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26th-Aug-2014 06:49 pm - rootless

Someone posted up on Facebook that once you've lived somewhere else, a part of you will be left behind there.  The root breaks off a piece when it's uprooted.  The changes here are unmistakeable; our Independence celebrations consist of a shabby parade and sad dingy pennants hanging from a few government buildings.  But I don't mourn the way we have advanced tchnologically.  But it as if we have lost the tree and root of us.  Our green spaces littered with plastic bottles and frantic noisy cars.  We live on a tiny island; where are you trying to go?  Someone rams their black sports car drunkenly into a fire hydrant.  Mindlessness.

I see a picture of my former English Lit. professor, now a member of the government advisor commitee for policy and constitutional change.  She is sitting in a metal foldout chair.  Her dreadlocks are now greying, she is as thin as ever.  Looming above her are a rows of policemen in navy, with riot shields and batons.  They speak down to her; this woman who has written books that cement our literary history, this woman who has helped to create a Caribbean literary canon.  She sits quietly, calmly.  The movement of brute force upon our history.  I don't even know what I am writing now, I just remember sitting in her classes, quietly receiving her light.

Years from now we will stop and ask each other, "Where were you when it happened?  When we lost control?  When villains found out that the way to subdue us was not through brute force but with stealth, education, playing games with our laws, they have won before we even knew what we were fighting for.  Right now the Senate will pass a bill that makes it virtually impossible for us to escape the bipartisan curse of our nation?  We will be divided into races, we will see groups hate each other without knowing exactly why they hate each other.  Or maybe we see past it.  We cannot be so stupid?  Can we?

I want to create an ending to this but I consider the way we create our existence day by day.  We have no long history.  Our nation is 52 years old.  We have oil, and we have natural gas. We are fortunate.  Now we are beset by people smarter than us.  Our people are helpless, like the Amerindians when the Spanish first set upon them, giving and open, believing them genuine while they hold the weapons behind their backs.

And the parties continue, mad, insane revels, drunken mindless baths.  They crash on the way home, they murder each other.  My God. Was it always this way? I'm exhausted now.  The thing that screams to me the most is the silence, our communal, anguished silence.

21st-Jul-2014 09:28 am - summer of light

"All your life you wait, and then it finally comes, and are you ready?

Open your eyes, the French man on the radio used to say, and see what you can with them before they close forever."

-Anthony Doerr, "All the Light We Cannot See"
17th-Jun-2014 03:09 pm - Girls. by Takagi Masakatsu

Being a girl, at 7, playing. 
22nd-May-2014 10:13 pm - island rhapsody
the night scarred and pitted with streetlights
the people are unhappy
the city dump on the outskirts of town
the minister was found in a video
snorting coke with prostitutes
the parties continue to ooze.

Once a vagrant stood outside the old
Red House, our former house of Parliament
ranting wildly,
threw bricks and smashed
the old windows
the old carcass of our soul
left empty and broken
while sirens howl and snarl.

The smiles stretch just a bit too far
cackling rings out in the darkness
children kick empty cans in the street
stare at you and hiss

the moon at night a silver beacon
so far, so far
the dogs bark and cry
we wake in the dark hours
toss and turn in the heat
and shiver.
9th-Apr-2014 03:24 pm - The Marvelous Women ~ Mohja Kahf
Originally posted by bleodswean at The Marvelous Women ~ Mohja Kahf
All women speak two languages:
the language of men
and the language of silent suffering.
Some women speak a third,
the language of queens.
They are marvelous
and they are my friends.

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5th-Jan-2014 12:29 am - On using a new app for writing

This is a test.  This is a test.
The orange coat is big for Spring
a volcano in Indonesia has just erupted
magazines tell you how to get fit,
have sex
and eat healthy
for the New Year.
My family is quiet
grandma is covered under sheets
Parkinson's has tied her mouth shut
she talks and I cannot understand
but she knows my name
"Maria", she whispers.
She never complains.
The rain fell in warm golden sheets
against a backdrop of sun today
I prayed to the gods of rain
sun and love
Sometimes under the cover of
moon I listen
for the Voice to speak
it is in me
4th-Jan-2014 07:52 pm - Pigeon Point Jetty
Lying prone against the jetty
it is clean, weathered grey.
Peek down between planks
at a myriad of fish
waving waves of silver.

and the sun hot and yellow
and the water aqua and clear
and the wind a soft exhalation

I meet my Self at the place where
sea meets sky

we travel onward
in one place
10th-Dec-2013 04:05 pm(no subject)

Stat sua cuique dies
Stat sua cuique dies
Mæl is me to feran
A meto maneat nostros
A meto maneat nostros
C'est pour cela que je suis née
Kono michi ya
Yuku hito nashi ni
Kono michi ya
Aki no kure
C'est pour cela que je suis née
Ne me plaignez pas
C'est pour cela que je suis née

