Sat | Jun 3, 2023


Published:Thursday | July 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
A now dry riverbed in St Thomas.

Water Woes

The grass is brown, crisp, dry

Withered plants bring tears and a sigh

Crops are fighting the hot days of summer

With little or no water

Their thirst is barely quenched

A sad reality, it's survival of the fittest

Mastering the art of a bath from a bottle

And still trying to operate at full throttle

Taking a r-e-a-l shower is wishful thinking now

For the moment, many have lost that honour

Cars are now fashioned with dust

Oh well, why fuss?

The drought conditions are severe

And a lot to bear

Coupled with the sweltering heat

It's hard to keep upbeat

Yet I continue to smile . . .

To camouflage, if even for a while

Water is precious

It has to be spared, conserved

For there isn't a lot in reserve

It's a dilemma in more ways than one

Rain, I pray for you to come

'Cause the water woes aren't welcome!

- S. Dionne Phillips


Prince Charming

There he was, standing in the corner of the room

Looking to me like a prospective groom

His perfectly shaped teeth as white as snow complimented his smile

That was as wide as river Nile

I smiled at him; I gave him my best shot

He was coming this way,

I was nervous; I had not planned my next move.

The butterflies in my stomach fluttered wildly

But like a beautify queen in a pageant,

My smile remained intact

He was getting closer, I was fidgeting now

Then he stopped and the butterflies in my stomach came to an abrupt halt

He stopped at her, not me.

She, with her attached lashes, pencilled brow, Brazilian hair,

Christmas nails and padded bra.

And I wonder

Where is my night and shinning amour?

He was supposed to ride up on his stallion and sweep me off my feet.

I am waiting for my glass slipper, but even now my feet are still cold

Where are my warm kisses to awake me from slumber?

Where is my wedding? And my feast? And my happily ever after?

He did not show, now I know,

Those fairy tales lied to me

Or if I am not the princess then am I a wicked witch?

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?

Not me. There will always be one prettier or one more talented

But that doesn't mean I am not important.t

I am not the average girl, neither do I intent to be

I never learnt how to swing my hips

Or how to have kissable lips

I don't wear push-up nor am I in hurry to buy pull-ups

I never learnt how to bat my lashes

Or how to apply blushes.

I can't flash my barely there nappy hair

And I definitely don't know about this Mona Lisa smile

How did they learn these things?

Was it in a manual?

Or was it encrypted somewhere at birth?

Forgive me, I never got mine.

I will not giggle and look cute when I know he speaks rubbish

Or be silenced when I got something to say

But I will speak up and stand for my rights

Why not? I know I am bright.

Many women are silenced on this earth

By pain and by hurt

I speak for you

To her, who applies blush just because he said 'hush'

after his hot hand met her face.

To her, who hides his finger prints beneath her turtle neck just because he sings

her sweet lullabies and says it will be alright.

To her who fakes smiles just to hide the fire between her thighs

from the abuser who she trusted to be a hero but turned out to be a zero

To those who fear to share because of their status quo.

And those who bear just to have their share of material flare

And to those who suffer because they are threaten, terrorised and traumatised

You were waiting on your prince charming

But you ended up on calming pills and herbs

You are important, you are special, and you will overcome

You are more than who they say you are.

You were beautifully sculpted and you deserve the best.

So stop listening to society, rise from belittlement, abuse and hurt.

You may never get your prince charming but you can have the Prince of Peace.

- Keddi


The Green and Black

We come from the hills of red

like an ancient river flowing from the mountains to the sea

Wearing stripes of green and black

Moving forward never back

Carrying swords of knowledge

Strength to complete the course

Giving our 'Utmost For The Highest'

Near or far

At the call of Jamaica and Calabar

- R. Oscar Lofters


Black Man Sweet!

Black Man Sweet!

face it sweetheart,

black man


"seeit" ... see it?


talk de truth

such friendship

hard to replace

even when it is just "talk"

"Baby, AH JUS




what causes

this deep



no amount of shades of grey can compete with BLACK

the intellect is scrambled here,

treble clef

is no more rebel to the bass

- Helen-Ann Elizabeth Wilkinson


Depth of Sadness

Ever felt like you've lost your joy?

Ever get tired of being sad, been sad so much and for so long you completely forget what genuine happiness feels like?

Feel like you're hope is deteriorating and your faith whither like grass. Feeling like your strength has failed and there no energy left to go on.

Feeling like your standing in the quicksand of your sorrows.

Feel like your dreams are ash that the wind driveth away while you're chasing after them. The silver lining around your dark cloud vanishes at the speed of light.

Try so hard to convince yourself that it will pass or time will heal.

That peace, love and joy the soul thirst for is light years away.

