Friday, May 22, 2009

“I don’t remember exactly when, but one Sunday recently, I decided to go to church to attend mass. After some time, I realized that I was in the wrong church- it was a Protestant church.
I was about to leave, but the vicar was just beginning his sermon, and I thought it would be rude to get up at that point, and it was a real blessing, because that day I heard things I very much needed to hear.
He said something like:
“In all the languages in the world, there is the same proverb: ‘What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.’ Well I say that there isn’t an ounce of truth in it. The further off they are, the closer to the heart are all those feelings that we try to repress and forget. If we’re in exile, we want to store away every tiny memory of our roots. If we’re far from the person we love, everyone we pass in the street reminds us of them.
“The gospels and all the sacred texts of all religions were written in exile, in search of God’s understanding, of the faith that moves whole peoples, of the pilgrimage of souls wandering the face of the Earth. Our ancestors did not know, as we do not know, what the Divinity expects from our lives- and it is out of that doubt that books are written, pictures painted, because we don’t want to forget who we are- nor can we.”

- Diary of Maria the prostitute,
Eleven Minutes
Paulo Coelho.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For the Chief and Aripo.

Engaged colours dialogue
In compromise of space,
Each pigment plasters the detail
Of a nation summoned to rise from the earth,
The bulging embryo of stifled stillbirth
Only perverting the rhythm of
This labour of love,
But a prophet would never be welcomed-
in his home town.
How many silk-cotton trees dey try to cut-down
To size,
Before dey realize, it only give time
for the roots to bend deeper,
They the keepers
of our story,
enforce realities that we choose to ignore,
and the store
-houses for black gold,
could only preserve this people
through folklore,
but Man has become false law
unto himself,
and this fossil of a memory
is all he is left
Memory is a presence
only moulded by goldsmiths
But at the mercy of this-
Master artist’s hands,
Recall turns to revelations
of a backward dance,
feet turned around,
chancing itself with a blind-man’s
lead, this country never holds on
to the men that she needs,
but he would still concede to her wishes,
Ascending to her whims,
but his
are the lungs of her mountains,
El Tucuche sings the ballad of her longing,
Read the paintings on the walls,
all the inscriptions are flowering,
down from the quiet of her emerald waters,
Aripo remains humble
knowing that she has conquered-
The landscape of this island,
risen to the pride of its ritual,
A relic of our sanctity,
the fragments of a spiritual,
Believing that this vessel could restore hope back to life,
Knotted umbilical chords strumming the hymn of his birthright,
Giving us to write-in all the unfinished verses,
But when a genius becomes 70, it marks a climax of ages.

copyright 2008

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Performance piece- Caroni (1975) Ltd.

A silent mob of shadows,
slicing the dew of ah early morning haze,
grazing against fragile moments,
a savannah now laid waste in atonement-
for our skins and theirs,
for hours ah skimmed-
through history books with tired spines,
and still they couldn’t hold the truth I had set out to find,
but they can’t withhold my story from me,
for I was born the-
descendant of a woman of the cane fields,
and like medicine, the vaporized scent of it heals,
and fills meh empty spaces filling up,
Caroni could cup- my destiny in her veined hands,
in every riverbed encircling sunburnt grasslands,
that would harvest and invoke some memory that ah had inherited-
with a scented freshness for a Saturday at dawn,
a violet robe that nature put on,
bambooing itself through the grass,
and so too would cane also come to pass.
But this central wind have a rhapsody,
and these purple stalks trap a certain melody of brustles,
but in a violent twang that we never understood too well,
and to tell of it almost taboo to a westernized tongue,
but to the rhythm of a drumerless drum,
I could translate time into being a relevant reality-
and the sweetened tragedy stood as a smoke-screen to filter out tobacco,
die-versify de trade,
and to see the face of a people fade
between crops,
Taino to Kalinago to Amerindian to what
crocheted my conscience to these fields,
to Africa where they would steal
labourers to work for the life of sugar,
cutlassing through the feelings of a disconnected granddaughter,
but remembering to mehself that blood thicker than water
would ever be,
in dreams I would see the plantations all being set on fire,
ravaging a landscape, a colonial empire,
sending the warning up and over the hills-
Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico until-
even my Trinidad coloured and starched a night sky in red,
see, these cane fields bled-
the voice of a voiceless people,
in harvest, in war, in rebellion, in the dance of a festival-
and to the bajhans and mantras of east-indian labourers,
20,000 falling unemployed one day because-
of the crossed priorities of a rum republic.
So we subject-
these promised lands to breathe a different air about us
that come like a cursed memory verse
to mock any advancements we might make,
either now, or later.
But we have made an-
uncertain step carved by anxious feet in Caroni’s soil,
too fertile to care about these anticipated spoils,
the children of the cane,
and again the familiar episode of the innocence of a child
ruptures and cuts this country straight down the middle,
because- Sean Luke was only 5 years old
and only if these fields could talk then
they would silence the world,
but they would never speak
because our ears not ready to hear their story,
and so a battered king sugar descends from his glory,
never to raise his head to a red sky

