Monday, September 23, 2013

Lost In The Smoke

A half smoked spliff
Hanging from dark lips,
Thick dreads falling
Over half cast eyes
That seem to see everything
And nothing.

I found him like this,
Leaning on the base of
The tallest coconut tree,
His toes buried in the sand.

Even though he acknowledged
My presence, his attention
Was focused at the sea.

"Wha yuh want, breth'ren?"
Smoke and words expelled
From his lips.

Mama had told me
To look for the Rasta man
When I told her that
I discovered my wife,
My Angela, was cheating.

"Yuh love she?"
More words,
More smoke.

She was my childhood sweetheart,
She was my wife,
She was the mother of my children.

"Nuh bother with that,"
He waved his hands as
Though he was brushing away smoke,
"You love the woman or what?"

I looked out at the sea,
I used to have an answer,
It used to be simple,
All I had to say was "yes",
But I couldn't.

"Dere's yuh answer,
Dere's the answer to de question
Yuh shoulda been asking me."

I looked down at him
To see him looking up at me,
His eyes sharp and alert
Through the haze of smoke.

I loved her
But not in the way
He was alluding to.

We grew together like
Two coconut trees beside
Each other, but never did
Our branches intertwine.

"A woman needs to be loved,
Breth'ren. Love her in
De touch of yuh hand,
De words yuh speak,
De look in yuh eye.
If you can't love her
Den let she go,
Let she find somone
Who will love she right."

I couldn't let her go,
She was my wife,
The mother of my children.

"My, my, my,
What 'bout she?
Ain't she somebody, too?
Wasn't she somebody before
Yuh come 'pon de scene?"
His attention returned to the sea.

"De problem is yuh pride.
It ain't the fact that
She find somebody to love,
It's the fact that
She walk 'way from yuh.
Dat is what mek yuh
Come see me," he flicked
The remains of the spliff away.

He pulled another spliff
From his shirt pocket
And lit it.
For a moment we were
Lost in the smoke.

"Yuh nuh love she,
And she nuh love yuh,
Better yuh go yuh ways
And find people yuh will really love,"
The Rasta man said at last.

Love was not important
And what of my children,
The needed their parents together.

"Breth'ren, love is everyt'ing.
As for yuh chil'ren,
What good are parents
Who nuh love one another?
How dem chil'ren suppose to know
How to love somebody if
Dey never see them parents
Loving one another?"

Once again,
We were lost in the smoke.
The angle of the sun changed
Casting the shadows of the tree
Upon us.

"Look here, breth'ren,
It's obvious yuh nuh ready for
What I been telling yuh,
The wound fresh and
The sting nuh wear off.
It's best yuh be on yuh own,
T'ink 'pon t'ings,
T'ink 'pon what me say.
When the time come,
Yuh will know what to do."

I hoped so,
I looked out to the sea,
The cool breeze licking
The sweat from my brow,
Blowing the smoke away.

When I looked back,
He was gone, even
The spent spliff was gone.

As I sat down
Where the Rasta man sat,
I wondered where he went,
How he went.

Did he walk away?
Did he climb up the tree?
Or did he blow away
Like the smoke in the breeze?

Whatever the manner of his exit,
He had given me a space
To think about the future,
Our future, my future.

A future without the wife
I didn't love.

Submitted to imaginary garden with real toads and dVerse Poets


Robert Gibson said...

Brilliant write, as usual... you are such a beautiful storyteller...

"A woman needs to be loved,
Breth'ren. Love her in
De touch of yuh hand,
De words yuh speak,
De look in yuh eye."

Truer words never spoken...

Kathryn said...

You had me hooked. Love how the story unfolds, the words of wisdom and the truth.

Laura said...

painful wisdom is wisdom nonetheless... your writing is wonderfully thoughtful.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Your reeled me right in to this well-told story. You have the dialogue down to perfection. A lot of wisdom in this message.

Susan said...

I agreed with the wisdom about love, be it man or woman--but that aside, this is a wonderful ballad-like narrative with conflict and mystery as the narrator tries to ignore ancient deep rooted wisdom. Hard to see outside the box defined by money and possessions.

Sumana Roy said...

words came from the depth of the storyline..........

grapeling said...

magic - tautly woven and imagined

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Kimolisa, the colloquial monologue is brilliant. I could hear the Jamaican "song" in every line.

Whether the Rasta Man was real or an apparition matters not. The point is, this man has discovered the truth about not loving his wife, and now the painful next steps await.

Mesmerizing piece. Thanks for linking at Real Toads! ToadAmy

pandamoniumcat said...

Wow, this is amazing, a wonderful story filled with wisdom, I felt entwined in this story as if I was there so real...just Brilliant!!

Brian Miller said...

dang. that was really good...great dialogue and dialect...and what a wise man as well on the ways of men and women....great story telling...

Dorianna (paintswithwords) said...

wow..loved this, excellent dialogue and profound wisdom woven expertly through this poem. fantastic write

Jeff said...

There is a lot of fire behind all his smoke, passion but subtle, learned beyond a blackboard, weathered in life's frailties, wisdom via suffering.
This is a powerful story, full of lessons. What else might he say? I gotta find him.