Impoverish by hopelessness, the mind ponders the question of, can this get any worse? Conceal in pain the heart faint, with no hope of recovery.

The beauty that's before you your vision apprehended it not.

Sleepless nights and restless days, you're hardly ever experiencing a peace of mind.

Plagued by "What-if" thinking, you wear yourself out with your thoughts.

Try to seep away the feeling, but like a boomerang it keeps coming back.

As the days fade into the nights, so too your happiness fades into sadness.

Loneliness, anguish, isolation, futility, discomfort all disguise in the depth of a smile.

- Patrice G. Williams


True Friends

You see them

when you're down and broke

Or happy and ready to share a joke

They keep in touch

Just to say hi and never too much.

True friends will not cheat

And your secrets they will keep

True friends never let you down

They'll do you good without a frown

Friends will come, friends will go

The faithful ones you will certainly know.

- Sandies



HE takes me into the Garden of His WILL

And I look upon the wisdom of His grace,

I behold the depth of His imagination

The heights of Divinity the lights of His face;

I walk with Him through the green grass of peace

That reaches to my knees and caresses my feet

In soft, sweet smoothness

He holds my hand, and we walk on;

There are stones in His Garden, precious stones

Jasper, Sapphire, Chalcedony,

Emerald, Topaz and Amethyst

These fashions the Aquarium where flows the stream

Of living water in which fish of silver play,

He bids me, sit awhile, and in the stream he wet His hands

And gently washes my face

I look, and from each precious stone

Beams light of different colours

Sending beauty to the water, creating the rainbow

He bids me go, and we walk on;

I see giant trees bearing fruits of love

With leaves like stars that glitters

Each tree is guarded by an Angel

Robed majestically in white

He takes me to the willows, the trees crying daily by His WILL

Inscribed on the trunks are the words, "MOST SORROWFUL"

They sing songs of truth and hold in their roots Eternal youth

And we walk on:

We walk on through the garden of His Will and I behold the waters

Seas, calm, boisterous, blue, green black red; seas living and seas dead,

I see suns, shining rays of equality, blending in unified harmony,

I see the rains in all their splendour hugging clouds of grey

I look upon snow robed in the finest white

Like a bride adorned to meet the bridegroom

I see the winds, calm, cool, refreshing

Reckless, shaking, breaking, seeking, finding, keeping,

Steady, peaceful, at rest, I see them all

As we walk on;

He takes me into the maze of wisdom

And shows me through the paths of righteousness

Around and around we go to the centre of peace

Where glows the sun of perfection

This maze he fashions with rose's red,

Creating a holy bed where humming birds play,

There is a tree in this maze that opens its fingers like a star

And bows in prayer; it sends its roots to the end of the earth and beyond,

Nobody knows how far it goes

And so, we walk on:

I see flocks of white doves, feeding among the lilies

Where the morning star shines

And Swans wading in the ponds of smiles

I see peacocks of beauty opening their feathers of many colours

Striding gracefully; Vultures gallantly dressed as ministers of sanitation

I see eagles of might in brilliance, and Owls of night in dignity

With seers eyes they watch,

As we walk on;

He takes me to the hill of strength, where fly butterflies

In banners of grace, were hum the bee in sweetness,

Where glide grasshoppers in meekness

We go on to the valley of shadows

And I look upon all races of ants marching like solders in ranks

Ready for battle; I behold fireflies as the sand of the seashore

Blinking lights of divinity, I hear the call of the whistling bugs

Like a siren through the shadows,

He takes my hand and

We walk on:

We go on to the meadow of Creation and I see people

I see the clay that formed them in the hollow of his hands

And the breath he blew to give life, the trees of good and celestial light,

I see steps of freedom escalating to chairs of righteousness

Where sit souls of consciousness, I behold the spirits of happiness and life

Goodness and mercy, Goodness salutes and mercy follows,

As we walk on:

We walk on to the valley of wars; here I see the mighty spirit of judgement

Holding high a two edged sword as shine as day in full bloom

As sharp as a scorpion that stings. He wears the helmet of authority

The boots of vengeance and garment dipped in blood

From his mouth echoes thunder, his eyes sends forth lightening

And his nose breathes fire. He holds my hand

And we walk on:

There is a place in His garden called "LOVE"

He takes my hand and leads me to its caress

There I am cushioned in its arms of safety

Thrilled by the gentleness of its warmth

I close my eyes wanting no more to see

But to be hugged forever by the wonder of its ecstasy

To smell the perfume of its bosom

To lay upon the softness of its wills

And be lifted in the gentleness of its truth

To share eternal youth; I see beauty, tranquillity,

Truth honesty, faithfulness and obedience

All robed in everlasting unity.

He guides me through the garden of his will

I look upon the wisdom of his grace

And we walk, yes, we walk on.

Phyllis E. Beckford