THE POET: Struggles of life



Poet struggles of life imageStruggles are part and parcel of the lives of all races, creeds, peoples and individuals . It comes in the form of challenges, trials, tribulations, hardships, oppression, victimization, prejudice and I am sure you could put in additional forms of struggles both personal and general.

The overcoming of struggles can be bitter sweet and as the popular folk song goes ” the hotter the battle the sweeter the victory.”

Again, I have put together a bunch of poems from my 1983, collection of poems, titled, VIEW, that reflects the notion of struggles in different forms.


Green, dark green is the colour of the grass

Fresh, in the early hours of dawn.

The blades are strong, the plant is well

Nothing like it, a beautiful sight to behold.


Pale green is the colour of the grass.

Battered, in the midday sun.

It has been trampled on by men;

What a pity, there was nothing like it.


Brown is the colour of the grass.

A mess, in the cool of the evening.

It has undergone another day of suffering;

Try as it might, there was nothing like it.


Black is the colour of the man.

An unfortunate creature of the world.

His arms are strong, the man is well,

Nothing like him, a creature being enslaved.



It is your decision

Not my decision.

I have made one

Like any other man.


Don’t be confused

Because of what other people do.

Remember, this man and that man

Is just like you.


Their dwelling places

may be high or low,

They are still sharing

This life you know.


The way is straight

So cut out the corners.

A simple life

Goes much further.


It is your choice

So you must choose well;

Righteousness for ever

As time must tell.


It is your decision

Not my decision.

I have made one

Like any other man.



Morning, noon and night

Seeking to get my rights.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow

I may still be living in sorrow.

Through trials, crosses and tribulations

I have to keep fighting on.

With none to give a helping hand

That is a sad state for any man.


Struggling just to stay alive

With little chances to survive.

Comfort I have never seen,

My life is one of struggling.



Wailing, wailing, wailing

The people are tired of crying.

Laughers, laughing all the time.

Criers, crying all the time.

Wailings and gnashing of teeth,

Their lives aren’t sweet;

One of pain, one of sorrow,

They can feel it in their marrow.


So, no time to rest my brothers;

Let us work this out together.

“Better must come one day”,

That is what, prophets of old say.

People are you ready?

People are you ready?



We should all be our brothers’ keepers.

This would make life much easier;

With me looking out for you

And you looking out for me too.


Are you being your brother’s keeper?

If not so, what are you waiting for?

Do you realize you are the one

Who is putting the pressure on?


Be your brother’s keeper.

Help him to overcome.

If you are his keeper

His things are your and yours his.



Cloudy sky and rain,

Let my sun shine a bit.

Break the chain

Take it off my feet.


What is happiness like?

What is really joy?

My only friend is night,

I tried to laugh but no joy.


I can walk about

But I am a slave again.

Sleeping lion, get up,

Come break my chain.


Lion, kill all pains.

Lion, kill all sorrows.

Break all chains

To live a life not borrowed.



Sitting each day

They say I am lazy.

Ask for help

They think I am crazy.


For years I have tried

And many tears I have cried

My failures fill both hands

And this goes on and on.


They could have helped

But they wanted the pressure felt.

Wanted me to try my best

When I am at my fullest.


No doors open though I knocked,

I seek and have found not

And now I am on the track

They’re saying this and that.



This morning, aunt broke her leg

The rent was long overdue,

The powerman took their light

And the watermen took their water too.

She was flat broke in every way.


Mom cried, Miss Ruby cried, Gran cried,

“O help us God”, they all cried.


The last ounce of cornmeal gone

The house leaks even when the rain drizzles.

What is happening now

Happens throughout the four seasons.

Some people can take it, some can’t.


Mom cried, Miss Ruby cried, Gran cried,

“O help us God”, they all cried.




On the move

We are mobilized.

Cut out the playing,

Time  we get wise.


You farmer,

You better produce.

You pretty, pretty girl

Put your hands to use.


If you sit down

And gather up rust

You are going to lose

the man’s trust.


