Tommy Builds A Cocktail


Tommy spied a sun-dried palm tree in an untouched garden
with crusty dark skin and cracks riddling
all along its side, weeping out of its shell
he aimed for a branch and down a coconut fell 

it didn’t implode on impact or split in his grip
he had to kick it along the cobblestone path
drag the shell across a pebble-dashed wall
and hook up the jet-powered sandblaster.
Even a parade of lawnmower wheelies couldn’t shred it. 

After the stalemate, Tommy retrained as a mercenary
infiltration   demolitions      counter-insurgency
and busted the shell wide open with a perfect salute

he chopped lime with a ceremonial sword
mixed barrel-aged rum with mashed mint in a Boston glass
sliced pineapples and sprinkled four sugar-heaped spoonfuls on top
and throttled it all together before straining out any not quite pulverized pulp.

Tommy piled on crushed ice from the fridge dispenser
raked the evidence behind the second shed
and added red rose petals from the
planter on the roadside of the main drive
to garnish.


Peter deGraft-Johnson is a Ghanaian-British writer, broadcaster and Hip Hop artist known by The Repeat Beat Poet. His debut pamphlet, A Testament To Life And Death was published in 2022 by Verve Poetry Press, and he is the producer and host of the Rap & Poetry open mic Pen-Ting Poetry and the multi-award nominated Lunar Poetry Podcast, which is archived in the British Library. Peter is a graduate of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective and the Obsidian Foundation programmes, and in 2021 he was awarded a residency at the Library of Africa & The African Diaspora in Accra, Ghana. He is the current IS&T editing intern.

The context of IS&T’s Jubilee Suite can be found here: Critique, Dissent, and Resistance: A Suite of Poems for the Jubilee