Categories
Pics with verse Storyteller

Sunday Afternoon Cricket Match

“Umpireeeeeeee!” That was the scream that echoed through the small village nestled between two lush green hills. Yeah man, it was the regular Sunday cricket match in full swing. Boys used to come from other villages just to play. i mean bragging rights was big round here. This was no official cricket match, noooo, nobody wore white spotless uniforms, I mean look at Dexter, his shorts was ripped and one hole was right where his bamsi was, he would not have to pull down his pants to do a number two. Most of us were bare footed, our toes caked with dry dirt. The wickets were pieces of galvanize with a stick behind them to prop them up. The cricket bats were homemade, some of the boys and them took great pride in who could make the best bat. The ball was a tennis ball, that damn ball would swing in heavy wind, bounce unpredictably off the pitch, and the pitch, let’s talk about the pitch. It was a path that led up to the houses, it was cracked and had what looked like small craters on it. It was on the part of the path that had a slight incline to it. The faster bowlers would always want to bowl from the top side. Oh how them boys and them used to love running up to the wicket and flinging that damn ball at the batsman. Many of us got plunked in the head, I know, i know, you saying, how can a tennis ball hurt, trust me, you get hit in the head with one of them and then come tell me it does not hurt.

This Sunday was no exception. A group of like twenty boys were gathered playing. Thar was when the happy, peaceful Sunday afternoon was interrupted with the shout,

“Umpireeeeeeeeeee! The bowler, Ricky, was insistent that the ball hit the wicket, the batsman, Randy protested,

Nah mon, no way that ball din hit de wicket atall atall!”

“Boi, you is tiefing, dat ball hit the damn wicket.” Ricky shouted back, tell him Tall boi,”

“Ok ok,” Randy said. ” If de ball hit de wicket, how come we doh hear no sound?”

Ricky stood speechless, I mean Randy had a point.

“It don matter, yuh out man, give Tall Boi de bat.”

“Bomboclat, I eh giving him notton, I tell yuh I doh out atall!”

Ricky walked up to Randy. I never knew what anybody let that boy play with them. He always cheating and starting fights.

“Give him de bat or I go tek it from you.” He said reaching out and grabbing the bat. Randy refused to let go. They started pulling the bat. All the boys and them started making a circle around them. Soon they were on the ground rolling around, dirt was flying everywhere, curse words pepped the air.  Out of the crown comes Batto, the village drunk. He tried to break up the fight but only managed to end up rolling around on the ground with the two boys. Ricky let out a loud grunt then jumped up, the bat held over his head as he screamed in triumph,

“I have it, i have it!” That is when it happen, in his moment of victory, his worrier like scream echoing through the valley. His pants dropped to his ankle. At first it did not seem to bother him because he was wearing under pants. But that underpants was old so the elastic in the waist lose and slowly it also dropped to his ankles. There he stood, his scream trailing off and was now replaced by a roar of laughter. He looked around, as if trying to see if anyone noticed. He looked down at his exposed penis and did the strangest thing. Instead of dropping the bat and pulling up his pants, he started to run. He tripped on his fallen garments, bamsi high in the sky, and dropped face first on his face. The bat flew into the air landing at Randy’s feet. He picked it up and stood over Ricky.

“Boi, you bamsi stink for so, you wash up.”  That Sunday the laughter echoed through the valley, to other villages causing dogs to howl, chickens to cluck and  pigs to squeal.

Categories
Storyteller

Damsel Stew

Ahhh it is amazing how an acidic, sour fruit like a damsel can be cooked into this sweet, delightful snack. Yes, now I can sit in the veranda, prop my feet up on the banister, watch the humming birds zoom round, listen to the laughter of the children playing cricket in on the road.  The scent of the stew over powering the the scent of the roses. Ahhh yes, this tropical food and tropical life is for everyone.

Categories
Storyteller

Nice and mellow for your early evening

Ohhh yeah I remember sitting in the varasndah, with the sun retreating behind the hill behind Trini’s house. The barking of the village dogs, the on and off dreadful singing, well mumbling of the drunk in the house across the way. The mumbling of the children playing cricket in the gravel street. And on the boom box, a smooth, mellow ridim like this one playing. Ahhhh yes man, Sit there, all mellowed out, listening to good sounds, watching the world change colours.

Categories
Pics with verse Storyteller

Saturday Beach day

Saturday Beach day

Beach day, when all us young people would rush to the beach, and all the Sagaboi dem would try to pick up women, and all the cricketers and footballers would start up games alone the three mile beach, and venders would try to see their good to the tourists, and cops would make sure that the horny teenagers are not making out, and Grums the village drunk will run down the beach, trip and fall because his pants had dropped to his ankles, and a group of friends would be dancing to the calypso music from a boom box, oh yes, Saturday was always beach day and beach day means lots of good times was had.

