Sun | Dec 4, 2022


Published:Thursday | October 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Without her breasts

(In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month)

I saw sadness in her eyes as she folded her arms

She was beautiful, but she looked terrified

I slowly approached her as her beauty guided my path

The closer I got, the more scared she became

I gave her my hand, and she held her head low before she said hello

Her arms met mine and I realised why she was scared

Scars encircled her breasts and I tried not to stare

She asked me if I could just pretend she wasn't there

I touched her chest and played with the scars

I saw her personality permanently inked into her chest

It warmed my heart to know how much she had fought

I kissed her scars one at a time and rested my head there for a little while

Her eyes started to sparkle and she gave me a smile

She said she never felt loved until I showed her she could

I placed my hands on where her breasts once stood

She said she felt incomplete when she looked at her reflection in my eyes

She looked complete to me

My hands fit perfectly and she fits perfectly into my life

The biggest scars were the ones on her heart

I healed them and removed them with the love I had

She was mine, the perfect woman

The one who stood to live despite floating near death

- Saccheen Laing



In the womb of silence, light turns,

chiselling darkness into words -

life taking on limbs nerves, ligaments, breathing oxygen densely.

For in the silence, life unfolds

throwing up discoveries on to words into soulless light creating roots, branches, leaves, fruits -

where noise gets broken by its own weight,

depositing new seeds new life.

- Homer Sylvester


The perpetual encounter

It was late evening when we walked in

Our temporary abode is simple enough, appeared comfortable and felt that way, too.

But it was the faith that dispelled all fears

It permeated the seen and the unseen

It was that glue that will carve out the future and close the gap of the divide

Morning came and we welcome the planned adventures

There was much to see, talk, and even get a little concerned about

Evening came and again streams of living waters touched our realities

But it was daylight again and off we went

Back to the buzz of the big city

As different beings, but

systems with new realities

- Hilda Pritchard Ming


The Depth in Life

We do not understand with our eyes,

Neither do we understand through hearing,

Nor touching, nor tasting, nor smelling.

So there's no use in telling any story,

But a story is only worth telling for glory of the depth in its meaning

That goes beyond our senses

And shot through our minds to our hearts

As if it's ...

Meant to be

You see ...

If we embrace the nakedness we're clothed in,

What beauty we'd all see!

... Or would we?

If only we seriously saw everything for more than what they were.

To see beyond the naked eyes is what I prefer,

Where the true meaning for everything lies.

Where open minds stay strengthening

And knowledge brings just awakening.

Depth is not for the feeble-minded,

But for the selfless ones never blinded

By their own cruel intention and wicked thought

Because their agenda surfaces to naught,

And their life withers.

Even to the death their illusion of satisfaction,

Is not even the portion of a fraction

Of the depth in life.

Live for no expectations, for if we expect,

Our minds will only utterly neglect

The intended meaning of everything

In a rigorous search for something

That wasn't even there in the beginning.

Let our minds be sensitive and curious

As we learn of what our senses learn from us.

- Nicole Ferguson


Wata Fast

One new religious order created


from water

no bathe

no shampoo

no wash clothes

no brush no teeth


change appetite

everything physiologically


no me naw call fi elections

wish me could a bruck some rockstone tough and get wata

Wata fast

- Helen-Ann Elizabeth Wilkinson


Raw Pain

Chop, chop


Chopping chopper


Chop the horror of pain and

Memory ...

The rebirth of sorrow relived in the inquiry

Of a courtroom for ungutting and reliving

The bitter hurt of social mayhem

Society's unrest!

The haunting recollection of gunshots

Fired to quell the unrest ...

Sons murdered lying face down in the streets

Young men no longer to see the light of day


Chop, chopped, chopper

Hovering over,

A community from which must be chopped

The iniquity of social disorder

Order imposed by one order, for justice must be weighed by

truth told ...

searching for truth

In a courtroom

Judicial order!

That ask for the retelling the reliving of pain and sorrow that moves (breaking hearts)

And the lawyers like mothers who feel the pain

Weep for lives loss

They like we,


Cry in agony in a courtroom lace with bitter pain.

