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Storyteller

Sunday Everyday

I want to spend my Sundays where whales congregate to sing
Where my vision is blurred through turquoise lens
Where children water board on rainbow surf
And time is judged by the position of the sun
Rain clouds are a thing of beauty, not of dread
Where fools gold bring peace of mind
Somewhere where everyday feels like Sunday

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POEMS Storyteller

When the Children Play

Last night I dreamt I was laying on my back looking up at the sky and there were kids playing soccer using the moon as a ball, and Jupiter and Saturn, Mars and Uranus served as goal posts, St Peter wearing all white was the referee, and the stars were the fans, blinking and falling across the dark  abyss, and the rings around Saturn flashed when there was a hard tackle, and wormholes open up to swallow the angry erupted. St Peter would laugh and the planets would shake, sending raindrop size star dust floating into space. and at the end of the game, when the children shook hands, the sun exploded, sending orange, gold, yellow and red streaks of light to the far corners of the universe.

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Storyteller

Kid Knows the Slang

So I was walking down the street when a group of kids, looks like they were from a day care, were walking past me. Of course me being seven feet tall, the kids were amazed, they stooped, eyes wide open, bumping into each other. I passed several of them and when I got to the middle of the group this little blond blue eyed girl, no more then four years old, looks up at me and said “What it do bigman.”  Then strutted away, smiling.

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Serial Poopers From I am a Dirty Immigrant

That reminds me of a neighbor back home who used to let her children use our yard as their personal toilet. Can you say similarities? We used to call the kids the serial poopers. I mean nothing was worse than baby poop that sat in the hot tropical sun for hours on end. There is nothing more refreshing than waking up in the morning, shining your shoes until the sun glittered off of them, walking out your door and stepping in some steaming crap. One morning, I woke up, opened my door, and there was one of the little heathens. He was squatting down in the middle of my walkway, his face twisted. Soft grunts escaped from his food-filled mouth. When I told the mother what he had done. She would pick the biggest leaf she could find to scoop up the mess, and as I watched in amazement, she tossed it into my rose bushes. That was fine except they were my bloody rose bushes. I had to smell baby poop every time I walked out my door

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Cool Runnings Storyteller

18th Installment La Diablesse

The path soon started winding downwards at a steep incline and I followed the women stumbling on lose mud. We walked for bout ten or so minutes before they disappeared ahead of me as the bushes became thicker, I mean, I could not even hear they voices anymore. I hurried up trying to catch up to them when suddenly the trees gave way to a clearing and in the distance there was a river with a whole lot of women talking as they washed they clothes, hitting the rocks with the garments while others used small rocks as scrub brushes. I took me shoes off and waded into the crystal clear water its coolness sending a shiver through me. It was real rocky, water swirled round the smooth stones creating whirlpools round smaller rocks, I jumped from rock to rock slipping and sliding like crazy, the women did not see me coming they were too busy talking and tending to they laundry.

“De boy maga, maga for so,’ said one of the women as she tossed she clothes into the water the rocks stopping them from floating away. I jumped onto another rock, slipped and had to put me hands down to stop meself from falling. They all turned round at the same time with surprised expressions on they faces, man I tell you what, I felt like I had intruded and turned to walk away but stopped when one of them called me name.

“Mr. Dickens, you wanting sumting?” I turned round and looked at the woman, it was Alison’s aunt

“No thank you, I was walking and I saw some women coming this way so I followed.” She had a smile on she face making me feel a little more comfortable. The other women were all smiling too some of them were teenagers, but most were in they thirties.

“You wan help?’ One of the women asked and they all giggled, I looked round Alison’s aunt to the woman who spoke, she big brown eyes sparkled she white teeth gleamed, I smiled back.