Categories
Cool Runnings

12th Installment La Diablesse

Round mid afternoon I took a long cold shower, got dressed and went out to the small shed at the side of me house opened the wooden door and went inside. Covered under a large tarpaulin was my Yamaha bike, I pulled the cover off and dust flew into the air causing sneeze, the metallic black body glittered as the sun came through the doorway and bounced off of it, man, I loved this bike I spent many of days straddled on the leather seat riding round the island. I climbed onto the soft seat pushed down on the crank and maneuvered the machine to the front yard rode through the gate stopping as two cars drove by, damn drivers acted like they did not see me. Carefully I pulled in behind them and rode down the graveled road small stones popping out from under the wheels as I sped up.

There were lots of cars on the road as workers rushed to get home, Saturday meant they only had to work half day and people wanted to get home to start the weekend partying. Despite the narrow streets, the large potholes and the pedestrians, the drivers were extremely patient honking their horns to greet each other. Most cars on the island back then were British made. Morrises and those bloody annoying mini cars would zoom by like mice running from a cat. Calypso music blared from the mini busses as they competed to pick up as many passengers as they could.

The traffic thinned out as I got further into the county side, the roads narrowed out even more making it impossible for two cars to go by at the same time, sharp turns made it seem like I had turned round and was going back the way I came. I had ridden this road many of times when I visited me grandmother, she had moved back to the plantation after me Grandfather died to live the rest of she life in peace on the land she family owned. There were always something spiritual bout these country roads, I mean; the air was filled with the scent of bananas, spices, sugar cane and tropical mud, I slowed down and began to appreciate the scenery round me.

On the left side of the road I looked down on a mountainside of banana trees rustling in the wind, despite the sharp decline they stood in perfect rows like soldiers on parade day, the space between the trees left enough room for the farmers to go through and pick the large bunches of bananas, man, I tell you what, me mouth started to water right away just thinking bout them ripe bananas. There was a break in the uniformity as the wind swept through the hillside causing the big green leaves to whip round. I saw small drains in the muddy surface a result of the heavy rains earlier in the month. Some of the trees sagged to the side and the farmer used sticks to prop them up, voices of the farm workers echoed in the valley as they made their way through the field cutting down the bananas.

On the other side of the road Nutmeg and Cocoa trees went up the hillside as far as the eyes could see the spicy aromor lingered in the air leaving a sweet taste in me mouth. The Cocoa pods that hung off the trees made me think of me mother, she grew up on great Grandmother’s plantation and always had stories bout helping work in the fields, she used to try to get me to work there on the weekends but manual labour and I was no friend. There was some mist at the top of the hill creating a bluish tint against the green leaves, the cool late afternoon breeze brushed off me face causing me shirt to flutter like a homemade kite in an Easter wind.

I heard a vehicle backfire so I turned me attention back to the road, I got as close to the edge of the asphalt as I could, but that still did not prepare me for the police land rover that came round the corner, them bastards must have been going bout eighty miles an hour or something because the five or so policemen inside were hanging on for they lives. The rover was not in the best shape at all, I mean, the bloody thing was tilted to the right and the wheels were so askew I could tell the driver was having a hard time controlling the deathtrap. They must have seen the look on me face because I heard them laugh as the heap of metal went round the corner behind me, ignorant Bobbies, somebody should arrest them fools. I pulled onto the road and even though I was shaking a little continued on.

I came up on some houses so I slowed down, there were some boys playing cricket in the middle of the road they had stopped the game and were arguing over a bad call, one of the boys holding the bat and another one was trying to take it away from him. They were so engrossed in their argument they did not hear the roar of me bike as it came up on them, I was about three feet from them before they scampered out of the way and onto the embankment at the side of the road. They shouted at me as I went by, bloody little hooligans, good thing they were not me pupils because I would have given them a good lashing. I looked over me shoulder and saw that they had resumed they argument, the two boys were now rolling round on the road each clinching to the bat screaming at each other in that country boy slang, the other boys were trying their best to get them apart.

