Civil War those string and wind
instruments and drums, -
Were available in the second-hand stores and pawn
shops within reach of the poor, for a small tidy sum!
Many small bands mushroomed, and each town had
its own band stand and gazebos;
Entertained the town folks putting up a grand show!
Early roots of Jazz can be traced to these Bands and
their leaders like Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Bunk
Johnson, and Kid Orley;
Not forgetting Jack 'Pappa' Laine’s Brass Band
leading the way of our Jazz Story !
The Original Dixieland Band of the cornet player
'Nick' La Rocca,
Was the first ever Jazz Band to entertain US Service
Men in World War-I and also to play in European
theatre, came later.     (In 1916)
I plan to mention the Harlem Renaissance in my
Part Three,
Till then dear Readers kindly bear with me!

CONTRIBUTION OF STORYVILLE :
In the waning years of the 19th Century,
When Las Vegas was just a farming community,
The actual ‘sin city’ lay 1700 miles East, in the
heart of New Orleans!
By Alderman Story’s Ordinance of 1897,
A 20-block area got legalized and confined,  
To the French Quarters on the North Eastern side
called ‘Storyville’, a name acquired after him!
This 'red light' area resounded with a new
seductive music ‘jassing up’ one and all;
Which played in its Bordello, Saloons, and the
Dance Halls !         (refer  my Part One)
Now the best of Bordellos hired a House Pianist,
who also greeted guests, and was a musical
organizer;
Whom the girls addressed respectfully as -
‘The Professor’!
Jelly Roll Morton, Tony Jackson author of
‘Pretty Baby’, and Frank ‘Dude’ Amacher, -
Were all well-known Storyville’s ‘Professors’.
Early jazz men who played in Storyville’s Orchestra
and Bands are now all musical legends;
Like ‘King’ Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Kid Orley, Bunk
Johnson, and Sydney Bechet.      ++ (see notes below)
Louis Armstrong who was born in New Orleans,
As a boy had supplied coal to the ‘cribs’ of
Storyville !          ^ (see notes below)
Louis had also played in the bar for $1.25 a night;
Surely the contribution of Storyville to Jazz Music
can never be denied!
But when America joined the First World War in
1917,
A Naval Order was issued to close down Storyville;
Since waging war was more important than making
love the Order had said !
And from the port of New Orleans US Warships
had subsequently set sail.
Here I now pause my friends to take a break.
Part Three of this story is yet to be composed,
Will depend on my Reader’s response !
Please do read below the handy Foot Notes.
Thanks from Raj Nandy of New Delhi.

