Wednesday, November 30, 2011 2 words I am thankful for

I Can't

" I can't."
A phrase
Drummed into
The consciousness,
The unconsciousness
Of man by
Those who’s sole
Intention was
To protect,
But in reality
They robbed.

In children,
They rob them
Of the desire
To explore
Both themselves
And their world.
A world filled
With secrets
To be discovered
By young
And eager minds.

In teens,
The words,
“I can’t,”
Rob then of
Life’s skills like
Interacting with peers,
Understanding their bodies,
Learning what they want,
What they need
From relationships
With the opposite sex.
Even though they
Rebel, in their minds
What they “can’t” do
Is still wrong,
Still taboo.

By the time,
They become adults,
“I can’t”
Are not words spoken
By others, they are
Words spoken
By themselves
To themselves.

By the time,
They become adults,
They don’t see
The differences
Between the things
That will hurt them
And the things
That will liberate them.

So hardwired
Are they, the adults,
That they continue
The cycle of saying
“Can’t” to a new
Generation of people.

“I can’t
Deal with you right now.”

“You can’t
Go there or there with them.”

“We can’t…..”
“You can’t….”
“I can’t….”

But truly,
My friends,
Can’t we?
Monday, November 28, 2011 19 words I am thankful for

In The Jewel Box

I found whispers
In an old jewel box.

They were paper thin
And ever so soft
As I touched them
To my cheek.

I wondered to myself
Who they belonged to,
Who had hidden them
In this old jewel box.

I took them to the attic,
The whispers
And the jewel box,
And closed all the doors
And all the windows.

Sitting quietly,
In that dusty attic,
I tried to hear
The whispers
As they laid in
The old jewel box.

Twas two hours later
When my mind was empty,
My heart was open,
And my soul was set free
That I heard the whispers.

"I love you."
"I love you, too."
"Will you come back?"
"I will always come back."
"I will miss you."
"And I will miss you."

Then silence,
And in that moment,
A lone tear crept
Down my cheek.
He never came back.

I rose and walked
To a window.
With the jewel box
In one hand,
I opened it
And everyday life
crashed around me
Like a wave.

I heard the kids
Down the street,
I smelt the roses
In the garden,
And I felt and saw
The sun setting
In the distance.

Without thought
Or hesitation,
I threw the whispers
Out the window,
Into the world.

I watched it
Sail away in
The late summer breeze.
Such pain should not be
Locked away in gilded boxes,
But made to dissolve away
And from what is left
May something new
And joyous be made.

Submitted to The Poetry Palace
Friday, November 25, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

She Became.......

Day 13.
She reached the summit,
Her breath escaping
From her lips
In a puff of smoke,
The last part of
The person she was.

A person she had began to leave
Four days ago
On the path up this mountain.
The person who
Didn’t want to go
A step farther,
Who gave excuses
Why she should not on.

Excuses such as
Her body could not endure
This any more.
The air is too thin.
The pack is too heavy.
The incline is to steep.
The temperature is too low.

The person tried
To rationalize with her.
“So what if you never
Reach the summit.
You won’t be the first
Not to make it,”
The person would say.

The guide sat quietly
At the camp, pretending not to
Notice the internal battle
Of the most unusual
Of his clients. And
He simply nodded
The next day when
She said that she will continue.

It was in that moment
That the person began to leave,
Through the first puff of breath
She exhaled.

She pushed harder
That she ever pushed
Her body,
Her mind,
Her spirit.

Even when they demanded,
They begged
For her to stop,
She pushed on.

On Day 13,
She took the last steps
To the summit.
She took a deep breath
From her oxygen tank
And removed the mask.

She slowly turned around
Absorbing the view,
Releasing the breath.
She knelt down and
The guide stepped away,
Giving her privacy.

On bended knees,
She spoke to God,
Not the God of Jesus,
Not the God of Mohammed,
Not the Hindu Gods,
Not the Voodoo Gods,
She spoke to her God.

The God that brought her here.
The God that pushed her
Into her greatness.
The God that demands
Nothing but her best
And for her to live fully.

The God that is more real
Than any God created by man.
The God that simply was and is
Around us.
Within us,
In the deepest ocean,
On the highest mountain,

To this God,
She gave thanks.

On the way down,
She thought the person
Would return,
But she never did.
She now resides
On this mountain.