“Why not?” I said and walked over to them, picked up a pair of jeans that sat between two medium sized stones and began hitting it against the rocks, man, I tell you what, them women was real surprised, I mean, they just stood there watching me, little did they know I used to do this with me Grandmother all the time. The minuit I got to she house she would be waiting for me with baskets of clothes that needed to be washed, we would go to the river and spent the greater part of the day laboring with the laundry. I stopped swinging the jeans and stood smiling back at them, yeah man, I showed them who they dealing with, I mean, I am not just some educated city boy. The woman that had asked me to help shook she head and went back to she own laundry, the rest of the women laughed and went back to their washing. I set the jeans down next to one of the pile of clothes as the women started to sing.

“Down by the river side, down by the riverside, down by the riverside” I remembered that song me grandmother used to sing it every time she was doing a chore. Further down the river there was a group of children playing, it was deeper down there because one of the boys was waist deep in the gently moving water. He was holding a crayfish in his hand and the younger children were looking at it too afraid they would be pinched. Up on the hill on the other side of the river, banana trees swayed in the slight breeze causing the big leaves to whistle like farmers on harvest day. A shirt escaped the rocks and floated towards the children, one of the women, she was bout me own age, skipped from rock to rock until she was able to retrieve the run away garment. She skipped back to the other women and we eyes locked for a second but she looked away with a shy smile on she face. I thought of Jane, man, I wished she was here because I knew I would be able to find a romantic spot round here for sure. The children had left the river and were disappearing into the bushes so I got up and walked past the women.

“It was nice helping you ladies,” I said as I walked away.

“Wha,” Said the woman that had asked me to help. “All Ah saw was you standing dere daydreaming while de rest of we work.” The women all laughed they voices echoing down the river valley. I smiled and waved being careful not to fall into the river, they were still whispering when I reached the banks, damn women, I bet them gossips were talking bout me.

I walked back to the house and into the backyard, there was a bench under a skinup tree so I sat in it and looked down into the valley, birds flew by, they wings flapping loudly as they went, a donkey brayed in the distance as it hauled bunches of bananas. I sat there thinking bout what had happened to me in the last three weeks, who would have thought that I would turn to an Obeah woman to help solve a problem, me Mr. Big shot teacherman, maybe I was searching for something, maybe I was not satisfied with who I was, who knows man, but I tell you what, I had to stick this out and if anything it will be a learned experience.

I heard laughter at the front of the house so I got up and went to see what was happening, two of the boys from the river were out there with three other children playing with marbles. They saw me standing there and immediately started whispering among themselves, then they stopped, looked over at me as if they wanted to say something. One of the bigger boys was pushing a little girl towards me, she was wearing a pair of shorts with patches on it she long hair tied back in a bun and she blue blouse hung loosely above she navel. She looked no more than seven year’s old, poor little thing walked over to me visibly afraid, she stopped in front of me she big brown eyes shifting from side to side.

“Mister, Sylvester want to know if you go play wid us?” she asked pointing to the tallest boy, I smiled at she and she turned and ran back to she little group, so I walked over to them and one of the boys handed me some of his marbles.

“You boys better watch out, I used to be the greatest marble player, schoolyard reigning champ.” The tallest boy smirked,

“Well lets go den, ole mon” he said rolling he marble towards the ring on the ground in front of us.

I spent the rest of the day playing with them children stopping only to eat, I mean, I felt rejuvenated, like a child again. They became more comfortable and with their comfort came wild arguments bout who was winning, or losing or any small reason to scream at each other. I did not see Alison or any of the adults for the rest of the day and that was fine with me because I did not want to worry bout what was in store for me that night.

The afternoon wore on and the children finally grew tired so we sat in the yard eating plumbs and mangoes until they parents began calling them they voices echoing through the valley causing dogs to bark, each child scampered to their feet and ran off. Soon I was alone watching the sun disappear behind the mountain, a Bob Marley song was playing loudly on a Hifi down the street, ever so often laughter and the sound of dominoes hitting a table disturbed the peace. I started thinking bout the woman in white, would she appear to me here, or would the chance of fighting with the Obeah spiritualists keep she away? I mean, despite me skepticism I felt safe here, that disturbed me a bit because in the back of me mind I still thought what I was doing was uneducated and counter-productive.

