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March 14, 2012

By: Jessica Williamson

Colours united unleash on the world,
Tell stories of history new and old,
Drum beat and music sing out their sound
People jump up and dance around

Gold and glitter, green and blue,
Sparkle and purple, spirits true
Friendship, welcome, tales of strength
Flag and whistle, parade makes descent

Delicious food, world-wide delights
People singing, feeling bright
Curry and rice, chicken and chips
Children jive, girls wiggle their hips

Everyone alive, the beat drumming on
Calypso, reggae, steel-pan song
Dancing and singing into the night,
Red and black and colours white


Jessica Williamson is a mixed-race, Black British 28 year-old woman of Trinidadian/English nationality.

Vigie Beach

December 6, 2011

By: Femi Rene

Walking along Vigie Beach one day
Three of my best friends and I we trod
Joking and chatting along the way
Stopping ever so often to play
Till we approached where the beach grew broad

And the seagrape trees in season grew
We dumped our bags at the tangled roots
And the blackbirds in a flurry flew
We searched about for the purple hue
That ripened within the choicest fruits

Then scrambled up the twisted branches
Underneath the trees umbrageous leaves
And there we took the direst chances
Perched in most inelegant stances
Our fingers raking like talonned sieves

At the purple fruit where they coyly swayed
From pliant branches just beyond our reach
In the end we settled for sea grapes splayed
At the roots where the twigs and brown leaves laid
Then continued walking along the beach.

The Blizzard

October 11, 2011

By: Femi Rene

A snarling wolf, time hungrily devours this life.
You plod on through blank griefs searching for that magic
word, that one word to fill the blankness in your life
some shelter from the bleak blandness of this life, some
inviolable vowel beneath whose boughs to
bear life’s burdens, or some comforting consonance
muttered beneath the breath as beaded words blend between
your freezing fingers, clasped around your mouth for warmth.
And all you want to do is rest a while, to sleep perhaps
But oh! The wolf is coming, coming; there will be
no time for resting, no time for putrid penance.
The wolf is coming canis lupus through the cold
blizzard, unrelenting as he stalks, through pages of
snow leaving his scent in blots of urine and then
howling through the years oh! You must trudge onwards through
the deep dark woods; there will be time enough to sleep.


October 6, 2011

By: Summer Edward

You sailed the open waters once
pure, sea-skinned,
wind-armed children
are born lifting horizons,
helming ships,
ruling terrible oceans.

Now from this harbor:
blue sigh of the sea,
anonymity of myth,
of suffering.

Your playthings,
like anchors,
easily and readily
sink, the ocean deafens you…

…with movement;
It is your memories
backwashed against the docks
of yesteryears, now the tides
have took them.

Out at sea they wait
for you.

On Being Untame

September 1, 2011

By: Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

She fears I’ve grown too wild
to be kept indoors

so just this once,
I let her scald the feathers
from my body, anoint me,
wrap me in gauze.

But while she sleeps
I will forage in corners
for dying things,
sprout slim bones from my spine
that will arch into wings.


August 31, 2011

 By: Natalie Peart

I wish you would go quick from my mind
The surface of my heart scalped
and held out. Less an offering
but rather the movement of acknowledgment

that you had me when you held me.

Let us lay
splayed, side by side
on the hot earth,
the hum of sex
between us.

Let us walk
with Brooklyn at its most gentle
lapping breeze at dusk and the hallowed
light of fireflies.

I have loved you before

with the strength
that makes a moment change
instantly. I am breathing
with longing that feels centuries old.
Feels like sitting next to one another
with I know you following every word spoken.


August 27, 2011

By: Femi Rene

Arise now friends, let us some joy impart,
upon the world that paupered sits about,
transform the doleful melancholy heart,
into a place of pleasure with a shout,

and flow into the veins life giving blood,
and draw into the lungs a spirit new,
let joy pour forth as water from a flood,
and earthly languor with new mirth imbue.

Arise the sun in glory near divine,
arise above the night’s tenebrous veil,
therein where all her prisoners did pine,
and neath her cover lonesome souls did wail.

Erase the darkness from the far-flung sky,
then sweep bedraggled clouds along their way,
and chirp the day awake as blackbirds fly,
across the vast expanse of a new day.

Cast off the tattered garments of the dawn,
in which the world did through the darkness brood,
and wield the gilded vestment of the morn,
about her form then gaze upon her mood.