The person she became
On this mountain
Is worth ten times
That person, and
She willingly sacrificed
That person to the mountain.

On this mountain,
She became…
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

His Words

His words used to be
Sweetness and light.

They were at times
Beautiful sonnets
That would have left
Shakespeare green with envy.

They were at times
Naughty whispers
That would have made
Seasoned porn stars blush.

His words would
Lightly rain down on me
Leaving me feeling
Loved, cherished,
Wanted and desired.

Now, his words are
Thunderclouds and bitterness.

His words are the same
That would be found
On battlefields instead
Of bedrooms.

They would pummel me,
Striking me down
When I tried to rise,
Clawing at me and
Ripping out my confidence,
My self worth,
My self esteem
From my wreaked body.

He would look at me
And say that my face
Was the face of a liar.

Behind my eyes
Were secrets
I refuse to share,
He would say.

My ears were
The receivers
Of another man's words,
He extolled.

My lips spewed
Nothing but lies,
Ceaseless lies,
He admonished.

Yet the only person
I have ever lied to
Was the one who tried
To help me.

The one who saw the pain
Beyond my eyelashes
And extended a helping hand,
A sturdy shoulder,
But I waved away both.

I turned away from the help
Because I believed
That one day,
One beautiful day,
He will return to the man
Who spoke words
That were sweetness and light.
Monday, November 21, 2011 1 words I am thankful for

Was Written On Paper

The poem
Was written on paper.

The pen kissed it,
Planting at first
Butterfly kisses.

Then it began
To make love
To the paper.

Tapping away
At the paper.

Until something
Quite beautiful,
Quite divine
Was made as both
Pen and paper came
Quietly, savagely.

What was conceived
When the two
Consummated under the command
Of a singular thought
Was awesome.

The poem
Was written on paper.
Friday, November 18, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

Welcome To The Freak Show

“Welcome to the Freak Show!!”
She said with much pomp.

She being an average size woman,
With average features
And an average tone of voice.

Far from a freak,
I thought to myself,
In fact, not a freak at all.

I held my tongue,
And followed her
Down the modest hallway.

We stopped in front
Of a large window,
Inside sat a woman
Reading a book.

I looked at the description
Of the “specimen”
That was posted beside the window.

“A nymphomaniac,
Known for her desire for sex
And has a large list of men
With whom she has been intimate.”

The tour guide moved on
To the next window.
Beyond this window
Sat a portly man wiping his hands.

His description,
“A man suffering from
Obsessive Disorder,
Requires cleanliness,
Abhors dirt, spends his time

On and on,
We walked from
Window to window,
Until I had seen
All the freaks.

At last,
I could not hold my tongue
Any longer.

“What type of Freak Show is this?
These people are regular people
With quirks, here or there.
They are not freaks.”

To this my tour guide replied,
“Of course, they are freaks.
To at least one person,
Each one of them is a freak,
Their behaviour freakish.”

“If they are freaks,
Then so am I,”
These were my last words
Before I felt a sharp pain
To the back of my head
And darkness swallowed me whole.

I woke up behind a large window.
I awoke to the words,
“Welcome to the Freak Show!!”
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1 words I am thankful for


I drank in his presence,
Like I would savour
A cool glass of lemonade
On a hot, dry day.
It was refreshing and cool
And it hit the spot.

As he sat across from me,
I could not help to think
Of a calm lake,
Still on the surface
But filled with life
Just below.

I should day something,
Be it a polite hello,
A witty comment
About the city
We were about to leave,
Instead, I hide behind my novel.

I wish nothing more
Than to engage this man
In conversation, but instead
I imagine reasons
Why he would not be interested
In conversation,
In me.

Perhaps, he was involved,
Perhaps, he was married,
Perhaps, he was a Catholic priest,
Perhaps, he was gay.
That’s it! He’s gay,
He is too good looking to be otherwise.

With that settled,
I comfortably settle
Into the novel
I had purchased at a gift shop.
I had no chance with him.

“Excuse me, miss.”

Oh my, he’s talking to me,
Probably wants to know
Where I got my scarf.

“Oh. Hi. Yes,”
Was my not so savvy reply.

He asked a trivial question,
One I have long forgotten,
And before I knew it,
We had spent
The whole three hours talking.

My stop came first,
And we said our goodbyes,
He asked for my number
And I gave it to him,
Just as the train pulled away.