I was deep in thought when Alison walked up to me, the late afternoon sun had given way to the early evening and the moon hung over the peak of the hillside, Alison looked down at me,

You better get ready,” she said and turned and walked away, that girl puzzled me, all this time she spent trying to get me up here and now that I was here she rarely said a word to me. I went into the house and changed me clothes, it was a new suit, creamy white and starched stiff for so. The drummers had already begun playing the rhythmic beat came and went as the wind whipped through the valley.

I sat there for what seemed like forever thinking at first it was bout me mother and then bout Jane, man, I sure miss seeing she smile, feeling she fingers touch me face, I tell you what just thinking bout she made me relax. The chickens in the backyard clucked and flapped their wings as a dog went through the yard, the mutt was panting and growling, it sounded like he was just as afraid of the chickens as they were of him. The door to the bedroom opened and Alison walked in she was wearing a white dress as milky white as me own outfit.

“Come Mista Dickens,” she said and walked out of the room. We trekked up the hill and I was afraid as hell but at least this time I was more sure footed.

Categories
Cool Runnings

16th Installment La Diablesse

CHAPTER 6

The crowd drew closer to the fire as if the flame hypnotized them or something, I felt a hand touch me and I turned round to see Alison smiling, she ushered me to the middle of the circle until I felt the heat from the fire against me skin. On the other side of the bonfire a goat was led in, oh great a bloody goat kill. A woman came out of the crowd entered the circle and stood before the goat the animal groaned, the damn thing sounded almost human. Another woman came forward she lips moving as if chanting but there were no words, she eyes closed, she head tilted to the sky, suddenly she began to cry she whole damn body started shaking.

The crowd rushed forward but stopped as if trying not to touch the woman, wood from the fire popped and cracked sending small balls of sparks into the crowd, small children scampered everywhere trying to avoid the small fireballs. The woman was still crying it was a deep guttural moan like a Mama Melody roaming the night. She fell to the ground she feet kicking up dust as she rolled round, suddenly, the circle opened up next to the woman and Legba John walked in. The drums grew quiet as if reverence had entered the circle or something, he was holding a small tree branch in he hand the green leaves moved a little as the wind swept through the circle sending sparks into the air. He stopped in front of the goat and the woman lying on the ground, everyone in the circle held they breath, I mean, even the fire became silent. Slowly Legba John placed the branch on the ground between the woman and the goat, then he stepped back wiping he hand on he milk white shirt.

The goat sniffed at the branch and took a step back as if sensing some kind of evil in it. The animal looked round at the people its body shook so hard its legs could barely support its weight, then as if drawn to it, the goat hobbled over to the branch and began chewing. Just as it began eating the leaf Legba John raised he arms to the sky and was muttering something inaudible he eyes as big as the moon that gave light to the proceedings. The lady that was lying on the ground got up and like a Zombie she walked over to Legba John and dropped to she knees, the old man turned to one of the men in the crowd and the man handed him a bowl, he cupped it in he hands and lifted it to the sky then slowly brought it down until he arms were stretched out in front of him. He looked up to the silver sky he lips moving, he frail arms shaking.
I looked round at the crowd, they too were looking upwards they lips moving they bodies shaking, the drummers began to pound on their instruments the rhythm echoing through the night like a million voices in a crowded forest. The people began to dance, at first it was real slow but man after a few seconds they were dancing as if possesed. A young man came out of the crowd and grabbed the goat, the animal struggled as if knowing what its fate was, muscles glistened in the yellow light as he grabbed the animal round its torso and it kicked furiously trying its best to escape. Then with a show of strength the young man picked up the goat and carried it out of the circle, no one seemed to be concerned with the struggling animal poor thing, it had to die just to save me soul. Off in the darkness I heard a loud bleat and the crowd busted into a frenzy of screams and dance, to me, a new comer this all seemed sort of barbaric but the listless, entranced expressions on the faces was enough to send chills down me spine, I began to walk through the revelers being bumped and pushed as I went. I saw three children lurking close to the forest, I watched them look round then disappeared into the bushes so I followed them.

