Parts Obeah Storyteller

30th Installment of Obeah

Akosua, Kwao, Lassette and the two warriors were cutting their way through the jungle. Kwao was not his talkative self. He sulked all the way from where they had spent the night. Lassette walked alongside Akosua,

“What is his problem today?” She asked. Akosua hesitated for a second.

“Just being his usual self,” she replied. Lassette walked for a second as if trying to figure out what to say next.

“How much further to your village?” she asked trying to keep up with Akosua.

“About a day’s walk form here,” Akosua said,

“A whole day?” Lassette said as she took a deep breath. Akosua smiled and looked at her,

“We will stop for a rest soon.” She said still smiling.

“Did you learn your religion from your mother?” Lassette asked.

“Yes, our parents took advantage of our freedom and taught us about our homeland. That is how we learned about Obeah. Most of us kids were born in the New World. We were raised worshipping the plantation owner’s god. You said you have seen one of our services?” Akosua asked. Lassette smiled glad that Akosua had spoken to her.

“Yes on the island before the rebellion I witnessed a service. I was a curious child. One night I snuck out of the house and followed the sound of the drums. I saw the slaves chanting and dancing. I was spellbound by what I saw and heard. The beat of the drums made my heart beat faster, the share intensity of the slaves as they prayed. I was intrigued. I attended several services without my parents finding out. But they soon did, that is why they disowned me. They took me to their church so the priest can pray for me I spent many of days in confessionals, but I still went to the services. My father said I was a disgrace to the family they tried to send me back to the Old Country so I ran away. Those Obeah services are what sent me on the path to trying to help free the slaves.” She looked ahead; Kwao had stopped and stood with his index finger to his lips. They listened, the leaves rustled in the wind, the flapping of wings echoed overhead. A duck quaked and waddled through the bushes next to them. When Kwao was satisfied there was no danger he started walking without saying a word. Akosua looked at Lasette; she had a puzzled expression on her face. They started walking, Lassette continued talking,

“Why did you not tell me this last night?” Akosua asked. Lassette looked into the jungle,

“Because I get the reaction that Kwao gave whenever I mention fighting for the slaves’ freedom or attending Obeah services” she said and they were silent for a second. Before Akosua could say anything, Lassette turned to her and looked her in the eye for the first time since the night before.

“If you are the leader of your village, then who is in charge while you are gone?” she asked, more for conversation than wanting to know.

“Adofo,” Akosua said smiling. Lassette reached out and patted Akosua on her arm.

“You are in love,” she said, Akosua looked down to the ground embarrassed.

“I can use butterflies to fly, I can change some people from evil to good, but nothing feels like when am around him.” She said,

“Tell me about him,” Lassette said walking alongside Akosua. Akosua started to talk about Adofo when Kwao abruptly stopped. A large snake hung from a tree branch in front of him. The boy swung his machete cutting the snake in half. He picked up the body of the severed snake and turned to Akosua and Lassette,

“If you two girls were not jabbering I would have seen it sooner and would not have had to kill it.” He said angrily. Akosua took a step towards him,

“Do not forget who is in charge Kwao,” she said. Kwao stared at her like he was about to say something. The two boys stepped up behind Akosua and Lassette. Kwao looked at them still contemplating if he should say something.

“You don’t have to listen to us just pay attention to what you are doing.” Akosua said. Kwoa hesitated, but turned stepped over the dead snake and walked off. Akosua Lassette and the warriors followed.

“Jealousy is a dangerous thing,” she said whispering.

Akosua did not say anything she stared into the jungle, a faraway look in her eyes. A parrot squawked in the trees as they walked.

Parts Obeah Storyteller

12th Installment of Obeash

They stopped over the village and hovered for a while, the kids all ran and stood under them as they slowly descended, landing in the middle of the screaming children,

“Can I be next?” a little girl asked. Akosua reached out and touched her shoulder as the butterflies swarmed the kids causing them to giggle uncontrollably,

“Maybe another time,” Akosua said and the little girl hung her head and went back into the crowd of screaming kids. Kwao stepped forward a flash of anger in his eyes,

“What this?” he shouted looking from Akosua to Henry, she turned to him,

“Why are you always so angry Kwao?” she asked he walked up to Henry and stuck his spear in the ground in front of him,

“Why do you treat this Kindoki as if he is one of us, look at him, he is too pale be one of us,”

“I am not an evil spirit,” Henry said. Kwao looked at him surprised that he knew what he was called.

