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HomeArts-EntertainmentArts & Literature‘The Pan Man,’ a Poem by Winston Nugent

‘The Pan Man,’ a Poem by Winston Nugent

The Pan Man

For Winston “Spree” Simon

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

His beat was tenor sometimes echoed with a splash of base

It forces you to prance,

to pay attention to the sounds

of the Trinidadian musical invention

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

The sunshine ebbed with the evening breeze—

a feeling every night would be a full moon

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Where is Mozart?

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Where is Beethoven?

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Where is Bach?

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Excuse me, Mr. Jazz Man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Nuff respect, Mr. Reggae Man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Thanks, Mr. Calypso man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Welcome, Mr. Soul Man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Sorry, Mr. Rock and Roll Man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Take a try, Mr. Rap Man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

Look out, here comes Mr. Soca Man!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

You could hear the hammering of his invention

on the empty oil drums still to this day!

Your sounds live in the voices of carnival—

the backyard steel drums, Mr. Spree!

Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping!

Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong! Pong!

 

*Winston “Spree” Simon, from Trinidad was one of the great steelpan pioneers. He is said to be the inventor of the ping pong steelpan.

*Winston Nugent grew up on St. Croix. He has been honored by the International Society of Poets. Blue Rain, Negus, On Our Island, and Walking in the Footsteps of My Ancestors are among his poetry chapbooks. The following short stories have been published by the University of the Virgin Islands (Caribbean Writers): Two Birds with One Stone, Many Rivers to Cross, and Still Water Runs Deep. He received the Caribbean Writers’ Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize and the Daily News Prize for his story The Rim.

The Source Arts & Literature section highlights the work of our creative readers. All visual artists and creative writers are encouraged to share with us new works. Poetry and creative prose submissions are limited to 1,500 words and should include a brief bio of the writer. Visual art submissions should include at least one high-quality image or video and a very brief bio along with an artist’s statement that speaks to the inspiration of the work. The statement should include the title if there is one, the medium used and what the work means to you.

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