Chop, chop, chopping

Chopped; memory, sorrow, pain

One woman's sorrow held close to her breast

Chop, chop, chopped

chopping the pain in search of truth

chopped order, chopped lives

aching to touch loved ones,

chopped from our lives

- Patricia A. Rodney



It's the reliability

And the ability

Of a person to achieve

A goal that a person can believe

It is also going beyond what a lot of others conceive.

Some deem it unattainable

Yet still sustain, so it's now able.

The obstacles

Still got tackle

Withholding and withstanding the hackle.

My Hero did it in the past

So His name still lasts -


- Rowan Bartley


My Prayer For The Nation

Father, you said in Your Word that "My strength is made perfect in weakness."

And Lord, I know You neither slumber nor sleep

But have You noticed our gross darkness and how things seem hopeless?

Everyday families continue to weep as crime and violence wreak havoc in the streets.

For how much longer will things continue?

Where is the Rock for us to run to? Who should we turn to but You?

Lord, where are You? Can't You see sadness sticks to my heart like glue?

Imagine the latest crime scene, the victim, businessman Terence Green.

What are you going to do to those who took his life for the mere vanity of money?

Oh God, please show us the way to the Promise Land flowing with milk and honey.

Dear Lord, please grant us peace so that like Chris Gayle we can bat away doubt at life's crease.

Give us the strength to hit fear over the boundary ropes and celebrate the permanence of hope.

Dear Lord, it is not clear that having physical beauty, even like Miss World 93' is not all.

Therefore, Father, I pray that you will give Minister Hanna a renewed spirit of compassion and spiritual manna to minister like Paul, and that normalcy will return to St. Ann, South East - at least.

I also pray that You will bless Mr. Audley Shaw and unlike Nebuchadnezzar protect him from the knees of straw, and Lord, give him a spirit of unity to help to unite Jamaica as a Political Leader.

I pray for our current situation, and for the political and religious malnutrition that we presently face.

But Father, please veil Your face as You come close to this place for Thou knows we are extremely disgraced.

I pray for Your Marvellous Grace to be imputed on our dust, on our lack of trust, on our spiritual and political rust, please Lord, spare us, and even though Thou art a Consuming Fire, please do not consume us; but we pray that You will burn sin from our lives so that we can endure and survive.

I pray for every Pastor who is taking offerings from Scammers - forgive them Lord.

I pray for every Politician that is contributing negatively to our present condition - convert them Lord.

I pray for those who are caught up in the evil of high places, and whose influence is causing violence, that you will visit them Lord, tough them Lord, convert them Lord, and if they refuse to repent - make them spent.

I pray for every suffering teacher and those who will retire and not see what they have laboured long and hard for, for those who never accessed NHT and those who feel they did nothing - please Father, provide them with something - even a brand new blessing.

I pray for every Police Officer, from Constable to Commissioner and the families of the lost ones, Father, please protect them from the giants of evil as they travel to the Promise Land.

I pray for the achievers in G-SAT, and for those who cannot spell mat, bat or sat and for the parents who sacrifice pants and frock for their flock but cannot see results, please give them blessings - influx.

I pray for hurting children who cannot memorise their ABC and for every rejected and alienated LGBT.

I pray for every worker out there facing stress and for the arrogance of those who're celebrating vain success, and yes, please provide for those who cannot balance budgets or live good lives - please Lord, stand by Your broken Children's side.

I prayer for the West Kingston victims still awaiting the results of the Commission of Inquiry, especially Miss Rosey, and I pray against malignancy and infamy that it may never attend the efforts of the Constabulary and Army and that the JCF will not be a force but a service, in reality, and not mere thesis.

I also pray for every lawyer, and all those who from the Commission seem to benefit and prosper that they will find answers and not be mere time wasters squandering Tax Payers' dollars in the gloat of white collars.

I pray that as our government pass IMF test after test, that you will alas, grant us good success so that hunger and anger and danger can subside and that Jamaica at last can become a paradise - even a place where people can live, work, raise families, and do business.

And Father, I pray for our Governor General, our Leader of the Opposition and our Prime Minister and for every worker at the Western Mirror, the North Coast Times, the Observer and the Gleaner - grant them the understanding of the salience of this prayer that they will countenance it with a front page.

Rock of all Age, today we pray for Your Spirit to help us to turn a new page, for we know the war of our souls continues to rage but still we find confidence in Your Word of inspiration; therefore, please hear my prayer for the nation.


Czedale Smallwood