John Gilbert Jack Layton

He was born in Montreal in 1950
Was fluent in French and healthy
From proud father Robert Layton
To grand parent Gilbert Layton
Who too was dynamic and gung-ho
Who all held a ministerial portfolio
Raised as a true Canadian in Quebec in Hudson
Never dreamed of being a professor at Ryerson
In 1969 when he was just 19 yet he could afford
To marry high school sweetheart Sally Halford
With two kids Sally and Mike
He will go to work riding a bike
He moved to Toronto and in Political Science got a PhD
Not knowing cancer could snatch away his life so cruelly  
He wasn’t poor or rich
But he too got the itch
And he was a metro Councilor from 1982 up to 1988
Championing his cause putting all in the hands of fate
He remarried to the pretty Olivia Chow
She became an NDP MP in 2006, wow!
In 1990 Layton became of Toronto’s Deputy Mayor
In 1997-2003 he settled down as a City Councillor
Failures for a Federal seat in winning he had a few
But gutsy Jack Layton had the Federal seat in view
He was the cork or bobbin which refused to sink
In 1919 he founded the Green Catalyst Group Inc.
And in 1993 he ran for the House of Commons and came in fourth
But determined Jack Layton knew one day he would get the vote
In 2000 he published Homelessness:
The Making and Unmaking of a Crisis
He became the President in 2004 got the keys
Of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities
In 2003 became the Federal NDP Leader for sure
And was elected to the House of Commons in 2004
Later he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer
In 2011 he won 103 seats showed his stamina
He became Head of the Official Opposition Party
Then tragedy struck as he underwent hip surgery
He came out brave brandishing his cane
And we thought Jack was back once again
Then the strains showed still fighting his cancer
Vowed to defeat it and it was a battle very bitter
Then on August 22, 2011, his family got a bigger problem
For Jack Layton passed away at home that day at 4:45 am
Some called him Citizen Jack or Gentleman Jack
For the little people he was always on the attack
He fought for fairness and for compassion
Suffering silently as he did this in remission
Hard working with a fighting spirit
Alone Jack Layton did every bit of it
Fighting for the Homeless and the Environment
Trying to give gays and lesbians their equal vent
Even when his foes called him names like Vladimir Jack
Taliban Jack or Chairman Jack he gave them the slack
He was above such petty jealousy he never held any grudges
Fighting only to build a United Canada yet he never budges
In his final letter to Canadians he addressed us all
It was as if he knew it was going to be his last call
He said Love is better than anger, Hope is better than fear
Optimism is better than despair so let us love show we care
Not like some who are sheer apologies and pessimistic
We’ll change the world if we be hopeful and optimistic
No other Politician except Pierre Trudeau
Showed such patriotism, charisma and glow
To be given such a well deserved State Funeral[1]
Across Canada tears flowed from one and all
Who will show us that special human touch
The hugs and smiles we got to love so much
For his short 61 years on this beautiful world
John Gilbert Jack Layton gave it a real whirl  
All politicians praised him for his good works
But why do they sometimes behave like jerks?
Denying the Social right for every child and senior
From our deserved wealth as our cup runneth over
Winning over 100 seats Jack made history
But his death left a hole in our Democracy
Why can’t others from Jack’s book take a page
Stop the puerile parliamentary sniping and rage
Put all Canadians first then look after the others
And stop the quagmire of hypocrisy my brothers?
Naraine Datt
Naraine Datt lives in Pickering. Ontario, and has so far published 2 books of poetry (100 poems) A Lonely Voice and Drink from my Calabash.  He is presently working on his first novel The Berbician.

The lives of great men

Reach and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight

But they while their companions slept

Were toiling upwards

All through the night


There are no rules to follow
It comes from the guts
Get close to the action
When you get the vibes
When you help
Someone else
Especially when
They are suffering
Maybe interrupt
Your education
Listen to the calling
Of your vocation
Maybe you can’t see
The roads clearly
Because there are
No stop signs
On the super hi-way
Maybe you oughta
Read the Bhagwat Gita
To follow your passion
Until you have
Your feet on the ground
For it takes
A well rounded
Sound education
To know how
The world goes around
Leave space
For humanity
And the basics of life.