FOOT NOTES:-
New Orleans one of the oldest of cosmopolitan city of Louisiana, also the 18th State of US, & a major port.
Louisiana was sold by France for $15 Million, & was later realized to be a great achievement of Thomas Jefferson!
Many African Strands of Folk Music & Dance forms had merged at the Congo Square.
^^ ’Second Line Music’= Bands playing during funerals & marches, evoked voluntary crowd participation, with songs and dances as appropriate forming a ''Second Line'' from behind.
@ Those liberal French Masters offered the Creoles the best of Education with access to their White Society!
# ’Jim Crow'= Between 1892 & 1895, 'Blacks' gained political prominence in Southern States. In 1896 land-rich whites disenfranchised the Blacks completely! A 25 year's long hatred
& racial segregation began. Tennessee led by passing the ‘Jim Crow’ Law ! In 1896, Supreme Court upheld this Law with -  ‘’Separate But Equal’’ status for the Blacks. Thus segregation became a National Institution! This segregation divided the Black & White Musicians too!
+ Birth of Jazz was a slow and an evolving process, with Blues and Ragtime as its precursor!    “Jazz Is Quintessence of  Afro-American Music born on European Instruments.”
++ Jelly ‘Roll’ Morton (1885-1941) at 17 years played piano in the brothels, – applying swinging syncopation to a variety of music; a great 'transitional figure' between Ragtime & Jazz Piano-style.
++ BUDDY BOLDEN (1877-1931) = his cornet improvised by adding ‘Blues’ to Ragtime in Orleans  during 1900-1907, which later became Jazz! BUNK JOHNSON (1879-1849 ) = was a pioneering jazz trumpeter who inspired Louis Armstrong.  KID OLIVER (1885-1938) =Cornet player and & a Band-leader, mentor & teacher of Louis Armstrong; pioneered use of ‘mute’ in music! ‘Mute’ is a device fitted to instruments to alter the timber or tonal quality, reducing the sound, or both.
KID ORLEY (1886-1973) : a pioneering Trombonist, developed the '‘tailgate style’' playing rhythmic lines underneath the trumpet & cornet, propagating Early Jazz.  SYDNEY BECHET (1897-1959) = pioneered the use of Saxophone; a composer & a soloist, inspired Armstrong. His pioneering style got his name in the ‘Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame’! LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1890-1971) = Trumpeter, singer, & great improviser. First international soloist, who took New Orleans Jazz Music to the World!  
% = After America joined WW-I in 1917, a Naval Order was issued to shut-down  Storyville, to check the spread of VD amongst sailors!
^^ ”Cribs”= cheap residential buildings where prostitutes rented rooms. Louis Armstrong as a boy supplied coal in those ‘Cribs’.
During the 1940 s  Storyville was raised to the ground to make way for Iberville Federal Housing Project.
ALL COPYRIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR : RAJ NANDY **
E-Mail : rajnandy21@yahoo.in
My love for Jazz Music made me to dig-up its past History and share it with few interested Readers of this Site! Thanks, -Raj
RAJ NANDY May 2017
Dear Poet Friends, I had posted Part One of the Story of Jazz Music in Verse few months back on this Site. Today I am posting Part Two of this Story in continuation. Even if you had not read part one of this true story, this one will still be an interesting portion to read especially for all lovers of music, and for knowing about America's rich cultural heritage. I love smooth & cool jazz mainly, not the hard & acid kind! Kindly do read the ‘Foot Notes’ at the end to know how the word ‘Jass’ became ‘Jazz’ way back in History. Hope to bring out a book later with photographs. Thanks, - Raj Nandy, New Delhi.


STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC  IN VERSE PART – II

    NEW ORLEANS : THE CRADLE OF JAZZ
BACKGROUND:
Straddling the mighty bend of the River Mississippi,
Which nicknames it as the ‘Crescent City’;
Founded in the year 1718, as a part of French Louisiana
colony.
New Orleans* gets its name from Phillippe II, Duc d’ Orleans,
the Regent of France;
A city well known for its music, and fondness for dance!
The city remained as a French Colony until 1763,
When it got transferred to Spain as a Spanish Colony.
But in 1800, those Spanish through a secret pact,
To France had once again ceded the colony back!
Finally in the year 1803, the historic ‘Louisiana Purchase’
had taken place, -
When Napoleon First of France sold New Orleans and the
entire Louisiana State,
To President Thomas Jefferson of the United States!
(See Notes below)

THE CONGO SQUARE:
The French New Orleans was a rather liberal place,
Where slaves were permitted to congregate,
To worship and for trading in a market place, on
Sabbath Days, their day of rest.
They had chosen a grassy place at the edge of the
old city ,
Where they danced and sang to tom-tom beats,
Located north of the French Quarters across the
Rampart Street;
Which came to be known as the Congo Square,
Where you could hear clapping of hands and
stomping of feet!
There through folk songs, music, and varying dance
forms, -
The slaves maintained their native African musical
traditions all along!
African music which remained suppressed in the
Protestant colonies of the British,
Had found a freedom of expression in the Congo Square
by the natives, -
Through their Bamboula, Calanda, and Congo dance forms
to the drum beats of their native music.
The Wolof and Bambara people from Senegal River of West
Africa, -
With their melodious singing and stringed instruments,
Became the forerunners of ‘Blues’ and the string banjo.
And during the Spanish Era slaves from the Central African
forest culture of Congo, -
Who with their hand-drummed poly-rhythmic beats,  
Made people from Havana to Harlem to rise up and dance
on their feet!   * (see notes below)

CULTURAL MIX:
After the Louisiana Purchase, English-speaking Anglo and
African-Americans flooded that State.
Due to cultural friction with the Creoles, the new-comers
settled ‘Uptown’,
Creating an American sector separate from older Creole
‘Downtown’.
This black American influx ‘Uptown’ brought in the elements
of the blues, spirituals, and rural dances into New Orleans’
musical scene.
These African cultural expressions had gradually diversified,
into Mardi Gras tradition and the ‘Second Line’. ^^ (notes below)
And finally blossomed into New Orleans’ jazz and blues;
As New Orleans became a cauldron of a rich cultural milieu!

