Thursday, 22 July 2010


When I heard you’d eloped with Madness

I resolved to move far away from

this village where the acid rain beats

like drumsticks on my grandmother’s tin roof

and blood drips from palm trees,

congealing on the ground.

I planned to drag my feet down

the narrow path mi madre took,

trace her footsteps by moonlight

or somehow harvest her brown limbs

from the ripening October wind. For we,

the children of the motherless tribe,

have become nomads, daily we rinse

the tear dust from our faces, and now

that the world is in the business of

murdering dreams, we’ve had to master

the art of sleeping with open eyes.

But now you are one of the, gone, and

everyday I die when I imagine

you on the road to Death’s dark cave,

making your bed with scorpions and thorns.

Here, the poui and the poinciana

no longer confide secret messages,

the sunset has abandoned the horizon,

the sonnets have vanished back into my pen.

So I resolved to move

far away from this village where…

but memories of you made me stay.

This poem previously appeared in the Jamaica Journal (Vol. 29, No. 3, 2006) and the Sunday Observer Literary Arts Supplement (2005).

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