Fri | Jun 25, 2021

‘One Voice For Many Hearts’ narrates life experiences

Published:Sunday | May 30, 2021 | 12:07 AM
‘One Voice For Many Hearts’ cover.
‘One Voice For Many Hearts’ cover.

“Believe in yourself

Remove perceived obstacles

Creative mind freed.”

From rhythm and rhymes to haiku, to just plain speaking, Wayne Smith, on his debut anthology of poems One Voice for Many Hearts, touches the heart with his words of comfort, humour, empathy and gratitude. Become immersed in these poems as they resonate with you even as you experience the various situations that he writes about.

The book opens with motivational pieces like ‘The Confident Flower’, encouraging the reader to think big, envisioning your future. ‘I Appreciate Me’ inspires the reader to shine brightly, despite the negative opinions of others and despite difficult circumstances:

“So, like the sun, I still have to shine a smile

Like the rain, I still have to shower the love

Like the snow, I still have to keep a cool head.”

Smith addresses violence against women in ‘Quiet Noise’ and he reaches out to women suffering abuse in ‘Still Here’.

The loss of family and friends is chronicled as he pays tribute to the fallen. ‘No Matter What’ is a favourite, as he inspires the reader to live on, no matter what! In grief and pain, the reader can find ‘Solace and Strength’ in time of sorrow. He celebrates his uncle Dennis Alcapone in a witty use of lyrics from the artiste’s various songs. On the occasion of his uncle’s visit to Jamaica during the chik-V epidemic, the writer utilises the lyrics:

“Mosquito one, mosquito two, mosquito jump inna hot callaloo” (Kill dat!)

Fittingly, the poet ends the anthology with tributes to essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Describing the experience of the pandemic as a crucible:

In the crucible of coronavirus

We remain positively “vibrous”!

For all those who may be nervous because of some impediment, Smith was terrified when his literature teacher, Miss Phillips, entered him in the poetry competition at Bridgeport High School’s annual Eisteddfod. To his trepidation, even though he was awarded bronze at the festival, the principal, Mrs Marshall-Lodge, selected him to recite the same piece (The Steps) at the school’s graduation function.

While attending Kingston College, because he would not “speak up”, his history teacher, Miss Lewis, nicknamed him ‘Mumbly’! The vice-principal, Miss Douglas, was more stylish with the name, dubbing him ‘The Mumbler’! So, your natural impediment should not be an obstacle.

One Voice For Many Hearts, a compilation of 36 pieces covering various life experiences, is published by The Publisher’s Notebook Limited – a faith-based publishing house located in Jamaica.

The ebook and paperback are currently available on Amazon.