THE CREOLES:
The Creoles were not immigrants but were home-bred.
They were the bi-racial children of their French masters
and their African women slaves!
Creole subculture was centred in New Orleans after the
Louisiana Purchase of 1803,
When the Creoles rose to the highest rung of society!
They lived on the east of Canal Street in the French
Sector of the city.   @ (see notes below)
Many Creole musicians were formally trained in Paris.
Played in opera houses there, and later led Brass Bands
in New Orleans.
Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Oliver, and Sidney Bechet were
famous Creoles,
About whom I shall write as this Story unfolds.
In sharp contrast on the west of Canal Street lived the
***** musicians;
But they lacked the economic advantages the Creoles
already had!
They were schooled in the Blues, Work songs, and Gospel
music .
And played by the ear with improvisation as their unique
characteristic,
As most of them were uneducated and could not read.
Now in 1894, when Jim Crow’s racial segregation laws
came into force,       # (see notes below)
The Creoles were forced to move west of Canal Street to
live with the Negroes!
This racial mingling lighted a ‘musical spark’ creating a
lightening flash, -
Igniting the flames of a ‘new music’ which was later came
to be known as JAZZ !

CONTRIBUTION OF STORYVILLE :
In the waning years of the 19th Century, when Las Vegas
was just a farming community,
The actual ‘sin city’ lay 1,700 miles East, in the heart of
New Orleans!
By Alderman Story’s Ordinance of 1897,  a 20-block area
had got legalised and confined, -
To the French Quarters on the North Eastern side called
‘Storyville’,   - a name which was acquired after him.
This red light area resounded with a new seductive music
‘jassing up’ one and all;
Which played in its bordellos, saloons, and dance halls!
The best of bordellos hired a House Pianist who greeted
guests and was also a musical organizer;
Whom the girls addressed respectfully as ‘The Professor’!
Jelly Roll Morton++, Tony Jackson author of  ‘Pretty Baby’,
and Frank ‘Dude’ Amacher, -
Were all well known Storyville’s  ‘Professors’!
Early jazz men who played in Storyville’s Orchestras and Bands
now form a part of Jazz Legend;
Like ‘King’ Oliver, Buddy Bolden, Kid Orley, Bunk Johnson,
and Sydney Bechet.    ++ (see notes below)
Louis Armstrong who was born in New Orleans, as a boy had
supplied coal to the ‘cribs’ of Storyville!   ^ (see notes)
He had also played in the bar for $1.25 a night,
Surely the contribution of Storyville to Jazz cannot be denied!
But when America joined the First World War in 1917,
A Naval Order was issued to close down Storyville!   % (notes)
Since waging war was more important than making love,
this Order had said;
And from the port of New Orleans the US Warships had
set sail!
Here I pause my friends to take a break, will continue
the Story of Jazz in part three, at a later date.
                                               -Raj Nandy, New Delhi
FOOT NOTES :-
NEW ORLEANS one of the oldest cosmopolitan city of Louisiana,
the 18th State of US , & a  major port city.
LOUISIANA was sold by France for $15 million, which was later
realised to be a great achievement of President Jefferson.
*Many African strands of Folk music and dance had merged at the
Congo Square!
^^ ‘SECOND LINE MUSIC’ = Bands playing during Funerals & Marches evoked voluntary crowd participation, with songs & dances as appropriate forming a ‘Second Line’ from behind.
@ =THOSE LIBERAL FRENCH MASTERS OFFERED THE CREOLES THE BEST OF EDUCATION WITH ACCESS TO WHITE SOCIETY!
#’JIM CROW’= between 1892&1895, blacks gained political prominence in Southern States. In 1896 LAND-RICH WHITES DISENFRANCHISED THE BLACK COMPLETELY! A 25 YRS LONG HATRED &RACIAL SEGREGATION BEGAN. TENNESSEE LED BY PASSING ‘JIM CROW LAW’. IN 1896, THE SUPREME COURT UPHELD THIS LAW WITH ITS ‘’SEPARATE BUT EQUAL’’ STATUS FOR THE BLACKS ! THUS SEGREGATION BECAME A NATIONAL INSTITUTION. THIS SEGREGATION DIVIDED THE BLACK & WHITE MUSICIANS ALSO.
