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POEMS Storyteller

Images not specific

Where the rats smile at you like children before an ice cream feast
Where cock roaches hiss like the harmony of a church choir right before repentance
A soul on the devil’s plated, seasoned with hate and greed, a feast for the damned
A priest with your heart in his hand, promising purgatory
Fire ants crawling right under your skin like a wave of volcanic lava
Sitting in a foxhole watching the scavengers feast on what is left of humanity
Laying in the dark with shadows for company, spirits lost between death and living
Dreaming where you live or living in a dream you wish you can forget.

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POEMS Storyteller

On Stage

I can hear the drums, I can hear the drums
Like the church bells on the day of a funeral
Like angels singing in the jungle
Compassion already spat on your soul
Deceit knelt next to you in church and prayed.
Death smiled so worm you wanted to kiss it.
Life stands behind barking like a rabid hyena
A mouthful of half truths already swallowed the truth
And is choking on it.
Laughter is laughing at itself
And we sit back and applaud the afterlife
In its 52st season on Broadway

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POEMS Storyteller

That Hour

I am doing a jig at the edge of a precipice

The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks is the melody I dance to

The moon shimmered across the ocean like lights from a disco ball

The wind hummed like a base steeldrum

Clouds cast shadows over the stones, the grass, the trees, the sand

The weeping willow leaves whistled in the breeze

Still are the birds, the animals, the people

It is that hour, that hour right before conscious death

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Parts Dirty Immigrant Storyteller

Death and Birth

While walking through some bushes, I heard a rustle behind me. I pulled out the pistol tucked into my waistband and looked around. It was quiet except for the sporadic gunfire in the distance. I realized that the rustling came from some thick bushes ahead. I walked in that direction, my fingers tightly wrapped around the pistol. Before I got to the bushes, a deadly scent filled the air. I wanted to stop walking because I knew deep down what I would find. Still I continued, my heart pounding hard, causing my vision to be blurry. My mother always said I was too bloody inquisitive. I parted the bushes, my eyes closed at first. Even though I saw what I expected, I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. There was a body lying on the ground, its green uniform, brown with dried blood. I stared at it as an army of nature’s scavengers helped themselves to the rotting flesh that was left. I stood there horrified, my heart racing, my body tingling. It was as if I was waiting for something to happen. I closed my eyes, I guess I was trying to see myself in that man’s place.

Bob Marley lyrics exploded in my head, “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery none but ourselves can free our minds”. I swallowed hard, trying to stop myself from throwing up. Then another quote ran through my mind. It was the Karl Marx statement “Everyone is a victim of the system.” I wanted to be that body, feel free, no political system to tell me what to do, no religion to watch my every move. At that moment, feeling nothing would have been like paradise. Another Bob Marley lyric came to mind “If you know what life is worth then you will look for yours on earth”. I was not about to die to attain the freedom I seek. I had to stand up and fight for the life that I wanted. That moment was like becoming born again, a born again human being.

I was jolted back to reality when a helicopter swooped in and hovered over the bushes. I pointed the pistol at it, my hand shaking, beads of sweat rolling down my forehead, settling in my eyes. I wiped the salty liquid off and kept looking up. I was afraid they might have seen me; I was prepared to defend myself. The mosquito-like machine glided towards the hills on the other side and opened fire. Leaves and dust flew into the air, soldiers shouted, and birds flew from the chaos. I took the opportunity to run in the opposite direction. AK-47 rifles barked angrily as pockets of the local army fought back. I ran until I reached the dusty highway and I stopped to catch my breath, my chest burning. I realized I was still holding the pistol and tucked it into my waistband. The shooting stopped, and the helicopter whizzed by, its rotors creating a whirlwind of dust. I went home and sat in a chair on the verandah, my heart still racing. I got up, took out the pistol and looked at it. I placed it, along with an AK-47 and a couple of other guns, in a can that used to hold Lard, filled it with grease, dug a hole, and buried it next to a Paw Paw tree. That was the last time I held a gun, forever elevating the false sense of safety I once felt.  