Look at the warriors

With their big bomb,

Tell them to put

Down arms and come.



Stop your crying;

Come give a

Helping hand this time.


Listen man,

We are mobilized;

That you must realize.



When sitting, facing the blue sky

That seems to meet the sea

And sea stretching to meet land,

All that is in your mind is blues.


Wide open, blue jotted sky,

Dotted by small grey cloud bands

Which dapple a shaded blue sea

That is dotted, but mostly blue.


When sitting, facing the blue sky

That meets sea at the horizon

Which meets land, you think in blues.

Blue, blues, dark green, blue.



The poetSTRUGGLES OF LIFE. Poems from Clifton Neil’s 1983 collection of poems called VIEW. Get your free copy by joining our mail list at WORDFOODMUSIC.COM.

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THE POET: Slice of life

May 2016 Tour. NOTCLIF – The Poet, at Princeton University taking a view.

The poetSlice of life

Many a times we spend so much time worrying about life, we do not have the time to live it. Much time is also spent preparing for tomorrow and today passes us by, unnoticed. Yet strangely and simply, it seems that despite our fears, tears and snares, “life is for living” and “living for is life”.

Yeah, it does look like “what is life” amounts to “life is what” irrespective of what the scientists, theologians and philosophers say.

I too have a take on Life and from my 1983 collection of poems, titled VIEW, I share a few with you that reflects a view or slice of life.

Slice of Life as I dubbed them are simply expressions created from my youthful impressions of life then. Hope you like.

(For mom and Vaneker)

I find myself looking

On all I have been through

False accusations, belittling

And all types of blues.


I knew I could easily be

What they want me to be;

Big cars and looking pretty,

Friend this and all I can see


I know what I want to be,

So the more they force me

The more I learn of what is true:

Jah first, all will be added to you



It is a race be run and won.

The goal, immortality.

The winner, loser of all vanity.


It is not a race for the swift

But for one who is slow enough to ask,

“what is life?”


What is life?

Is it a process that will cease?

No, never, Life is God,

And who is God?


God is love, God is peace.

Put love in your heart,

Be at peace with yourself

And rightfully you will receive God.

And that is life, eternal life,

The goal of men.


Every hero needs a place; May 2016 @ The Capitol


Life is a tree.

It grows from a seed.

Nurtured, it will spread beautifully

But there is always someone

To chop a branch off the tree.


Life never stops there

Like the tree, it grows new buds;

Younger branches growing like the prototype

With more puissance and more strength.



I am young,

Plenty of time for goals.

Young green boy,

So I am told.


I always listen,

Always try to know

Was it like this,

Will it still be so?


Imagine me,

Growing as a youth.

Thinking, planning,

What is truth?


A day will come ,

I may grow old.

Family life soon,

Children to scold.


Where from  there

Would depend on me;

End of life’s way

Or joy for eternity.



There are many steps to climb,

And many trials to face,

Many questions will flash through one’s mind

Yes, crucial decisions to make.


I have succeeded, at times I fail,

But I say the Lord knows why.

So if I fail, I take stock of them.

Life is a teacher, it points out faults.


There may be gold at the rainbow’s end

And he who tries, may find it;

But I don’t like to search in vain.

Where does a rainbow start?

Where does a rainbow ends?



Easy was related to comfort

But these were hard to find.

It took determination and the Lord’s help

To be in front, away from misery.


The trend is tightly sealed.

The chains , strong to their weakest links,

But we have finally realized

To stop a man takes more than killing him.

Understand my friends, get the know how.

Don’t shy away, that’s what they want.

Remember, they don’t know you

But you know them.


May 2016: A view from the Capitol


Eagerly awaited Spring, has finally come.

A time of year, always remembered by the aged.

The young supple and decisive time….

Oh Spring! Are you leaving us.


Spring has gone, but not for long.

It’s time for Summer to be master:

The active , strong and brilliant part of life.

Summer! Not you too? Don’t leave us!


Autumn steps in as ancient as time.

A time to cry, but do you want to?

It’s the realizing, preparing and waiting.