To each his day is given (Latin, Aeneid)
To each his day is given (Latin, Aeneid)
'Tis time that I fare from you (Old English, Beowulf)
I gain from our time here (Latin, Aeneid)
I gain from our time here (Latin, Aeneid)
I was born for this (French, Joan of Arc)
On this road (Japanese, Matsuo Bashô haiku)
Where nobody else travels (Japanese, Matsuo Bashô haiku)
On this road (Japanese, Matsuo Bashô haiku)
Autumn Nightfall (Japanese, Matsuo Bashô haiku)
I was born for this (French, Joan of Arc)
Do not pity me (French, Joan of Arc)
I was born for this (French, Joan of Arc)
30th-Oct-2013 10:03 pm(no subject)

Do you see now, what i said?

The Girl you wanted

was there all along;

I was a placeholder.

Cannot remember

our particular key

the ridges blunt and smooth

you gently close the door.

You fit with her, things

have a way of turning out.

I am not sure what

my key is but it is good and safe

there in the cupboard

waits patiently.
25th-Sep-2013 05:30 am(no subject)

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”

Derek Walcott, Collected Poems, 1948-1984

18th-Sep-2013 08:39 pm(no subject)

The limes hanging in bunches outside the fence.  The bird sitting trilling on the electric wire.  Waiting for a taxi; overhead parrots screech, flying home for the evening.  The rain like warm wet kisses.  The dog lying flat, belly exposed.  The sunset like melting pink watercolours, swirling with the infinite grace of a moment.

The hills like arms, embracing the ocean which is blue, bluer than dreams; and the sky above it like friends, no, like family.  The Trinity.

26th-Aug-2013 09:40 am(no subject)

the price has been paid,
the price is forfeit

the price has been paid,
the price is forfeit

the price has been paid,
the price is forfeit

9th-Jul-2013 08:35 pm - Moon stories

Sitting in the garden in a metal foldout chair holding cup of hot water, hugging legs up under me and staring unblinkingly at moon and moon at me.

Red-rainbow wisps of cloud cover and frame partially pregnant moon in midnight sky.

18 years old, stretched out on balcony with cigarette, watching silent forest mountain and moon, two old friends and me.

Everlong vision of two children holding hands in the dark, looking up and out at black inky ocean and glowing trail of moon.

A certain unending searching peace.  Eyes are shining balls of pearl, glowing infinite mindless wisdom of eons of suffering and effort, and here and there a triumph, a knowledge that you have conquered at least that little thing within, that small fear, that quivering unfamiliarity.  Gazing at the patience of scarred millennia, the dogma of astrophysics.  The movement of one step, and then another, lungs that expand, heart that beats.  The rhythm of will.

7th-Jul-2013 08:58 pm(no subject)

Woke up early on Saturday, the magic time, clouds in the hills and the sun peeping through over the top, shining and me and coffee sitting quietly.  I am writing, trying to find ideas for my short stories.  There is a quiet brimming sort of happiness.  I have my music on and some rift of music reverberates within and something opens and I am crying with happiness, like a maniac, because I realise I'm still here.  Alina-who-was, all sharp edges and glowing fullness, is there, wild and always free.  There is hope in the sunlight shining, and the birds fighting for their breakfasts and the breeze that finds its way inland from the ocean, cool and salty, and there is hope in the breath that finds its way in and out.  Into an arid soil there flowed quietly some cool clear brook, and filled it and around it bloomed growing things and flowers and a tree that was gnarled grew tiny new leaves.  The clouds and wind were kisses for the life that loves us all, without expectations, without rules, only that we treasure it in everything, in each other, and in ourselves.

22nd-Jun-2013 02:05 pm(no subject)

wide the wing span of the birds floating

short the legs of the youngling

in pantalons and sun-hat

rough the waves that tumbled, tumbled

threw me in your arms like a body-stone

I felt your rough head, it did not feel like any head

I had known before, it was different

caught in white foam and falling-first I,

then we

21st-Mar-2013 08:40 pm - Words

spastic word association games

word puzzling mind games

differential word equations

the  wherefores and why-comes of

logistiquential word calculations

unfolding, imploding, surging word-crashlightnings

at the core, simple


at the heart,

a truth.

31st-Aug-2012 09:02 pm(no subject)
I'm going to buy a big square of canvas and splash bright colours on it and mount it up on the wall to get rid of that horrible faded cityscape the previous tenants left in the living room.
21st-Apr-2012 11:17 pm - Dark side of the lens
15th-Jul-2011 12:04 pm - Fisheye love

Processed some more of my lomography photos:

Seaton Park, Aberdeen

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13th-Jul-2011 10:43 am(no subject)
I bought a case for my phone from one of the booths in the mall and the boy was Indian.  He asked me where I was from and they always look confused when I say Trinidad.  I told him I was half Indian and half Chinese to try to simplify and he instantly became friendlier; he said he wouldn't charge me to use my debit card for the transaction even though it was below the £10 limit "because I was Indian".  I felt slightly sick.

