i, nanny, queen
nanny, chanted slow--
naaah-neee-- a rolling name

i, nanny, torching
souls and cane-fields
with roiling flames

      of words like follow me          love me

how could it be
i, nanny, warrior--
             never bended low
             never with child
             never with rounded breast
on anyone's tongue--
am the mother of all you marooned?

Continue Reading

Pull Up

pull up:

it means re:
turn    come back   wheel
round and spin again       

re:       wind waits for no one
warrior man         riding taut-skin
drums of kingston     portland       st. ann      

live inside du-dum du-dum         i am
in heavy bones                   trying
to remember something              i am

playing bend down low under sycamore
hear and understand
blood knows residual oh oh oh oh     

in darkness i dance          waiting
to be reborn


Continue Reading

CaMy and Her MoneyGram Dilemma

It was Saturday. It was the day of rest. Seriously. However, I had an emergency to attend to and I had to get it done today. No pay for yet another fortnight had resulted in me borrowing a ‘smalls’ from my sister in the UK to tide me over until another fortnight arrived and with it my hope of being paid. Finally. You see, three fortnight’s salaries were outstanding and bwoy, my patience was wearing thin. I was down to my last taxi fare and my purse was EMPTY except for that.

Now then, the sun was blooming and all was well for the time being. I had earlier received the 8-digit reference number and was in the process of getting ready to go to town to collect. My list had been made mentally if not on paper. Partner (can’t afford to start owing already. I am a newbie)[check], debt to my nephew inclusive for buying the new lock on my bedroom door[check], wage for the lady who looks after my daughter in the afternoons (she was three weeks overdue)[check], my little shopping in the supermarket[check]. Yes, my mind could be at ease for now! And if any discomfort should arise, I could always dream of the lump sum to be paid two weeks time! As if!

Continue Reading

Under the Tamarind Tree

Kingston days were hot, and running, skipping, and jumping in tightly, buttoned uniforms only made us hotter. The hard sun would beat on our backs, as if it were punishing us or loving us exuberantly. After play, I would catch my breath, by resting against the links of the fence of a madwoman’s house, and the rain of the tamarind blossoms would fall on my hair. Under the tamarind tree, the fallen green leaves, and shedding yellow and orange blossoms created a small rainbow on the ground. The madwoman’s tree was my oasis.

I used to play near the madwoman’s house in the mornings before school. She would wave or give me two thumbs up whenever I caught the Dandy Shandy ball, and though I feared her, I appreciated her encouragement. I would try to point her out to my friends, but seeing my finger pointed in her direction, she would slip behind the large tamarind tree in her yard, so that they wouldn’t see her. We loitered near her house because the umbrella-like tree provided relief from the harsh sun while we sang, danced, and played.

Continue Reading

In Jamaica

hibiscusmosquitoes sing, while crickets hum dub tunes,
lizards laugh near bare feet, striped
sun hugs straight backs,
ants kiss necks;

winds whisper to coconuts,
peenie-wallies dance by twilight,
dogs and sound systems clash at midnight,
and breezes play by the sea;

hibiscus flowers decorate
everything- we eat from baskets:
plums, mangos: june and julie,
thick nectars of sunrise;

chimes on doors jingle
jangle evening time
keeping time with the rhythm
of the chat;

yes sah, yah so- in jamaica,
brown mothers on green green grass,
give children permission
to fly.

Continue Reading

Jamaica Land to Love


Sounds of laughter everywhere
And the dancing girls swaying to and fro
I must declare that my heart is there
Though I've been from Maine to Mexico
-  Jamaica Farewell

Jamaica is perfect! After such a claim, some voices would rise in protest, "How can you say Jamaica's perfect?" Those naysayers would continue in disbelief by citing Jamaica's faults: taxes, corrupt politicians, crime, water lock offs, power cuts, the anorexic dollar. The island’s detractors have valid points, but believe what I say. To understand The Rock's magic one must be fully awake, and experience the country with heightened senses: eyes, ears, and tongue. The mind can't understand what the senses know.

Eyes: Jamaica possesses overwhelming beauty. Beauty with a capital B. There are few places/people/or things that are endowed with such  magnificent beauty that it hurts/overwhelms/crushes. Jamaica is one of those places. The sky blends into the mountains into the sea. All the same blue.

Continue Reading