Strange, these happen only in autumn.


Winter is here, tell everyone it’s Winter.

A time when people and birds go south:

The cold, shivering and miserable Winter.

Winter, hey Winter! Aren’t you gone?

Spring, oh eagerly awaited Spring.



An old Jamaican saying goes,

“There are two sides to every story:

One is for, the other against.

Another saying goes, “Try, try

And try, if at the one thousandth time

You still fail, try again.


This is very tiresome and discouraging

But people say, “Good for those who endure.”

“ A drowning man will catch at a straw.”

What does this proverb really mean?

Desperate people respect no one.


They say that new brooms do sweep clean,

Yet old brooms know the corners.

If I live by rules, I’ll never know you.

Doesn’t familiarity breeds contempt,

Distance brings and breeds respect??

Proverbs, proverbs, life, life

Proverbs and life.



Take a good look at me Lord.

Why do I find it so hard?

I find it so hard to face reality,

Doubts are ever lingering with me.


Sometimes I think I am wrong

But how could that be? I know I am right.

Doubts! Did not Thomas doubt too?

He had to see and feel to believe it was true.


Am I to be blamed, Lord, am I?

Should I be given a chance to prove myself.

What? Oh Lord! You are wisdom and Knowledge,

You are Understanding: a good friend to have.


In the head of ..Princeton University May 2016 visit.


In the heart of man

Lies unknown things;

Quite unknown.


In the head of man

Lies things unknown;



If man had known

The Unknown….


If man was independent

of the unknown…


Things would be erased,

Leaving the Unknown



The great knowledge

of the Unknown,

Is the essence of life

Making men’s puny knowledge

quite unfelt.


The poet

NOTCLIF: THE POET- Slice of Life is taken from VIEW: 1983 collection of poems by Clifton Neil.  Get a free copy by joining our mailing list on

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Notclif the poet

Guess what? August 1983, was special to me. Not only was it the birth month of Marcus Garvey (August 17, 1887), but it was also the month I produced my first concert (August 27, 1983) in the Seville Theatre in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. (Not boasting, just a toasting, but I was born and grown a few blocks from where Marcus Garvey was born and grown in St Ann’s Bay, Jamaica.. smiles). Anyway, 1983 was also the year I published a collection of my poems titled “VIEW”. It is a collection of about 40 of my poems, albeit, with a youthful perspective then. (It was my 20th birthday). Do I still share those views? Hmmmm.

I was looking through the book and decided I will share some of the poems with you in slices. This first Slice of Love consists of the poems that radiate or expressed “a kind of” love vibes. Hope you like:


The poet

love icon


My love, nothing you see is new.

Love is in everyone; shared by only a few

Accept me for what I am

Then you will find out just who I am



Just suppose I were you.

You wouldn’t have a chance.

No, you wouldn’t have a chance,

Never get a chance to be you.

I would never one day lose

A battle between me and you.

I would have the power to choose,

Not only for me, but also for you.


Still, I am glad I am little me,

You are too big a person to be.

I rather be me all the time;

Because I dread to think,

Suppose you were I.



I will build a house

on the firm rock of truth,

Furnish it with love

then come looking for you


I want you to understand

the life you have to live.

You must not pretend,

everything I stand for is real.


Close by me

you will be just as free

Knowing I am love,

a love that is real.


If 6 were the same as 9

we would not need to choose.

You may trick me and win,

when you trick love you lose.


Hope you are for real,

hope it’s true love you feel.

Hope you are for real

to live a life that is free.



Soft words, turn away anger.

Harsh words, provoke wrath.

Love has got no time for quarrels,

Has got no time for fussing.

It has got life to live;

All the joy It has to give.


My love, strange to know you do quarrel.

Where is the harmony

That’s exist with love?

Please stop and think.


The night has gone, replaced by day.

You always promised you would change,

Saying, “Tomorrow I will change”

And yet there are only todays.



Bursting with energy

And getting very mighty.

Forgiving but not forgetting.

Knowing love is for everything.


Bursting with love:

With love sweet love.