The moon disappeared above the trees but reappeared as I walked into another clearing I heard them giggling so I followed the sound. I almost did not see the tent stopping just before I ran into it, I fumbled round until I found the doorway and walked inside. There was a table set in the middle of it with food laid on plates and bowls, I smiled yeah I remembered this from childhood, this food was there for the Gods to eat after they had cast out evil spirits but really it was the children and them who used to sneak in and eat the food, me friends used to try to get me to go with them but I was a big fraidycat. I slowly walked round the table its white tablecloth touching the ground causing the edges to turn brown, the dishes were white with some sort of floral design on them, damn people must thing they royalty or something, there were no knives or forks or any other implements to eat with.
I continued walking round the table then stopped at the front of it looking down on the feast, the children giggle and I looked round to see where they were, but I saw no one and continued walking. The light from the bonfire created shadows against the white material causing the trees and the dancers to merge together as if entangled in an orgy of motion, bloody images looked like they would reach out and grab me or something. I got to the door way and stopped and looked back at the layout and that was when I heard the giggling again so walked back to the other end of the tent hoping to find them little scoundrels. I heard a whisper from under the table and knelt down and pulled up the tablecloth and there they were crouched together looking up at me, they mouths dirty from eating the food little buggers, bet they had a tummy ach later. I smiled at them, a little boy, half naked mouth filled with rice smiled back he big eyes searching for some indication they were in trouble. I shook me head and let the tablecloth back down one of them sighed with relief as I walked away.
Just as I was at the end of the bushes and bout to enter the circle where the drummers were, the three little mischief makers ran by me they bare feet kicking up dust as they went. I wondered bout them, I mean, where the hell did they come from? I had not seen any children after I got to Alison’s house.

I entered the circle just as the drummers were switching players, there were four of them they black bodies glistening, they heads raised to the sky as they pounded on the drums cradled between they legs, they hands moving so fast they were blurs in the pale yellow light. I stood, taken by the moment bodies were sprawled everywhere some twitching violently, dogs were howling, birds flew round in the dark sky.

I looked round for Alison but the light was not bright enough for me to find she in the sea of shadows. The three children from the tent were on the other side of the circle talking to two smaller children and pointing in me direction. I started to walk over to them, but as if sensing what I was bout to do they turned and ran into the crowd. I tried to follow them bumping into people and almost caught up to them when Alison came out of the crowd and stood in front of me, Jesus Christ, this bloody girl was always sneaking up on me.

“Way you been?” she barked suspiciously. I tried to go round she but she stepped in front of me.

“I was just walking around” I said. This did not seem to satisfy she, but she did not press the subject.

“You mus’ go to de house now.” There was so much finality in she voice I did not attempt to argue with she. She walked off and I moved to catch up with she, when I did I started to match she stride for stride but just as I was bout to ask she a question she sped up, I mean what the hell, the damn girl was trying to avoid talking to me. I ran ahead of her and stood on the path in front of her, she stopped that stupid suspicious expression on she face.

“What was all this tonight?” I inquired. She looked at me but said nothing, I tell you what, me temper was at a boiling point.

“Listen, if I don’t start getting some explanation about all this rituals shit I will get on me bike and go home.” She still did not speak she just stared at me for a second and then stepped round me,
“You go find out soon enough,” she said walking away she dark skin disappearing into the night leaving only she white dress floating away like a ghost in a cemetery. I followed she back to the house neither of us said a word, we went inside and as soon as we got into the living room Alison disappeared into a door on the other side of the room leaving me to find me way to the bedroom.

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Storyteller

Short piece from the new project

Andre was getting ready to go to the student union,

            “Wah yuh so happy for?” The Shadow asked,

            “A gurl man ah gurl,”

            “Yuh too excited bout dis one why?”