+ BIRTH OF JAZZ WAS A SLOW AND EVOLVING PROCESS, WITH BLUES AND RAGTIME AS ITS PRECURSORS . “JAZZ WAS QUINTESSENCE OF AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC BORN ON EUROPEAN INSTRUMENTS.”  See my ‘Part One’ for definitions.
++ JELLY ‘Roll’ Morton (1885-1941): At 17 yrs played piano in the brothels, applying swinging syncopation to a variety of music; a great Transitional Figure- between Ragtime & Jazz Piano-style.  ++ BUDDY BOLDEN (1877-1931): His cornet improvised by adding ‘Blues’ to Ragtime in Orleans; which between the years 1900 & 1907 transformed into  Jazz! BUNK JOHNSON (1879-1849): pioneering jazz trumpeter, inspired Louis Armstrong; lost all teeth & played with his dentures! KING OLIVER(1885-1938): Cornet player & bandleader, mentor& teacher of Louis Armstrong; pioneered use of ‘mute’ in music. KID ORY(1886-1973): a pioneering Trombonist, he developed the ‘tailgate style’ playing rhythmic lines underneath the trumpet & the cornet, propagating early Jazz !
SYDNEY BECHET (1897-1959): pioneered the use of SAX; a composer & a soloist, he inspired Louis Armstrong. His pioneering style got his name in the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame!
Louis Armstrong(1890-1971): was a trumpeter, singer and a great
improviser. Also as the First International Soloist took New Orleans music to the World!
% = After  America joined WW-I in 1917,  a Naval Order was issued to shutdown Storyville in order to check the spread of VD amongst sailors.
^ ’cribs”= cheap residential buildings where prostitutes rented rooms.
# "JASS" = originally an Africa-American slang meaning ‘***’ ! Born in the brothels of Storyville (New Orleans)  & the Jasmine perfumes used by the girls there; one visiting them was  said to be 'jassed-up' . Mischievous boys rubbed out the letter ‘J’ from posters outside announcing  "Live Jass Shows'', making it to read as ‘'Live *** Shows'’! So finally ‘ss’ of ‘jass’ got replaced by 'zz' of JAZZ .
DURING THE 1940s  STORYVILLE  WAS RAISED TO THE GROUND TO MAKE WAY FOR ‘IBERVILLE FEDERAL HOUSING PROJECT’ .
  *
ALL COPYRIGHTS RESERVED BY THE AUTHOR : RAJ NANDY
Tahirih Manoo Mar 2014
Left* -

 my desires boiling...
my needs over-powering...

  carefree



                             ­                                       Right-       
                                                          ­                                                
                                                               my light flickering...
                                                   ­            my heart yearning...                                                                
 ­                                                            
    ­                                                            Passionate
                




                                                   Center -

                                                   Logical

                                                   Steady

­                                                   Reliable
                                                    ­          
- March 11th, 2014  11:48 pm
I only trust the center.
Autumn Shayse Jul 2013
The heart flutters,
It's pulses intensifying,
magnifying
the state of frenzy it's in.

The mind whirs,
It's cogs turning in abandon,
and yet delicately
Searching for an essence of normalcy

Occurring,
and all the while;
I've uttered no two words
For I am lost in the
delicate frenzy,
of the mind,
the heart
my fragmented self.
Karen Hamilton Jan 2016
Donald Trump what a Chump
The name makes my blood Boil
His views remind me of
Those poor Jews when ******
Caused such Immortal coil

Trump claims to be against
Extremism yet it
Leaks through his core all the
Way to his Brittle bones
Brainwashing vulnerable;
Led to his Blood stained Throne

