I came across this poem for a class. I love it because I can relate to it so much as I am a sister and friend to many boy-men. It is my hope that all the males in my life learn what Sakinah C. Muhammad wonders.... what is it that makes a boy a man. For those of you who are not familiar with Belize Kriol, the spelling it phonetic. If you have trouble, refer to the Beeliz Kriol dictionary link to the right.
Whe Mek Wah Bway Ton Man
by Sakinah C. Muhammad from Straind Confessions, Belizean Poems published by Angelus Press LTD. 2003
Look yah mi darie,
just check this out!
every way yo ton,
every path yo look
yo si dehm all round;
all round yo, them di swell fi man;
Whe mek wah bway ton man!
dehm always wah know-
so dehm cantinue fi explore it moe and moe;
Dehm look pan the trees and dehm si the bees;
dehm si the turkey
and the peacock prance wid pride;
fi the snake, and the wom
y look like wah easy glide;
But whe mek wah bway on man!
y look so complicated, sound so
why y feel so difficult dehm cant
What da wah real man anyway!
wi aught to show dehm one!
palitician, preacha, technician, teacha!
tell dehm whe qualifications dehm hav fi get;
Da no lone good looks and pretty-pretty clothes!
Y caan be muscles! Fi canvince anybody
y da have fi be moe!
How bout shiny shiny gold chain-
lat and lat a dehm?
Dehm deh no impress me way bit,
so da definitely moe;
Still, I wanda and wanda
and dehm wanda and wanda,
like deh pa and grampa before dehm;
wh mek wah bway ton man;
Some a dehm beat up pipple;
quiet, easy, puny pipple-
knock dehm down and kick dehm all ova
and still no sure if that mek dehm man;
Plenty a dehm show off,
three or four gial;
that no mek dehm man eeda;
But poe thing, dehm peo thing
really need fi know-
dah whe mek wah bway ton man?
As I read this poem, I think of three different men in my life. Well, at least to say, they are males. But what really makes these boys, my counterparts, become men?