            “She real nice,” Andre said. The Shadow moved out of the dark and stood next to him in front of the mirror. Its body colour fluctuated between black to grey, grey to black.

            “Its bout time, yuh need to settle down and have ten children,”

            “Wah yuh say, I thought you said a real man don settle wid one woman eh? And who the hell want ten children?”

            “Wah, are yuh questioning me, listen yuh are grown now time to start a family, a man needs a home base,”

            “Oh so now you saying dat I should stick to one woman?” The Shadow moved and now stood in front of him, and for the first time slapped him in the chest. A chill ran through Andre’s body followed by an intense heat, then it cold as a New York Winter. He stepped away from The Shadow,

            “Wah you trying to make me afraid of you?” he asked, The Shadow slapped him again,

            “Yuh should be, remember I control everything, wah yuh think, wah yuh feel. Like I said yuh are a grown man now, things are going to be different from here on out, I go treat yuh like a grown man”

            “Hey am me own man, you don control me and don you forget dat, you hear,” The shadow swung his arm knocking some books off the dresser.

            “Yuh don talk to me like dat boi. I been like yuh fada for the last ten years and don tink because you got big dat I don have no say in wah yuh do,”

            “To hell with you,”

            “Or is it to hell wid yuh huh, jus because yuh full ah education and yuh talking like a white man now don mean yuh is a bigman.” Andre walked to the door,

            “Yuh cant escape me not night or day,” Andre closed the door behind him and walked down the hall, The Shadow was right beside him, running along the wall, its uniform shape changing as it went over doors, boards and tiles. Andre ignored it.

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Storyteller

Fishermen

Fishermen

Early in the morning, you can hear them singing, sometimes yelling instructions. The fishermen pulling in their nets, fish flopping around, they scales glitter in the early rising sun. Passers by stop to help, some just stop to look on. Children, up early ran around the net picking up the fish that jumped out. That early in the morning, the ocean cold for so, well not winter cold but cold for the tropics, But that does not phase the fishermen, they pull and pull, their muscles straining, their backs bent, this is how they make their living, this is how their families survive.

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Storyteller

Some pictures from Kiddes Carnival St James Trinidad

Some pictures from Kiddes Carnival St James Trinidad

Ahhh yes, I remember dancing on the stage during Grenada Kiddies carnival, one year I was a confederate soldier.

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Stories Storyteller

The Great Debate

The Great Debate

Yesterday I went shopping with Bonnie, Cici and Bubby. Who would have thought that the great debate would have ensued. Let me introduce the combatants in this battle of wills. In one corner you have me, a seven foot one inch giant, former basketball player from Grenada, in the other corner Cici a nine year old three foot seven inch champion soccer player from Eastern Kentucky and her brother Bubby a three foot three inch tall champion soccer player also from Easter Kentucky. How this debate came about is, when you are shopping with kids at some point the idea of eating will sooner or later come up. Bubbi mentioned McDonald’s, I replied that IO do not eat at McDonald’s, Cici face immediately covers with a puzzled look, she looks up and me and says, “Its MickDonald’s not McDonald’s. Without thinking my response was Uh uh, its McDonald’s, Bubby chimes in, “oh no, its Mickdonald’s. After a couple of minutes of going back and forth Bubby came up with the perfect solution to resolve the debate, his idea was to stop random people and ask them. Of course he wanted first choice. Bubby being the master of manipulation chose the first six year old that came by. I protested and he relinquished. So this lady walks by and Cici stops her, “He is from Grenada and talks different from us, can you tell is, is it McDonald’s or MickDonald’s,” at first the lady was confused and smiled but confirms that it was McDonald’s. Cici had this mistrustful look in her eyes, as if she felt that us adults all had this secret communication so that we can agree on everything. The debate went on for a while until we decided to agree to disagree and with Bubby having the last saY, “Its MickDonald’s’