Copyright © 2008

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Commemoration of the trans-atlantic slave trade 2009 March 25th

There is much more of him in me than a borrowed rib and a promise,
Caged into the faintness of fading saneness,
They really thought they framed this boat
from the surrendering of black hands and black faces,
But there is a more deadly Atlantic gouging itself out from under my eyelids,
There is a more fatal venom on my hands than the fluids of every induced miscarriage,
And there is nothing symbolic in the rites of this middle passage
where only a ghostwriter will be left to tell the story of my lineage and I,
North east trade winds soothe the outcry from
dangling spirits in silk trees and shipwrecks
and white-sheets on infidels’ beds made from cedar
and in the glance of every face reflecting part of West Africa,-
the temper of a black woman is not to be provoked into vengeance,
yuh never bite the hand that feeds you, your mistress or your children,
you should know better than to separate her from love..
so you will live each day to swallow the bitterness of
backyard aloes brewed with resentment,
flavoured by revolting taste of his absence,
until her very essence is enough to choke your conscience into breathing on its own.
This is where we have built our homes
On beachfronts and old ship docks with folding sand,
Building dreams and castles we somehow expect to remain standing-
Carving notches in each others flesh, to check time and so making
wounds without notice,
spending 400 years apart from you could have never made us so hopeless
that we cannot remember each other anymore.

copyright 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Love is not selfish
And I have long returned you to your freedoms,
Releasing you from any restriction,
And I have let you go,
not wishing your return.
I learn in the most unlikely of places
pledging in the sincerest of promises,
That I am only happy she has found you.
Because I have found him.
So this is the morning I breathe better,
The Zahir is laid to rest
And I am three steps closer to my
Destiny not of this soil.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

wha it is he jus say..?

You don’t have what it takes to burst life seeds from cotton fibres in your stomach, your womb was not created to hold in the rivers of the tears of continental Africans, nor house the heartbeat of nations marching in your blood, your fluids were never meant to flood the passages of any element more than oxygen, you were never the instrument of creation that God planted life in, so spin this water-wheel to nourish the river, damaging everything from maiden to mother-giver, from laden tree to new-born delivered, where the only thing that would suckle you are leeches that consider your flesh a feast in their fix of an ego to leak their eagle-type pride from. Life does not derive from you and you should stay quietly in your place, assuming you remember where that is.

I promise I am not a man-hater...just that some things inspire me more than others...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



A woman’s beauty is in her hair- and I am too young to question the wisdom of my father, but still old enough to prepare a way to justify my sudden actions, I think on my own, most times. I wear the reminder he delivers in every one of his unapproving smiles, but at least he smiles, probably in understanding that he made sure I had two strong limbs to balance living on. He had warned me two years ago that I may have had regrets about this, and it’s not that I’ve dismissed his words, but I’ve had to test my own waters.