“Kwao I understand why you are so angry. It must be hard being the son of a plantation owner and a slave. Never fitting in anywhere, but here we are all equal, we are all human. The Loas say that we should respect all people. You are part of us, you can trust us. Yemaya teaches that we have compassion for others and that compassion makes him like family,” Akosua said, Kwao stepped closer to Henry,

“You don’t understand how it feels, your own father treats you like a slave, and the slaves treat you like you are some kind of demon. No Akosua you don’t understand, and furthermore he is no family of mine,” Kwao screamed, Henry stood his ground and Akosua stepped between them

“He is our guest we show respect to our guest,” she said, Kwao looked at her and back to Henry,

“I have said it before but I will ask again, how do you know he is not a spy for the Ligaroo King, after all, the powerful Ligaroo King is one of his kind,” he insisted, Henry stood his ground as Kwao tried to push past Akosua to get to him,

“I don’t even know who or what this Ligaroo is,” Henry shouted

“That’s what you say, how are we to know that you did not come from the Jumbie Island, you may have even helped kidnap our parents, how are we to know….” Henry interrupted him,

“Hey I lost my sister too, am alone here too,” Henry shouted, Kwao shouted back at him,

“Who cares,” he screamed and slipped past Akosua and pushed Henry to the ground. Henry got up and pushed him back and they wrestled with each other falling to the ground, the kids formed a circle around them yelling. Akosua raised her arm and the shouting stopped and she reached down and pulled Kwao off of Henry. The angry warrior was kicking and screaming. Akosua pulled him close to her and looked into his eyes; Henry was surprised at how strong she was,

“How are we to know that you are not a spy for the Ligaroos?” she asked. Kwao looked at her in disbelief then he looked at the crowd, they were silent,

“We don’t fight against each other in this village,” she said. Kwao glared at her,

“Go ahead take his side,” he screamed, Akosua tried to calm him down,

“I don’t take sides; I just don’t want any fighting here. We will have to fight against the Ligaroo soon enough,” she said, Kwao pulled his arm away from her,

“You will see, you will see,” he said then turned, picked up his spear, and pushed his way through the crowd, he got to the jungle entrance stopped, and turned,

“You will learn,” he shouted then turned and disappeared into the thick bushes. Akosua turned to the crowd,

“Ok go back to your chores please,” she said and slowly the villagers dispersed. She looked at Henry, did not say anything, just turned and walked to her hut and disappeared into the dark doorway,

POEMS Storyteller


The ocean without salt

Air without oxygen

A ballerina without toes

Ice cream without the cream

Love without the passion

Sleep without rest

War without hate

Politics without the lies

Religion without spirituality

laughter without happiness

serenity without peace

A heart without a heartbeat

Everything with nothing




The Usual Suspects (June 1981)

Politics, religion, culture

Tradition, legacy, history

Organized manipulation of Nature

Egos like voodoo spells

Stagnant like birds without wings

A rainbow in black and white

History becomes his story

Hope floats away on emerald waves





POEMS Storyteller

The real me

Sleep is my escape, my temporary salvation

For being awake is my state of conscious death

I am at the gates of heaven without a key

No St Peter to welcome me, no bible, no testimony

Wake me up when the world is dark

I refuse to see what it has to offer

Here in this sleep is where I am closest to death

Closer to heaven, closer to the hell

This is my purgatory, the place where my spirit struggles

This is where my fears engulfs my soul

For I am not afraid of man nor his systems

Nor am I afraid of his religion


Obeah Meeting

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.

Parts Obeah Storyteller

Attacked by the jumbie Arawaks (from the novel Obeah)

The man pushed all his weight down and the knife slowly came down to Henry’s face. The attacker’s face was covered with mud and had small cracks from where it had dried from him sweating and being in the heat. Henry moved his back grated against small rocks in the ground beneath him. The man’s whole body was covered with mud and some spots were wet from him sweating. Henry looked into the man’s eyes. It reminded him of the day his uncle died.  The man, his body covered with mud, with eyes like his dead uncle, stared at him. That memory sent a wave of fear through him and he strained as the knife got closer to his face. His heart pounded so hard he thought it would explode. Sweat poured down his face and his head rested on a rock as he scrummed and twisted to get away. His attacker growled like an animal. 

The knife’s tip touched Henry’s face and he felt his skin begin to break as blood ran down the side of his face. He closed his eyes and tried to muster the strength to push back. Just when he felt the knife going deeper into his flesh his attacker was suddenly pulled off of him. He opened his eyes and saw Adofo standing over him, his hand stretched down. He grabbed it and Adofo pulled him up. Henry looked around for a second. The sounds of battle filled the jungle, screams, grunts, yells, and the sound of metal against metal echoed around the trees. He wiped the blood from his face and looked at his finger. The crimson red felt sticky between his fingers. He searched the ground for his machete and found it.

Henry reached down, picked it up and charged at the nearest attacker. He knocked the man to the ground and swung his machete. The man rolled out of the way and the machete hit a rock sending sparks into the dirt. The attacker got to his feet and rushed at Henry. He side stepped and swung the machete, hitting the man in the back of the head with the dull end of the machete. The man stumbled and fell, but before Henry could make sure the man stayed down another attacker jumped on his back. Henry spun around sending the man flying through the air. He landed on a tree trunk with a thud then fell to the ground and lay still. Henry turned to find another attacker, but stopped when he saw Akosua, machete in hand, battling one of the attackers.