Expecting nothing

But knowing love is for everything.



She was in the world

But not of the world.

She stood erect,

Her beauty a natural phenomenon.


Her poise

Showed the perfection of her profile:

From her hair to her toes

She was untouched.


Her lips had no paint

Nor were her nails polished.

She knew

But walked not the ways of the world.


I looked

In her eyes and cried,

“Here is a natural,

A natural child at last.”



Man’s best friend is a woman.

She’s to man what night is to day.

She is made just like man

and can shine as bright as day.


A house is not a home

without an understanding woman inside.

Though sometimes happy and sometimes sad

a man likes a woman at his side.


Man must not control a woman.

She must be respected and made free.

One shouldn’t try to force her to be

the very things she hates to be.


Let us face life as it really is.

Woman is more than a housewife.

She’s what God made her to be:

a perfect companion throughout life.



Vain races did I run

A fool’s treasure I won.

No one’s fault but mine,

Each new love takes time.

Kings and Princes do joke,

Either it is whole or uneven yoke?”

River to stream, shed your load.


Just you my dear

Of all those that should care,

Hard it was to say:

None made me feel that way.

So, you have also tried,

Only to see near tears cried?

Now, tell me, has love died?



Sit and wonder why

I have chosen this:

Of all that goes by,

The ones you would miss.

Sit and wonder why

I should not be moved;

If only I would try

I would be there in the groove.


Sit and wonder why

I say the things that I say;

Yet of all that pry

None did like this today.

love seat cover

Sign up for our email and get a free copy of  my collection of poems titled VIEW at WFM


Aneil media Promo CD image
Aneil sings her love song “Let Me Be”. Click to watch on YouTube

Incidentally, my daughter has developed a love for writing and has penned her own love poem/song. Check her out on YouTube doing her song “Let Me Be”. (with lyrics).

You can tune in to Aneil at her Facebook page




Write, Eat, Sing



Keep tuned for the next in the series of NotClif blogs: The Poet: Slices of Life.The poet

Niagara, Oh Niagara Falls (Your passion is wasting me away)

Notclif at Niagara Falls October 2011. The setting for his poem: "Oh Niagara"
Notclif at Niagara Falls October 2011. The setting for his poem: “Oh Niagara”

Charles Dickens visited Niagara Falls in 1841. On viewing the Canadian Falls from Table Rock he wrote, “Niagara was at once stamped upon my heart, an Image of Beauty; to remain there, changeless and indelible, until its pulses cease to beat, forever.”

I did my Christopher Columbus , late discovery but eye opening, of North America with my maiden trip to Florida, from Jamaica, In 1992. This was almost 500 years after Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. Yeah, Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas when he set his eyes on it while aboard his ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa maria circa 1494. One of my favourite reggae singers, Burning Spear, did a song in which he called Christopher Columbus a “damn liar” for saying he discovered the Americas”. I am at pains to let them realize that, discover simply means to find out. Doesn’t mean he is the first one. Fact is, Chris discovered America in 1492, while the Indians did it a much earlier. For fun, see Burning Spear song, and his historical rebuttal of Columbus’ discovery claim. Simply click on the 500th Anniversary stamp to see video.

Fotos und Bilder zu Christophorus Columbus (24)

Anyway, back to Niagara, Oh Niagara, the main focus of this blog. For me,  I can say, I discovered North America in 1992 but it took almost 20 years before I graced my eyes on Niagara Falls. I could easily see why Charles Dickens got mesmerized. i was too. The water seem to be having fun rushing, tumbling, roaring, cascading, inundating the rocks as it heads down from lake Erie into Lake Ontario. There was an eerie note to it though. So pronounced was it, that i penned, or was it penciled or type, it into a poem. hmm. Whatever. Well, here is the poem I wrote, titled “Oh Niagara: Niagara Falls”. I hope you like it and the attempted review of it.

The love affair that results in the love's demise. Erosion of land has been a concern at the Niagara Falls
The love affair that results in the love’s demise. Erosion of land has been a concern at the Niagara Falls

Niagara, Oh Niagara Falls

Your waters on my cheeks continuously tumble down

Whether as dew on a smiling face or tears on a frown.