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Storyteller

Sounds Of War

Thirty one years ago on this date, six am in the morning,I was woken up by a low hum. I shrugged it off and started to does off, but then I heard loud explosion. I sat up in bed, it quiet for a second, then a sudden barrage of anti aircraft gun fire. I jumped up and ran to my front door, a huge plane was flying over, soldiers floated down, their parachutes fluttering in the tropical wind.  Confusion set in, even though we expected it, finding ones self in the middle of life and death will wake anybody up. That was the day the world turned gray for me.  The tropical flowers were grey, the blue skies were gray, the ocean that I love so much turned gray. Nothing makes a person feel more helpless than life spiraling into total confusion, not because of your actions, but by the actions of politricksters who think they know how people should live.I still have dreams about that day, I guess they will never go away.

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

From The Novel Obeah

Night descended on the island and the drummers began to play. The villagersdanced around the bonfire. Henry joined them and danced until his legs began to ache. The fire popped and cracked, and some of the children chased the sparks that floated into the air. Their voices echoed into the jungle, dogs howled and barked, some chasing the children that ran around the fire. Akosua and Adofo had disappeared to their special place on the small beach. Kwao was missing too. Henry knew that he was somewhere spying on the two lovers. It was late when he went back to his hut and flopped down on his bed. The events of the day played out in his head like a living dream. This was the most fun he had had since his mother died. He thought of his sister and said out loud,

“I am coming to rescue you,” his voice interrupting the crickets outside the hut. He fell asleep to images of him and his sister playing in the field behind their home in the Old Country.

He was asleep just a short time when he was woken up by Ampah. He got up and followed the boy outside. Several of the villagers carried torches and were screaming a name. Henry walked over to Ampah. He stood next to some of the boys giving them instructions.

“Whats going on?” Henry asked and Ampah turned to him.

“Adwoa is missing,” Ampah said.

“Grab a touch, we are going to look for her,” Ampah said. Henry walked over to one of the huts and got one of the torches that sat in front of it. He walked back to Ampah and lit it with the one that Ampah held.

“Adwao!” they shouted. The jungle was dark except for the torches that seemed to float through the air between the bushes. Rodents rustled in the underbrush, owls hooted in the trees, bats screeched and flew off into the night. They searched for hours, combing the underbrush until someone shouted,

“Over here!” footsteps sped up as they rushed to the voice. Henry got to where the voice came from and looked down into a grove of small trees. The little girl lay under a hibiscus tree motionless. Akosua was on her knees next to her.

“She is gone,” she said as she caressed the child’s face. The jungle was silent except for the cracking of the fire from the torches. They stood, their faces illuminated by with shadows. Akosua picked up the girls lifeless body and carried her back to one of the huts next to her own.

The Villagers stood, some cried, while the older ones tried to console them. Henry and Ampah stood there for a while then walked back to Henry’s hut.

“She looked like all the blood was drawn from her body,” Ampah said, his face a mere shadow in the pale yellow light.

“I did not hear the Ligaroos attack,” Henry said.

“There must be one among us,” Ampah said and they sat in the chairs outside Henry’s hut for a second listening to the jungle.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Ligaroo,” Henry said. Ampah was silent for a moment looking into the dark jungle.

“So do I, I will spill blood for every person who died at their hands,” he said. The sound of frogs croaking filled the silence, crying could be heard in the hut next door.

“I knew something was up, the other night, while I slept, I felt someone next to me, their breath was awful, but when I woke up, there was no one there,” Ampah said.

“The same thing happened to me,” Henry said. Ampah looked over at him and said nonchalantly.

“You should sleep with one eye open, and your machete near my friend,” and got up and walked away. Henry got up and walked into his hut. He stopped at the doorway and held the torch out in front of him. When he was satisfied that no one else was in there he walked in. He took the unlit torch from its holder and placed the lit one in it. He walked over to the chair where the machete lay, picked it up and went to his bed. A dog howled and he lifted his head and looked around. Whenever the wind blew shadows rushed at him, then retreated when the wind dissipated He rested his head back down and closed his eye. The image of the Adwao imprinted in his mind. He felt himself falling asleep and jerked awake, then felt around in the bed next to him for the machete. He hugged the weapon and soon fell asleep.

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POEMS Storyteller

The Running Soul

So you spend your whole life running, running from the hate, running from the ideologies, running from yourself, running from the memories, running from war, running from death, then one day you realize, death never left you, those bodies, with the buzzing flies, the melody of death, caught up to you in your nightmares. But you keep running, running from the lies, running from the politricks, running from fear, running from your shadow, but once again you realize that you are your shadow’s keeper. Realization don’t stop you so you keep running, running from commitment, running from compassion, running from intimacy, then the biggest realization ever, though being alone can be pure bliss, being alone can be, well, lonely.