My family comes from the country, from here and from far away.  The Caribs are a native tribe and died of many diseases when the Europeans came.  The rest were enslaved and died slowly, or threw themselves into the ocean.  Some intermarried and the tribes living deep in the interior remained.  My grandfather is part Carib, part Venezuelan, part Portuguese.  The East Indians came here for indentured labour to work the sugar cane fields.  They were given land at the end of their indenture and many stayed.  My father is Chinese, his family came to Tobago and started a business there but moved over to Trinidad.  My mother and father were born here, and my mother's parents were born here. 

Damian said when his grandfather arrived here from China, they docked at the port of San Fernando in the south and parted with a friend he had made on the boat.  He went off with one shopkeeper on his donkey cart, and his friend went another way.  They never saw each other again.  My Indian great-grandmother lost her husband on the journey to the West Indies and met another man who took care of her and her two sons.  Even our family name, Doodnath, is not our real name; it is my great-great-grandfather's first name.  Many East Indians couldn't speak English and couldn't understand how to fill out the forms when they landed here.  Many put new names, rich names like Singh, Maharaj and Mahabir.  There is absolutely no way I can ever trace my family in India, and they wouldn't acknowledge me if I did.  Same for the Chinese.

We are country folk deep down; we need to be near the sea and smell salt in the air and dig down into the dirt of a wide warm garden with insects and animals and fruit and come in from the sun to drink cold water, spilling into runnels down chin and neck.  There are birds there that cry in a way only we know, the sky is a particular shade of blue, grass a fiery green, sounds closer to the ear, pressed down by the sun. 
12th-Jul-2011 01:13 pm(no subject)

Flashback number two (I'm trying not to write with a purpose in mind anymore): 

Waiting after hours in highschool; by then we had changed to the new uniform used today; navy and white pinstriped blouse, navy pencil skirt with box pleats, incredibly hard to make shorter as we all wanted to do as it ended mid-calf.  A new offensive by management against the tendency towards sluttishness.  Instead we rolled skirts up at the waist, making big bumps over our waists from the fabric.  The shirts bore a monogrammed pocket on the right breast which, after many washes, grew threadbare and eventually fell off.  They made us wear navy socks since we couldn't keep our white socks white enough. 


I waited in the courtyard by myself, school emptied of people and simply now a shell, surrounded by beige banisters and the statue of Mary leaning over sorrowfully.  There was someone upstairs in the theatre playing Michael Nyman's The Promise, very fast, very hard.  The sound echoed around the courtyard and it seemed as if there was an opening up of something there as I stood, small and still, sneakers scuffed and the asphalt pitch still wet from the rain that had fallen earlier.  Everything pointed to an ancient painful newness that tore softly until one couldn't gasp but only watch, afraid to move or change what was happening but at the same moment knowing this, itself, is change.

The music teacher Mr. Henry walked by, stopped, listened.

"What piece is that?"

I answered him, told him that the music shop around the corner sells the sheet music.  He listened a bit longer, turned and said to himself, "I think a few chords are off there, I'll need to get it."


27th-Jun-2011 11:53 am - Anna Who Was Mad ¦ Anne Sexton
Anna who was mad,
I have a knife in my armpit.
When I stand on tiptoe I tap out messages.
Am I some sort of infection?
Did I make you go insane?
Did I make the sounds go sour?
Did I tell you to climb out the window?
Forgive. Forgive.
Say not I did.
Say not.

Speak Mary-words into our pillow.
Take me the gangling twelve-year-old
into your sunken lap.
Whisper like a buttercup.
Eat me. Eat me up like cream pudding.
Take me in.
Take me.

Give me a report on the condition of my soul.
Give me a complete statement of my actions.
Hand me a jack-in-the-pulpit and let me listen in.
Put me in the stirrups and bring a tour group through.
Number my sins on the grocery list and let me buy.
Did I make you go insane?
Did I turn up your earphone and let a siren drive through?
Did I open the door for the mustached psychiatrist
who dragged you out like a gold cart?
Did I make you go insane?
From the grave write me, Anna!
You are nothing but ashes but nevertheless
pick up the Parker Pen I gave you.
Write me.
25th-Apr-2011 08:49 am - Tobago, W.I.

4th-Apr-2011 08:00 am(no subject)
We all saw how the pages yellowed slowly,
the ink not as dark, not as true, we doubted
like all things material.

She made a paper plane out of it
because the structure becomes stronger when more convoluted
and sailed it into the sky

where it remains,
upheld by the winds and rains
and the clarity of blue.
17th-Mar-2011 08:16 pm - Carnival

CarnivalCollapse )
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