You are always rumbling, and frolicking with a thundering shout

Whether on show for many or even if no one is about.

The brown foam below Niagara Falls is a natural result of tons of water plummeting into the depths below. The brown colour is clay, which contains suspended particles of decayed vegetative matter, mostly from the shallow eastern basin of Lake Erie.
Notclif in cloak as the Falls tumble along. The brown foam below Niagara Falls is a natural result of tons of water plummeting into the depths below. The brown colour is clay, which contains suspended particles of decayed vegetative matter, mostly from the shallow eastern basin of Lake Erie.

Niagara, Oh Niagara Falls.

We, are a beautiful awesome sight to behold.

Whether morning or night, our passion for a wet noisy continuous flow never grows old

We are a thing of beauty, and a beautiful thing too with love as our tonic

Whether we agree or not, our passion is becoming chronic.

Niagara River

Niagara, Oh Niagara Falls

Your beauty and awe keep eating away at my soul

Whether it’s your strength or vigour or the stories untold.

Your passion has reached, has uncovered and gone beyond my deepest inner core

Whether sadly or gladly, if you continue loving me like this, I will be no more.

The poem, “Oh Nigara, Niagara Falls”  was trying to capture the passionate yet eerie feeling and outcome of a love affair that results in the demise of one of the lovers. The water while creating an awesome effect for the millions of onlookers  as it falls 170 feet (52 metres) into the Maid of the Mist pool from the Canadian Horseshoe Falls is eroding the land inch by inch.  At the American Falls, the water plunges vertically ranging from  70 to 110 feet (21 to 34 metres) to the rock  at the base of the Falls and is doing a similarly passionate job of eroding the land.

Niagara Falls ErosionAccording to Getalltravelinfo. Niagara Falls is a product of erosion. The force of the water tumbling over the Horseshoe Falls continually causes large sections of rock to erode and fall away.

More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 cubic metres) of water go over the crest line every minute during peak daytime tourist hours. It is difficult to determine the depth of the water at the crest line due to various flows and conditions of the river.

The erosion is estimated at 1 foot (32 cm) approximately every 10 years. The hard top layer of dolomite limestone is underlain by softer layers of sandstone and shale. The tumbling waters cut away the shale and sandstone layers until the undermined top layer collapses, thus maintaining the vertical face of the Falls.

About 12,000 years ago, Niagara Falls was 7 miles (11 kilometers) downstream from its present position. Until the early 1950’s, the Falls eroded at the average rate of 3 feet (approximately 1 metre) per year.

By the way, the word “Onguiaahra” appears on maps as early as 1641. Both it and the later version “Ongiara” are Indian words generally interpreted as meaning “The Straight”, although the more romantic “Thunder of Waters” is sometimes given. By the time the first white man arrived at the Falls, the name in general use was “Niagara”.

Notclif ponders: should we turn our backs on passion or embrace it with passion?Notclif ponders: should we turn our backs on passion or embrace it with passion?

Interestingly, I was looking at the link and relationship between the Niagara River, the Niagara Falls and the bordering land between Canada and United States of America. One can sense the love, but the outcome while being awesome and scenic, over times leads to demise. The Niagara River seems to be the winner, followed by the land and the loser is the Fall. If the land continues eroding away, the Fall will be no more and the land would be flat. Niagara River and Land but no Falls. It definitely doesn’t seem like a symbiotic relationship. In a nutshell, the Niagara Falls, although the puissance and glory of the trio, will be a mist if not less.

Needless to say, if we are not careful, we will find our love affairs, jobs, social friendships, and even our lives being eroded by passions and addictions and cravings that we forged with glitter and glamour; yet as time goes on we realize that we are just being caressed and scraped by a friction that looks good in picture but inside it is life threatening. It seems the age old adage goes: not everything that glitters is gold. Have you ever wonder if your passion and love is making you feel “wasted away?”

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