It had been a woman who told me I was beautiful before any man I thought I could believe, and I didn’t fully grasp what she had meant when she said that she- was in love. But I understood later on. A rose called by any other name would nearly be as deceitful, while I have nothing more than well-angled battle-scars, and the poorly-selected counsel of demons, where even the mirror couldn’t tell me anymore what my name was, it was too busy confusing images of my reflections- soul, spirit, body, spirit, body, soul, body, soul, spirit, spirit, spirit, and I couldn’t dare look into it, I couldn’t bear sight of my decaying self and the greyness below my eyelids, she had slain me, and I was dying.

..Ah want no reminder of who I was then, take this pair of scissors and cut all of meh hair- off. Let nobody look upon me, not man, not woman, let meh remember who I am- again, let me remember ah different pain of rejection, let meh recall the words of my father, let meh dance in the rain at the joy of deliverance, let meh chop away at the lives of these demons, let meh wear the sun on my face to remember the reason for my Lord’s death, let meh recall these things before I forget who I am again. Before I forget who I am in Him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the origin of a backbone

I am third generation.

Eve’s dropping out from a breadfruit tree
would only give her
less humanly parts of a character,
so after her falling once, she thought man would help her
to redeem her steps,
a-damned road to walk,

and with this ring she vows never to forget,
that ignorance begets fear, and fear forms regret
but yuh never know why the feeling there,
until it really starts to set-

So she turn uneasy in her own skin,
wearing the pride of a first-lady, but the envy of a second,
he remained silent for every time that she questioned,
her husband
was always a charmer.

Eve is not supposed to release her laughter
when it is invoked,
she would have to choke on her instinct, too profane to be provoked,
they always spoke about her,
I remember that her broughtupsy
only knew the shame behind fig-leaves
and the scorn of a non-creole God,
this Woman made her living in the leasehold she laboured,
but this is not where the rivers crossed their courses,
this is where the talk of the town carried both her and her lineage,
here are children that descended from a mess of a mixed-marriage,
pronounce them man and victim- the Red House records it,
but she would never admit the carnage is in her wedding bed,
the wreckage of a relationship harboured in the lies he always led
her to believe,
a-damn day would never pass without him going to see
his mistress,
I have come to learn that deception is ageless
as she keeps her part of the bargain
and 2) that divorce is bigger a sin for old people.

copyright 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

she made another year

Enjoying the spazz of the third drink
I have come to relish in hours apart,
this is moderation enough
and the view from over the brim
of the glass,
made these lines not about
my indulgences or my drink.
I seriously think she’s
at a stage of dying,
but the slower kind,
the one that the quickness
of youth reminds you of,
when neither left nor right foot
can move
to where you want them to.
When you want to speak
but words have become a task
for you to form,
when you wait for the sun
to burst through
but it never comes,
and that’s always
bad news for arthritis.
I would write this for her,
but she would never
value it as much as her
own independence,
she is already small and frail
and now bears
too much a resemblance to death.
But this is New Years morning,
not a day for tablet-taking
so get this lady a drink,
she wants a drink
but she cannot hold the bottle
to pour without breaking the glass,
so now we clean up the broken shards,
while glass forms in her eyes,
she holds them in
and I’m sitting next to her
so she can’t hide her tears.
The only thing that calls her back
at intervals are the
séances of soaps
she would take-in religiously,
and yes watching the t.v.
has become her religion
as three or four rosaries
catch cobweb and dreams
as they hang from the bed-post,
and this is how she would spend most of her days.
Her friends always
send bouquets of flowers;
this is probably the way
that an old woman prepares for her last.
She must be unhappy,
the world is moving too fast
and doesn’t pause for her steps
to even pronounce themselves,
while her children number her virtues
and spell the message out
for those slower at reading signs.
But whenever she does die,
I would not mourn her loss,
but shed my own fears
that I would ever have to cross
the same pathway she is walking over.
And every time she hugs me
she reminds me that she’s dying
and in each second getting older
And that this one might be the last.