No blood shed yet; He speaks
Hell don't be so naive
Trump contemplated by
So many minds in this
Day and age shouldn't be

Building walls make them tall
Then what Is this the way?
Segregation, Racism
Shuts his eyes, Cover's ears
He'll not hear what we say

It's Devastating such
Man claims chance to taint our
Minds with his Bitter taste
A Catastrophe,
Shows no Diplomacy
With 'Morals' formed into
Very Strange Scary shapes

Yes, I agree Something
Needs to change but Believe
Me 'Trump' is not that Thing
Sheds empty promises
Causing controversy
With 'Peace' as the end goal
Trumps No way to begin

His Immaturity
Is so apparent that
He will ruin the world
As we know it today
I think Trump needs some help
Some Mental help to drive
All those Devils living
Within him Far away!


© Karen L Hamilton, January 2016
How can anyone back someone with such a bad track record. Look at the facts, Trump is not a good businessman let alone president! He may be rich but money doesn't always come to honest, genuine people in honest genuine ways.
Mateuš Conrad Aug 2018
sure, first we had the schism
of the church & state...
"oddly" enough...
we now live in the 2nd tier
of schism -
  the segregation of
                  state & media...
no?
    really?
         we're not?!
           i'm kind of enjoying
this ongoing schismatics -
    the segregation of church
from state, at least left us with
the Vatican (i.e. the church-state) -
but this, current...
segregation of state from
the media?
      **** me cram my testicles
into a monkey-wrench
and subsequently watch me laugh...
and there i was thinking,
that psychiatrists,
were the new priests of
the secular age...
prescribing the alt. to
the metaphor of cannibalism
in the form of big pharmacological
pills, to replace the wafer for
bread,
or the watered down wine /
grape juice of the...
    so how does that party trick goes?
is that the wine turned into blood?
symbolically:
   turned water into wine:
   flag-wise...
  white,
       cardinal...
  and then burgundy of
cardinal red teasing the bishopric
coloring of purple?
i'm not here to undermine
the faith...
   i'm here for the self-deprecating
humo(u)r...
you don't even require
atheism to get a laugh
out of the conundrum -
you, simply need...
the deviation from the catholic
rites...
           an apostasy -
but sure as **** it's there...
secularism has allowed
journalism a monastic status...
first came the schism of
church from state -
   which remained intact in
the church-state of the Vatican...
so... FAIL...
secondly had to come
the schism of the state from
the media...
               i'm watching a schism
take place...
  apparently...
        the comparative concern
of church's divorce from
the state was easy,
having imploded into the Vatican...
but the divorce of
the media from the state?
        apparently... not so easy...
the media is already locking-down
on obstructing the schism -
arguing from an entertainment
perspective...
       a century or so later,
and still, the persistent,
media symbolism -
     of crafting caricatures of
a state...
   as the state embodied in
nothing more than subordination
to its will...
media is the new church...
and if the separation of the state
from the church took so long...
how much time, do you "think",
it will it take, for the state
to segregate itself, from the media
baronage?
  i suspect - as much time as it
took to segregate itself from
    the church's cardinal-lineage.
Valentine Mbagu Oct 2014
Behold Nigeria my motherland
A land that sits upon the hills of many waters
A country built on the ancient landmark of heroes band
An Eagle that protects her citizens in the arms of her feathers.

A beautiful Nigeria whose fields are as green as green could ever be
An Iroko that stands on the root of peace and unity
A fertile land that is as fertile as fertility can ever be
A united people, a proud nation void of segregation nor discrimination in her city.

My motherland a land that upholds the staff of dignity and natural endowment
A land of unity and peace glowing like a river of gold across the horizon
A nation that feeds on the diet of heavens supplement
An ocean that runs through the test of raging storms un-torn.

My motherland! My motherland!
A Nigeria that adores her women more highly than the Queen of England
An Olive that yields more than the cedars of Lebanon
A land whose daughters are as beautiful as the daughters of Job in Jerusalem's land
An independent country as powerful as the King Nebuchadnezar of Babylon.

It's Nigeria my motherland
A land that rests on the pillars of her freedom
A country seated on the pearls and treasures of many Ireland
A Nigeria that lives on the soil of heavens wisdom.

— The End —