"Diary" by Dennis Scott
The two appointments I must keep
are like each other in this way.
One is with love, one is with sleep:
they break a man open
not a hair on the skin of the child inside is wounded,
not a bruise to say
yes, here the old, wise animal was set aside
was cut away
here the knife gutted flesh to let blood
wash the eye clean
here it forced the light through suddenly to reveal
the world unwaned,
here I woke innocent
again. Against that immaculate surgery there is no appeal.
Dennis Scott was born in Jamaica in 1939. He had a distinguished career as a poet, playwright, actor (he was Lester Tibideaux in The Cosby Show), dancer in the Jamaican National Dance Theatre, an editor of Caribbean Quarterly and teacher. His first collection, Uncle Time (1973) was one of the first to establish the absolutely serious use of nation language in lyric poetry. His other poetry collections include Dreadwalk (1982) and Strategies (1989). His plays include Terminus, Dog, Echo in the Bone, and Scott’s work is acknowledged as one of the major influences on the direction of Caribbean theatre. He died at the early age of fifty-one in 1991.
Dennis Scott: Dennis Scott Biography - (1939 –91), Caribbean Quarterly.