I waved good bye,
And he waved back.
What a lovely man,
I hope to God,
He’s not gay,
Or at least not taken.
Monday, November 14, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

I Give Thanks

When I was little,
I had the oddest desire
To stick my finger
Into outlets.
Lucky for me,
I never died of
Electrocution and for that,
I give thanks.

Growing up,
I would do many things,
Like running across a road
Seconds away from getting struck,
Or crossing ravines
On narrow walkways
And not once had
I been hurt and for that,
I give thanks.

At the age of eleven,
I was diagnosed
Wish Scoliosis,
And after much deliberation,
It was decided that
I should have surgery.
With surgery, there are risks,
The risk of not being able to walk,
The risk of death.
I survived two surgeries,
Or was it three? For that,
I give thanks.

Less than ten years later,
I was studying at a college
Based in Manhattan.
As two planes crashed
Into the World Trade Center,
I was learning how to say
How are you in Italian
In Florence Italy, for that,
I give thanks.

There are so many things
In life to give thanks for.
Being able to see,
To hear, to walk,
For family, for friends,
For that perfect piece
Of chocolate at the end
Of a trying day.

But there is one thing,
I always give thanks for.
I give thanks for life.
Friday, November 11, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

Water Man

Water Man,
Deep below the horizon,
Walking among the fishes.

He never felt
Air against his skin.
Ozone, Atmosphere,
Foreign terminology.

As I sat on the pier,
I saw him,
He saw me
So I reached out
And he reached out.

We touched the surface,
I touched the surface of the water,
He touched the surface of the air,
We touched each other.

Time passed,
Babies were born,
People died
And we touched.

As though we agreed
On a plane
Beyond consciousness
And unconsciousness,
Our hands retreated,
Smiles lit our faces.

I looked out at the sunset,
He disappeared into the seaweed.
Moments come,
Moments go,
It’s just for us
To remember them.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

She Walked

One day,
She started walking.

It was not something
She had planned on doing,
She just kept walking
Down the street,
Along the side of the road.

Behind she left her home,
Her possessions,
Her relations,
Both close and distance.

All she had was
The clothes on her back,
The cash in her pocket,
The shoes on her feet
And a heart that was weary.

She walked up hills,
Down into valleys,
Across plains and
Around lakes.

She walked
Until her stride grew slow,
Blisters covered her feet
And her eyelids grew heavy.
She only stopped
When her body would go
No more, and when it was
Well rested, she continued to walk.

The only home she knew,
The only home she claimed
Was her body,
The home of her relentless spirit.
A spirit that urged her body
To walk.

Soon borders melted away,
Mother tongues changed
From melodic to harsh
And painful to hear,
Still she walked.

She didn’t know
The answers to life,
But she knew that
The life she was living
Was not the answer,
So she released the reins
And let her spirit
Take her to a better life.

A month later,
She found herself
In a small town
Where they spoke a language
She couldn’t speak,
And it was here,
She was meant to be.
She stopped walking.

A year later,
She had a job
Working in a little tavern,
She lived in a little cottage
At the edge of the town,
Dating the son of
The town’s butcher,
She now spoke the language
Fluently and effortlessly
And the urge to walk
Never returned.
Monday, November 7, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

I Won!!!! Twice!

November 1st is Antigua's Independence Day and there is usually a few events to celebrate the nation's independence from Great Britain. One of the events was the Literary Arts Competition. I never competited before, in part because I'm a bit of a chicken, because I never saw myself as a great poet and I never pushed myself to my limits.

For the last year and a half, I've been taking part in the Wadadli Pen Open Mic which is put on by Best of Books and through that association with the great people at Best of Books, I was able to build up the courage to submit a piece. The piece was This Is Not A Good Time and it was a dynamic piece for me as I had not written it down before I performed it. It was something that formed in my mind and I had a rough idea of how it should be told. The first time I did it, I got positive feedback so I typed it up and submitted it, correction, I typed it up, then edited it as it had more words than was allowed.

I will be honest, I forgot about it until my mom told me they were promoting it on the radio and asked if I was invited. I hadn't but it didn't bother me, but the next day I saw one of the people from Best of Books and the day after I had an invite to attend the award ceremony. I then got a call from a young man reminding me about the event and that I should bring a copy of the poem. At that time, I thought there was a possibility that I would have to read, but it was when I was asked if I was prepared to read the piece by the Chairperson of the committee that I realised that I better practice.

