From the window into the Kentucky forest, where the mid morning sun shines through the trees like white gold, and shadows vibrate against the shimmer, leaves sing in the gentle breeze, fawns make a path in the dew soaked ground, baby ducks quack in the nearby pond, tree trunks standing like the limbs of a giant cricket, trampling the underbrush. But somewhere in that underbrush, they is a spot you can lay, right under the leaves, where the sunrays can tickle your skin, making you warm, but only in spots where golden white touches your skin.
These Kentucky mornings, right after the freeze of winter have kissed away the frigid mornings, right before spring whistles in the temperate winds across the Appalachian mountains. Mornings when the mist attempts to hide the trees that hibernate in the open winter air. Dark brown branches eagerly waiting for mother nature to give the order to spring lush green leaves. And then not even this fog can hide summer’s bloom.
Here i am, standing in front a body of water that is not the ocean. It fall and there is a crispness in the air. Algae green water moved a little like the ocean. The tide pulls branches out, then washes them back to shore. Strange gray coloured fish swims up to the muddy bank and looks at you, as if to say, “What human?” My toes sank into the mud, reminding me of a rainy day on the nutmeg plantation. Ripples cascaded across the water as a canoe glided by. The skies went from a light blue to winter gray, causing the lake’s surface to flash gray around the floating tree limps. I close my eyes and a cold breeze brush against my face, stinging a little. The island boy in me wanted to jump in, I wanted to go for a swim, but I have learned from experience, swimming in a lake when winter is pending is not the smartest thing to do. So i stood there, listening to the waves, smelling the mountain air. Ahhh yes, another cool, calm day in Eastern Kentucky.
Ahhhh a crisp Kentucky marning, when yuh can feel de cool early marning dew on yuh bare feet as yuh walk in de blue grass. On de highway in de distance, de roar of coal trucks. Barking dogs echo across de hills. Children and dem standing at de bus stop, white skies wid a touch of blue grey. At de point where the land disappear and blends with the sky, this island boi swear it looks like de ocean. But I shook me head, be meself back to reality. Me not at de ocean, this is Eastern Kentucky and all dat land is just as beautiful as de endless ocean. Rise and shine, face de day, All create is beautify,.
Last night was bitter cold. My teeth were chattering so hard it reminded me of days on the beach when the tropical rain poured down and I was swimming. The ocean was warm, but the bloody rain hit my skin like small pellets of ice. It is 2013 and yes, I am still living in The Wild and Wonderful City.
My dream began with me standing on a narrow street, engulfed with a thick grey mist. At first it was silent, but slowly, the sound of voices filled the air. I looked around but saw no one. The voices grew from a murmur to ear-splitting screams. The grey mist turned into a thick fog that seemed to stifle me. My eyes felt like they were on fire and my throat felt like someone had his fingers wrapped around it, squeezing. I stood up and started walking away from the voices. I had no intentions of waiting around to find out why they were coming towards me. I had taken two steps when I stumbled over something, landing on my knees, but I felt no pain. I brushed tears from my eyes and looked down. There was a young lady lying on the road. From the uniform she was wearing, I knew she was a student. I crawled over to her and lifted her head. There was a large gash on her forehead; blood drained into her eyes, causing them to look like pools of crimson red. I looked around; the mist had disappeared and I wiped the tears from my eyes so as to see what was going on around me. The sun was shining so brightly that my skin burned. It felt like someone had dipped me in water at its boiling point. She mumbled something, but instead of words, blood spilled out of her mouth. The red gush soaked into the white shirt she wore, red in the middle of the stain and pink on the edges. The sun went dark as I almost fainted; bloody girl’s eyes were rolling back in her head.
Suddenly the screaming voices stopped and a shadow blocked the sun so I turned around. There was a man standing over me. I saw no face, no mouth, and no teeth – just two red eyes glaring at me. I moved to get up as he screamed like a man who needed to be exorcised. The look in his eyes was one of pure hatred, and he had that expression that made people look more like beasts than humans. Then his arm raised and the blue skies behind him turned grey, then black. Once again I was falling, the faces of people I used to know flashing in the dark, pale florescent images floating around me. The screaming was unbearable, but slowly it disappeared and I plunged into the darkness.
I sat up in bed; the room was so dark I thought I was still dreaming. A Harley Davidson bike roared by outside. It sounded like an airplane flying low, about to drop a bomb. I got up and stumbled to the bathroom, turned on the faucet and splashed cold water on my face. I looked at myself in the mirror; my eyes were the same color as a fire engine. I wiped my face with the towel hanging next to the shower, turned and walked over to the window.
Here it is 2013. I am used to people not pronouncing their T’s. I know that a penny is one cent and not two cents like on the island. I am now versed in Hillbilly slang, well sometimes I still do not understand. Lately, black slang and white slang have crossed lines and all people are starting to sound the same. Country music is no different than rap, all pop music. I still have people thinking I am Jamaican. I am still single. The only difference is, I don’t think I am not good enough; I just refuse to sell myself short. I have kept my accent; thank God ‘cause an island boy with a Redneck accent would make me sound like a bad Disney character.
Today might just be a Kentucky Mountain day, hmmm somewhere down by Cumberland falls, sit on a rock, watch the waterfall splash, feel the sprinkles of the cool mountain water against your skin. Or maybe somewhere in the hills of Martin county, hunting for Ginseng, or crawdads, hmmm maybe play on wolf creek, wade through the crystal clear water. Or maybe spelunking in Carter caves, deep into the earth, comforted by the dark. Ahhh yes, it feels a like a Kentucky mountain kind of day.
Oh sweet Kentucky marning, wey me wake up to de hills engulfed in mist, that hangs over de pond filled with them fresh water fish. Green trees brown grass, the scent of the mountains welcomes me. De bright red cardinals sitting on tree branches, de braying of horses on de horse farm. Oh de ole Kentucky home, where de coal miners toil night and day, and on weekend, when in season, men and boys go deer hunting, and everyone talks about U.K. basketball, as they sit on the hilltop, mere shadows in de mist, over looking de cows on de farm, whistling a chorus in harmony wid de birds .
Let us play hide and seek
Under the purple and silver Kentucky sky
In the fields next to where Thoroughbred gallop
Where bluegrass music gives the wind melody
And the voices of children carries over the rolling hills
Let us dance around the Saviaberry trees
Until the moon is high in the sky
Then catch fireflies and put them in jars
Sit and watch them light up the grass
Let us lay on the hilltop and watch the shooting stars
And dream of places where kids just like us laugh under the blinking sky
Somewhere in Eastern Kentucky
There are shadows against the gray blue sky
Silhouettes, like men, reaching for the stars
Clouds like vanilla cotton candy
Branches reach up to the eatable sky
Tree trunks, majestic, mother earth’s flag pole
Dark underbrush, hiding place for creature small
Somewhere in the holler, where green grass sparkles blue
And Cardinals fly low, red against the blue grass
Yellow Golden Rods cover the rolling hills
Bobcats prance across the creeks
And deer run freely on the hill next to the train tracks
And back in the valley, where the trees reach out to the sky
A peaceful rythem echos whrn the wind rushes through the leaves.
Ohhhh from thousands of mile away, tucked in a small city between Ashland Kentucky and Proctorville Ohio, I can smell it bubbling on the island. Ahhhh yes, what a lunch it would be.