Primal

Salty liquid dripping faster than running yard to yard

they were all coming for you

your clammy tenacious grip on squawking stolen bird

as you brined in your own perspiration

Boy! That soup wouldn’t have tasted good anyways

but you aren’t there now

to taste mwiri pepper, broad leaf thyme and garlic …

what were you thinking to stoke primal fires so ?

they had the rage of adrenalin when they gave chase

a rush collectively higher than the kaieteur

as they tied you up like a rooster in Stabroek market

and then anointed you with sugar water

it would be a baptism by fire

you sensed it and you remembered God perhaps

or felt betrayed by Moses and his ten commandments

for he did not magnify killing to stealing

Or the pain clouded such frivolous thought

when you were to the taste of all those marabunta or acoushi

or other such legionary ants

that clambered all over your sweet and sweaty body

a strange sacrifice it was

man for bird …

or man for crime

or man for self righteous rage

I apologize for the horror of the pain

but I cannot make it mine

It is too much to endure even in poetry

or in remembering

even if the memory is borrowed

I only hope you didn’t have to beg for death long

rest in peace …

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.

Because we do terrible things and some stories need to be told.

Push your body

Of a woman I once knew:

she had mapped out the grid of Georgetown

in a mind suffused with memories of miscegenation,

drove a bus route sometimes

and like a human GPS

she would drive her beat up car pretty much everywhere

even in lanes overrun with those peddling

what she felt were cheap Chinee things

and women selling sapodilla

while she sucked her teeth at coolie boys

calling her sweetheart

while selling her nothing.

In those places there were no water lilies

And Homestretch avenue was still the prettiest road

And on days when she was with me

I tried to navigate

those narrow lanes

lined by bodies melting in the Caribbean sun

and rasta men around tibisiri baskets,

where Chutney was something you listened to

while it swirled around mummified caiman

smiling even in death for tourists.

she could sense my dithering,

anxious that I was,

not to mulch the crowd under my wheels.

So she grafted me to the metal beast;

Davina, it’s alrite na, push ya baady, push ya baady …

Such fine encouragement,

I felt invincible as I smiled on the narrowest road

# For a dear friend from Georgetown

Rain canvas …

A million shimmering crystals could not replicate the canvas of rain,

for the rain alone can colour your spirit

and you can wear it on your coat, your skirts, even your scarf that is now soggy

but diamonds you need to store in a safe

then wear them to dinner where there are others like you

and it’s pleasing, that social function

for you smile and laugh and put on acceptable faces which in turn elevates your spirit

then what is it about rain and damp and cloudy skies that conspire together so

they don’t seem to need an invitation into your circumstance

especially when you aren’t dressed for the occasion

they create for you a phantasmagoria of turbulence

where you feel the swell of tidal overwhelm

the precipitation of sorrow

the comfort of petrichor

abandoned by the sun

the aroma of a hot tea

random thoughts of some obscure poet in the eighteenth century

speaking of unfamiliar things

you complain about the weather as if it were some relative you grouse about

everything is wet

some places look drier than wet

the plants watered usually with chlorinated water seem so happy

like the dog that shakes off her drenched fur

then there are voices of childhood

that float along as if in an impromptu performance

much to your surprise

for you never thought of them

but they thought of you

Ah, the rain, a billion shimmering raindrops and I can wear them whichever way I please

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Ah the rain and all it can mean. The rain is always fertile ground for poetry.

Faraday ripples in life

Have we been carved out like scutes on the back of a gator?
You know… the way we shape thought,
size our opinions and orient our torsos in the fashions of the times
When the time is ripe for picking
There’s a low hum or bellows from deep within the innards of the earth
And we do the dance .. resonant with the ripples in the water.
What vibrations rule us I wonder
For we are synchronous in our self similar fears
our mirrored misgivings
or atrocious spites
self replicating hedonisms
touting loves and births
signaling virtues
waiting for the next Faraday wave
so we can tango together

# I have found the water dance of the Alligator very intriguing, the way the scutes on the back and the vibrational bellows produced by the reptile can cause ripples in the water as well as produce this beautiful effect during the mating ritual. I felt an analogy to the world affairs would be apt.

In the valley of tears

Melancholia drapes the gaze 

Like a loosely crocheted curtain,

fluttering,

at an open window

letting in the rain .

Wet, clammy 

discomfort,

yet sadly refreshing,

a weak urge 

to avoid the damp, 

A punitive craving 

for the drizzle.

I want it, 

I hate it.

It gives  pause 

to time

… all unnecessary motion.

And let’s the heart 

ruminate a while longer,

as the minutes stretch 

drearier

and time gains 

an elasticity 

in proportion 

to the gaze 

that grows weary 

watching speedy thoughts 

bolt like lightning.

Not a muscle relents.

It’s all a study in contrasts,

this debilitating lethargy of the soul

trying so hard to cease caring, feeling…

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This is more a study of melancholia than ennui; boredom can be warded off stimulating distractions or activity. I have been exploring the concept of ‘Tamas’ and the three Gunas as delineated in Ayurveda.

The concept of Tamas as a melancholic soul inertia and how it contributes to the elasticity of time intrigues me, and a poem can help construct a vivid description.

We are all visited by melancholy and depressive thoughts every once in a while and this is no weakness. Poetry is an engaging medium to try and help transcend ‘tamas’ rather than push away negative thoughts or even force oneself to be momentarily excited through sensation driven distractions.

Decay, the colour of paint

Like still life, 

deep inside

a tibisiri basket,

lay a sad soft lime 

cloaked 

in powdery bloom.

Green 

obscured 

now by soft grey

A moles breath 

or a sweet innocence…

…names 

on the colour chart 

of wall paints

define 

this real life

organic putrescence.

The  tomatoes too

on the kitchen counter,

beating heart 

and ravishing red

in an earlier time,

mouldy grey 

cheating heart now.

Ah yes, 

the wilting chives,

in a cellar

that promised 

to keep them fresh,

has now 

painted them 

from bunker hill green 

into a sad salamander 

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I was at the big box store that sells paints and was absolutely enthralled by the names of the shades. It was a poetic exercise situated in the mundane. There is beauty in everything, even at the box store.