The night came and I was instructed to sit close to the stage so that I could go up the stage easily. In attendence was the Governor General and the head of the Senate. The evening was really nice, those who participated in the competition got a certificate (the first pic). My group, 18+ Poetry, was near the end and I was the second person out of the three finalist to read. We were made to sit on the stage and were called up to collect our prizes from the Governor General. After hearing the last finalist read, I started to wonder who would win.

I figured that I would be second, so I kinda prepared to get up when they called my name. They called the other lady's name, I was shocked and I am the kind of person whose emotions show on her face so everyone saw that I was shocked. I got the glass award above and felt pretty awesome. There was one last award to be presented, The overall winner.

I got comfy in my seat and waited to find out who would get it. I saw the front of the award as it was being passed to the Committee Chairperson and noticed that the name kinda looks like mine. Yes, although I don't have perfect vision, I know the outline of my name. Guess who won the overall winner?

I am at the least honoured and at the most humbled. I have been writing poetry since I was about 13 and it is what comes naturally. It is one of the ways I express myself. No matter where I am in the world, as long as I have a blank piece of paper, I will draw and I will write a poem. It is in my DNA and it is alway a great thing to be recognized for it.

Thank you everyone associated with the Independence Literary Arts Competition 2011, from the Chairpersons to the Judges. This really means alot to me. Forgive me, I'm not usually this sappy but it is how I feel. Thanks again.
Friday, November 4, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

The Elixir of Madness

May I sip
The elixir of madness
So that I may partake
In the innocuous of act
Of watching a fly
Drink from a cup of milk
‘Til it grew fat
And died.

May I sip
The elixir of madness
So that I may dress
In my finest garbs
And walk with much
Pomp and circumstance
Up and down
The High Streets and
Main Streets,
Greeting the populace
In a long dead language.

Dies boni amici.
Quomodo es?
Lorem tempestatem nos habere.

May I sip
The elixir of madness
So that it may blur
The edges of my existence.
Their sharpness cuts to the quick,
Leaving my ego butchered.
A mere carcass.

May I sip
The elixir of madness
So that I may not
Hear the roar of
Silence, that threatens
To deafen me,
Piercing my eardrums
And leave my world

May I sip
The elixir of madness
So that I may fill
The space you left empty
With something that
Looks like you,
Sounds like you,
Feels like you,
Smells like you
And even tastes like you.

It would never be you.

I loved you
And you loved me,
But the love lacked
Passion and desire,
So we unraveled
Ourselves from each other
And went our separate ways.

In your absence,
I yearn to drink
From this chalice
The elixir of madness
So that I may learn
To live without you.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 0 words I am thankful for

This Is Not A Good Time

Ladies and gentlemen,
This moment in time
Is not great,
In fact,
It is awful.

Between wars and famine,
Revolutions and riots,
All taking place
In front of the backdrop
Of an economic downturn.

This, my friends,
Is not a good time.

The hemlines of
Our young women rise,
As the waistbands of
Our young men fall.

This, people,
Is not a good time.

I know it,
You know it,
We all know it,
And yet we are reminded
Over and over
By the media.

Through the television,
Via the radio,
In publications,
On the internet.
We are constantly being
Reminded of how
Bad our situation is.

Forcing us to relive this awful moment
Over and over,
Forcing us to wear the
Grey-coloured shades
Of misery.

In this moment,
I say enough.

Enough with reminding us
Of the problems,
The debates of what and where
It went wrong,
Looking for someone to blame,
The political puppet shows.

Let us come together
And find a solution
To move forward,
To escape this place
Inhabited by
Fear, hatred,
Anger and uncertainty.

Let us move forward
To a place where
We all prosper,
Big and small,
Rich and not so rich.

A place where happiness is found
In occupation of mind and spirit,
In success from hard work,
In our connections
With each other.

I believe we all
Possess the God element.

The same thing that
Takes a grain of sand
And creates a pearl.

The same thing that
Creates a diamond
From a lump of coal.

We all possess it.
It can be found
In the smallest atom
And it can be found
In the largest galaxy.
We possess it.

The moment we were conceived
We had this little piece of God,
And as we grew,
We were taught to forget it,
But I ask you,
I beg you to remember
How great you are.

They say the world
Is to end in 2012,
I say let it end,
And from the ashes
We will make a newer one,
A better one,
A greater world.

Forward on,
Backward, never.