The aureate beauty all the world imparts,
her verdant plumage ruffled in the breeze,
and all her finery quivers as she starts,
along her journey back to slumber’s ease.

Musing in St Lucia…with a Bajan memory

July 21, 2011

By: Paula Obè

As I wash my feet in the ocean
the hills dry them with her shadow
perhaps the same one you cast
on my affections
right before I venture to put this love to bed

re-reading childhood storybooks
re-educating my desires
and didn’t sleeping beauty sleep for 100 years
before her prince arrived
5 years and counting
still stifled by loneliness
masking one night sweat-sheets
in remembrance of love
although there is nothing loving
about a stranger’s embrace
after an hour passes
no matter how much
I close my eyes and pretend

and when intimacy does call
in the form of a loving touch
a loving embrace
our governments wage wars
over flying fish boundary-lines
and your lover wages war
over this deepness we share
even though our lips have never tasted
each other’s kiss

Read more…

The Baptist War

July 18, 2011

By: Marc Morgan

Samuel Sharpe preached of equality
in men and his words lifted up slaves
judges considered chattel property.
He said “let us strike!” and the moral waves
swept across Jamaica. Freedom was rebel

music played at the Baptist deacon’s raves.
A peaceful protest began, and when work’s bell
rang, none went to sugar fields to dig graves
for future seeds of Africa to dwell
in pregnant labor for an elite’s sadistic

plan. The plantocracy profited jolly well
from wielding whips and cane sticks that could pick
backs bloody. Tongues were cut out but scars tell
of the generations of pain in graphic
detail. British newspapers spoke of a ban

on servitude, but the text did not stick
to polished mansion floors of Jamaican
plantation owners. The military with a click
of each musket put bullets in man, woman
and the strike. Some angry servants continued

to fight; estates were razed, and the heat evenly
tanned planters who watched as their fortune caves
in to the chants for equal rights. Eventually,
Samuel Sharpe emerged from hidden enclaves
and the Redcoats hung him; from a tree he fell
as an example to obey, or face barbaric

death. Hundreds were executed by the devil
hangmen until justice removed the demonic
beings. In the end, abolitionists won
(along with economics), and a new attitude
prevailed in the New World. Chains were undone,
and freed men were left to till Earth’s soil for food.


Marc Morgan was born and lives in Jamaica. He is an attorney by profession. He is also a web entrepreneur, founder of Caribbean Destination Website – Rum and Relaxation ( – and other internet ventures. He has always had a passion for writing. He first began writing poetry when he was 13. Most of the poetry he has written to date has been really for private consumption, but he is opening up and intends to share some of pieces with the rest of the world.


July 16, 2011

By: Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

When I was eight years old
I was already astute
a smart worm
a perceptive cactus
who knew at that point
that during school recess
in order to prevent
my classmates’ jokes about my hair
my skin color
mis bembas grandes
big lips
big hips
I must get into the bathroom
to hide
or to picnic there
to write novels
to talk to my imaginary friends
there were many
to laugh
to recite poems
to practice what I was taught in class
to review the math test
to fancy the teacher
and imagine she was my girlfriend
to conclude my science project
to inhale the albuterol medicine
for my asthma attacks
to cough
to practice an invisible kiss
waiting for it to happen
I learned to see my world
stuck in that bathroom
of Colegio San Vicente Ferrer
spent many years making this place my den
my cave
my hideaway

I also knew
that once sat in class
if Mrs. Guzmán mentioned the word “Africa”
while teaching Social Studies
I was supposed to wear a stoic mask
pretend it did not happen
assume an I do not care attitude
thereby obviate the long awaited reaction
of José Manuel or Eliseo
or anyone else who joined in the harassment
there was always the cry proclaiming funny
Yolanda, you are African!
you are so black
so ugly black
so bembetrueno
big lips thunder
big hip hurricane
while the teacher tried to scold the commotion
(silent children
show respect for others
remember that God punishes without rod and no whip)
to implement bullying policies
that have not yet been invented
in 1978

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (1970, Puerto Rico) is the author of Caparazones (2010), the first lesbian fiction novel written in Puerto Rico, published by Editorial Egales in Spain.  She won the National Institute of Puerto Rican Literature Prize in 2008, the Woman Latino Writer Award Residency from The National Hispanic Culture Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2011 and the PEN Club Prize on 2010 and 2006. Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro is the Director of Puerto Rican writers participating in the Second Puerto Rican Word Festival in Old San Juan and New York on 2011.