The good ones pray for a good kill

The bad ones pray to have their fill

With promises of what not

To do justice to the other lot

Both sides are also very greedy

They’re always willing and ready

Will even go to their places of worship

And after praying will talk eat and sip

As they plan to get rid of the enemy

Amidst out bursts of blasphemy

And then they go out into the real world

Silently praying with their flags unfurled

Doing their chores just like some simple folks

But behind your backs they share racist jokes

And do all kinds of silly dumb things

And this is how some get their flings

The bad parents turn their eyes

As if they’re gazing at the skies

When their kids do something wrong

Knowing fully well it won’t last long

For soon they bound to be a rift

Like when they steal or shop lift

I guess they willfully forgot

Bad company said the parrot

The good parents will grab their kid

And rebuke them for what they did

Some will even go all the way for sure

And return culprit and article to the store

Despite the little fact that we’re all god’s children

And would one day grow up to be men and women

We should do the right thing always

So we’d have less numbered days

For after all to do good is easy

Being bad makes you shifty

It perverts your conscions

Creates much dissension

Makes you a deceiver and a liar

Like you’re always sitting on briar

With restless sleep and nightmares

Wet with perspiration and with fears

Which is not good for your poor soul and your sad heart

And can be avoided by doing the right thing from the start





 The land of many waters is my forever Guyana

Sandwiched betweenBrazilandVenezuela

Also called the land of six peoples

Although some behave like weevils

Including the Blacks and Indians

And our neglected Amerindians

We live on the flat coastlands

From Point Playa to Springlands

Mesmerized by racial politics

Still using the race card tricks

It appears as if we’re bloody cursed

With some of us stuck in reverse

Just to stay sober and keep alive

Whilst some are in forward drive

Some myopic and so stubborn

Some hope for newborn morn

MyGuyanais Raleigh, Sir Walter

The fearless Elizabethan explorer

He sailed up theOrinoco

Hoping to find El Dorado

Around campfires his saga is told

How he came looking for our gold

Dr.Walter Rodney is in My Guyana

The stalwart historian, and teacher

He cleansed their eyes of many from boo-boo

And on Bent Streethe met his tragic Waterloo

MyGuyanais Cheddi Jagan

Who showed the world he can

After 28 years in the opposition

To the infamous Machiavellian

He found peace and sanity

And brought back democracy

Eventually we got independence

After bitter struggle so immense

With Forbes Burnham the dictator

Who became misguided later

But I’m thankful to that Kabaka

When I couldn’t take the pressure

I leftGuyanaand came to theUSA

And then later settled inCanada

MyGuyanais cricket also man!

With Basil Butcher and Soloman

The star batsmen from Berbice

WhenGuyanawas at real peace

Rohan Kanhai in cricket held the spot

With his famous falling hook shot

Who sometimes unfortunately ran out of luck

An overnight’s batsman got bowled for a duck

This wasn’t for his fans a very good scene

Much to the chagrin of the whole Corentyne

MyGuyanais Ted Braithwaite as a teacher

With his novel, To Sir with Love as a writer

Sydney Poiter’s portrayal of kids bad and loud

Ted’s English experience made us very proud

 It also includes JWChinapen teacher and artist

His Albion Wilds at that time ‘twas the best

And not forgetting the late great dynamic

Revealing to us of politicians so slick

He turned the darkness into light

Martin Carter’s poems were right

With his Poems of Resistance so powerful

Uniting a people and making it so crystal

Who literally planted the struggle and need

To fight bad politics, racialism and greed

MyGuyanais honored to have great boons

The likes of the lordly Cedric Vernon Nunes

And the wisdom of the late J R Butchey

Teacher and councilor with humility

Philip Moore our famous artist

His art was on all visitor’s list

With his art and sculpture so unique

Making Guyanareached its peak

What wouldGuyanabe great Scot!