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POEMS

Living

Dark like Pluto, bright like the sun

Sweet like tropical fruit, sour like salt

graceful like a ballerina, clumsy like Steve Urkel

Hateful like politician,  loving like a mother

Soothing like reggae, unnerving like a scream

Therapeutic like laughter, destructive like a storm

Quiet like death, noisy like a war

Life, who knew?

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Parts Obeah Storyteller

The Spirit

It was three in the morning and Akosua was still asleep in the corner. She had not dreamt all night, but now she tossed and turned. Her dark sleep had changed, and now she stood in a field that was engulfed in a thick fog that came up to her waist. She heard animals, and felt them brush against her legs. Birds flew just above the fog, as if in search of something. She heard laughter and tried to figure out where it had come from. The laughter echoed, and the macabre sound seemed to surround her. She saw a black top hat coming towards her; someone or something slowly ascended a flight of stairs. She waited, a face appeared, and it was skeletal like. Despite his dark glasses, his red eyes seemed to be floating in its sockets. He wore a black tuxedo and had cotton plugs in his nostrils like a corpse dressed and prepared for burial. Akosua recognized him; it was Baron Samedi Loa of death. He walked up to her and stopped about an arm’s length away and laughed. He lifted his hand and took a swig from a bottle of rum and puffed on a cigar that dangled from his mouth.

“Me little pickeny.” He said his voice was nasal. “You thik you go win a war with me,” he threw his head back and laughed. Smoke floated out of his mouth. He stopped laughing, took a drink, and then tossed the bottle into the fog. She heard the bottle hit the soft mud then roll a little. A wolf howled then scurried away. Baron Samedi laughed again.

“You don’t have the power to defeat we. Your parents will always be our slaves, Jumbies for life.  We will destroy you chosen one or not. “He said, his eyes became a deathly stare, Akosua shivered a little in the damp air.

“You are not all powerful you can be defeated, it has happen in the past,” Akosua said. Baron Samedi threw his head back and laughed.

“That was no defeat, remember, a man who turns and run away, lives to fight another day, and furthermore, do you think I am going to let meself be defeated by a mere child. You should be out playing. Just because you have a boyfriend does not make you big woman,” he said and laughed, smoke bellowed out of his mouth.

“Yemaya and her good spirits will make sure you and your Ligaroos are destroyed,” she said, Baron Samedi took a drag from his cigar and looked at her.

“Yemaya, that’s Obeah witch, that lose woman, a little of me charm and she would be like sugar in me tea,” he said, a twisted smile on his face. Akosua smiled back and that enraged him.

“You should be afraid of me you little witch. Your services and offerings will not save you and soon you too will become me Jumbies just like you mother.” He shouted then laughed, and backed up. His red eyes flashed with a spark of orange.  Slowly drowning out the sound of his laughter was a chorus of voices, some moaned woefully while others screamed causing the area around Akosua to vibrate. Behind him, she saw a human form above the mist. Akosua shook her head but kept on smiling;

“Your black magic doesn’t scare me,” Akosua said. Baron Samedi threw his head back and screamed then charged at her. Just before his body slammed into her, she woke up and looked around. A thick fog floated into the hut from the door. She saw a dark figure looking down on her and sat up, Kwao stood looking in at her. When he realized she was awake he turned and walked away.

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POEMS Storyteller

Refugee

Every day she fights death
Its promise of peace and quiet
Its offer of being a perfect human being
Every night she sees its red beady eyes
They hover over her like a vulture
Only this vulture is white
Gleaming with false promises
She reaches out and takes it
And slowly pulls it to her mouth
The closer it gets, its form and colour changes
From white to black, two red eyes to one dark eye
The single eye disappear into her mouth
She can feel its cold beak against her tongue
Ahhh, the taste of death pending
Now that’s a familiar feeling
Her heart is racing
Her breath comes in short bursts
Its like that feeling right before orgasm
He he he he he, yeah
Take her to the cloud with the river of milk
Cuddle with her until she is still
Comfort her while her thoughts eat away at her soul
Bury her in a casket full of love and compassion
Bless her with your bible of half truths
Bathe her with your holy water
Watch it turn to blood as it drips down her body
Hmmmmmahhhhh, drain the unhappiness from her spirit
Make her feel no more, make her feel no more