I turned me attention back to the street just in time to see a shadow in front of me, I squeezed hard on the breaks me back wheel dancing wildly on the uneven road and it took all me skills to get the machine under control. I came to an abrupt stop almost falling over the damn handlebar, an old man sat majestically on he donkey like a Victorian king on he favorite mare, he shirt and pants were stained with the juices from the bananas he worked with all day, he stared at me no expression on he wrinkled face at all. Neither of us said a word, we just sat there looking at each other he eyes squinted, it was a stalemate and by the expression on he face I knew he was not about to give ground.
“Do you know where Alison live?” I asked not that I thought he would know but mainly to break the uneasy silence. He shook he head from side to side puzzled at me question. The hum of the bike echoed through the valley, a flock of birds swooped down off the mountain and flew over we head. He glanced up to the hills then looked back at me then he lifted a mud caked hand and used it to block the sun. He weather beaten face was still expressionless, but yet, you could see the years of experience running through every line on he face. I knew a lot of men like him, well seasoned with hard work life a constant struggle to keep the family farm running, poor fella, the slow but eminent economic change was destroying he livelihood. He raised he hand and pointed, I did not say anything I just maneuvered me bike round him and rode off.

The potholes in the road were the biggest I had ever seen in me whole damn life, bloody government, would it have killed them to fix the stinking roads? The bike bounced round as I tried me best to maneuver through the maze.

I rode for bout five miles passing small wooden houses on the way, they all had concrete steps leading to colourful doors they verandas almost as big as the houses themselves. On most of them, men sat in Bamboo chairs round tables playing dominoes or drinking sugar cane rum, arguments would erupt over whose turn it was next, they voices carrying through the hills and across the rolling plantations.

The road abruptly changed into a mud path and I almost lost control of the damn bike. The sun disappeared behind the large mango trees that lined the path, damn it, now I had to ride through large holes filled with water and me shoes was now soaked down to me frigging socks. The late afternoon sun was turning into a dull yellow orange causing visibility to be almost impossible, soon darkness engulfed the path as the trees and bushes became thicker and I had to turn on me headlight. Dogs barked up ahead and I was concerned because I was afraid of them infernal animals.

As I rounded a corner and came upon three houses that sat on a hillside they formed a perfect triangle against the dark green backdrop. The sun seeped through the trees giving me better lighting, the two houses higher up on the hill were painted in conservative colours of gray with red and green roofs. There were no fences round them, but they boundaries were distinct where grass gave way to shrubbery at the edge of the yards, yard fowls clucked as they fought for scraps of food, pigs squealed as they moved round in they pens. I turned off the bike and sat there looking at the houses the silence was real eerie man, where the hell was all the people?

Categories
Storyteller

Ohhh I love cricket

Ohhh I love cricket

Stories about cricket matches, on the beach, at the old Guide’s hut, at the Tanteen pasture oh yes I feel some stories coming up in the future.

Categories
Pics with verse Storyteller

Ahhhh yes

Ahhhh yes

Cricket sweet cricket, time to start watching dem games.

Categories
Pics with verse Storyteller

Tropical Sun

Tropical Sun

Its midday, your bum have made a perfect indentation on the soft sand. The waves roll onto the beach, then back out. Small crabs scurry in the retreating wash. A bird plunges into the ocean, emerging with a fish in it’s beak. A small fishing boat puttered by, a trail of smoke escapes it’s engine. Down the beach, a group of young men were arguing, an unwilling break from they disorganized game of cricket. You lay back and look up at the blue skies, then out to the ocean and for a second it seems you are looking up and the ripples of the surface, you wander, is this what below sea level means. The mid day sun blasts down on you and for a second you feel a chill, but that was fast replaced by the heat. You close your eyes and it was not dark, but bright orange. Ahhhh how sweet it is to lay here, be lazy and listen to the island sounds around you.

Categories
Stories Storyteller

What I am thankful for, my memories.

Oh oh I am getting sentimental, what am I thankful for, well my memories, Playing cricket on the beach with Desmond Charles and Raphael Charles on Grand Anse beach. Getting my butt beat at sprint races. Watching my big sis Kathleen Whitehead and Mommy Charles baking up a storm on Saturdays and getting to lick the batter from the cake mix. Hanging on the blocks with my friends whistling at the village girls ha ha, Jumping up to calypso music during carnival, going fishing on Sundays and then cooking a good waters on the beach, sneaking into the priest’s quarters and drinking the wine he he he, playing football at the old guides hut. Watching the village drunk stumble by, his pants falling to him ankles and him not knowing. Sneaking in the Neighbors yard and picking all his mangoes, then running after he comes out. Helping Mommy Charles prepare Christmas dinner.  Blazing boboli with the rasta and them. Thankful for growing up on an island full of great beaches and sunshine and dancing and smiling people. Many more memories, too much to put on here. That’s what I am thankful for my memories.