Without Stalwarts like Derek Walcot

The Daybydeens, Bhagwandin a fine man

Indomitable A J Seymour, Clem Seecharan

  Nesbit Changur country western singer

Whose Tain the Beginning a bestseller

Made us laugh and cry some in shock

That we’re alive through all that havoc

So when you are being political

Sowing seeds of distrust so hateful

Joining the highbrows helping

To divide us and keep on ruling

Better know that fellow man we are

A good people who never think of war

In small towns and tiny villages 

Enjoying the same sea breezes

Once were never divided living like chums

Not by race or politics or bully hoodlums

MyGuyanais for all the six major races

The Amerindians who made the first traces

The sons and daughters of the blacks

Who came after camouflaged attacks

Of the slaves uprooted fromAfrica

To build the plantations of the bakrah

And the East Indians shipped fromIndia

These are the people who madeGuyana

These coolies really deserve our cheers

What it is today built by these pioneers

And they all have a democratic right

To govern peacefully in this fight

In myGuyanayou positively move forward

Throw off our shackles but keep up our guard

Stop and think not of the race card game

And neither the old ever blame game

About the past we cant do anything

But from it we can learn something

Take the good dump the negative

And move forward think positive

Like when we wereBritish Guiana

When we fought the bad bakrah

We thought bad things would cease

And all the races would live in peace

When all the religions were respected

Not where some men were subjected

When we all used to work together

Played and laughed with one another

And sometimes loved each other

Yes that’s my kind ofGuyana


                        MyGuyana belongs to the farmers

            The cane cutters and pork knockers

            Even the contentious civil servants

            Able Policeman and good soldiers

Firemen, road gangs pupils and teachers

MyGuyanais not for the choke and robbers

Who steal from the poor in this broil

Eking out a living in the hustle and toil

 Wearing fat gold chains on their chests

And mocking proudly resisting arrests

            MyGuyanahas no place for ideological asses

            Far removed from the welfare of the masses

            Bureaucratic hypocritical pencil pushers

And streams of no good paper shufflers

            Partying or being entertained by voodoos

            As the citizens are crying in long queues


I’m a Guyanese and love me duff and cassava

I was born at Nabaclis village in Demerara

Lived in BushLot, West Coast Berbice

I still relish my black-eye rice and peas

I can still lash down my dholl, rice and bhajee

And I’m king for the day with a good metagee

And still love my juicy Buxton spice mango

Firstly worked at Anna Regina inEssequibo

            I seldom complain and or fret

And damn proud of it you bet

My Grandfather’s bones are sadly buried

Very far from where he once got married

There he died searching for gold

Seeking a better life for his fold

In the heartland of rough Kurupung region

Where he made his final gold bastion

My great, great grandfather, a seer

Was a prince from richKashmir

I’m a real Brahmin by birth

But I fly low near the earth

My friends are from all races and creed

I judge a man by his words and deed

And not by his past politics

But by his actions and antics

I’m getting there actually but I know

One day I will live to see our show

When Guyanese think like me

Not as a black or a damn coolie

            But as one nation with one destiny

Living in sweet peace and harmony.


Addendum to MY GUYANA


After reading here about much hate  

I have to stave off this racial spate

MyGuyanaincludes Indian music and calypso

OfRaviShankar, Rafi, Mukesh and Sudar Popo

It’s Indian music at an East Indian wedding

Where Indians and blacks are dancing

And if you think Indians can dance really

To Indian or tassa music or hot chatney

You never see blacks wine down with Nanee Wine

Putting Indians to shame but all at that time is fine

It’s a cultural thing from far awayAfrica?

Or the missing link that can healGuyana?

MyGuyanaof course for sure is not one when

Some black bandits cut off the hair of our women

After they robbed them of all their life savings

After their usual molesting, raping and burnings

This is violent racial hatred and so very shameful

And one wonders if it’s not Xenophobia so hateful

One must not forget what happened inWismarman!

With Burnham’s catastrophic genocidal X-13plan

Yet by other blacks it was never condemned

But they turn their faces or are just numbed

Or pretend not to notice these racial evils

Committed by their folks all be it devils

MyGuyanais for who can stand up and be counted

Tell the molesters to stop or they would be dented

When wrongs are done to any other race

By those who talk nice before your face

When advantages are done to the mass

When eye-pass become rass-pass

When we can go back to the days

Of yore of Live and let live ways

When the villages were mixed with all peoples

By folks with churches with their own steeples

By both major races and all religion

Be itKrishna, Allah, Christ, orZion

Living and working together brother

Which we used to call one another

Feeding from your pot and giving shelter

Even for the kids doing the usual sleepover

Not when night comes run for cover

From bullets coming like a shower

But as sure as the morning sun rises

After the pundits’ analyses and surmises

My dreams one day will come true eventually

And finally we will be able to sleep peacefully

You can take that to the banks 

And say nothing but thanks


Yea! That’s myGuyana