Each August Bank Holiday weekend,
Notting Hill’s West Indian community
celebrates Caribbean culture. Calypso.
Crates of records. Stacks of speakers.
Reggae, ska, groove, and samba
vibrations of Carnival.
Mid parade, sweaty bodies wining
bodies growing, red stripe flowing.
Pure joy seen as suspicious.
The boys in blue are sent in, in force.
Black batons meet black arms, legs and heads.
Slicing through bodies like cutlass through cane.
Cutdown revellers hauled into hospital
or prison cells. Carnival; a unique
expression of love of self, freedom
and resistance. Therefore it’s spirit
has to be demonised and destroyed.