Friday, 28 February 2014


Last day of February. That was quick. :-) 

The poem for today’s post has been a favourite since high school when I first had to read it for an English Literature class. It’s by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Of course, I memorized a part of it, and recited it often during my heavy-poetry-writing years. 

A few years later, after reading one of my own pieces to an audience of fellow poets and poetry lovers at the Poetry Society of Jamaica, one of the poets remarked, "I like it, without any literary anything!" Lol! That's kinda how this piece strikes me. It simply draws me in - not in the way of too much literary anything.

I have been looking forward to sharing it here! It was love at first read. You’ll see why.

    O LOVE, Love, Love! O withering might!
    O sun, that from thy noonday height
    Shudderest when I strain my sight,
    Throbbing thro' all thy heat and light,
    Lo, falling from my constant mind,
    Lo, parch'd and wither'd, deaf and blind,
    I whirl like leaves in roaring wind.

    Last night I wasted hateful hours
    Below the city's eastern towers:
    I thirsted for the brooks, the showers:
    I roll'd among the tender flowers:
    I crush'd them on my breast, my mouth;
    I look'd athwart the burning drouth
    Of that long desert to the south.

    Last night, when some one spoke his name,
    From my swift blood that went and came
    A thousand little shafts of flame
    Were shiver'd in my narrow frame.
    O Love, O fire! once he drew
    With one long kiss my whole soul thro'
    My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.

    Before he mounts the hill, I know
    He cometh quickly: from below
    Sweet gales, as from deep gardens, blow
    Before him, striking on my brow.
    In my dry brain my spirit soon,
    Down-deepening from swoon to swoon,
    Faints like a daled morning moon.

    The wind sounds like a silver wire,
    And from beyond the noon a fire
    Is pour'd upon the hills, and nigher
    The skies stoop down in their desire;
    And, isled in sudden seas of light,
    My heart, pierced thro' with fierce delight,
    Bursts into blossom in his sight.

    My whole soul waiting silently,
    All naked in a sultry sky,
    Droops blinded with his shining eye:
    I will possess him or will die.
    I will grow round him in his place,
    Grow, live, die looking on his face,
    Die, dying clasp'd in his embrace.

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson



Tuesday, 18 February 2014

"It's Like That"...and more.

February's still here, so the poetry continues. :-) I'd like to share two poems tonight. The first is by one of my sisters, Durie. She's on Twitter as @MizDurie. Her blog, The Water IS Troubled (TWIST) features moving and inspirational pieces; pieces you will simply enjoy reading.

It's Like That is a poem that draws you in with its sharp imagery you can all but touch. And, by the time you wrap your fingers around it to press it to your bosom, it ends, leaving you with nothing but sighs, and a certain knowing. Here now, with Durie's permission, is:

It's Like That 

It’s like that.

That grey area of wonderment,

Expectation, and worry.

When my fingers tremble to write because

Nothing can do justice to the precious moment that exists

In memory –

Of that sweet conversation turned even sweeter.

When disappointments and heartaches and insecurities


Into the nothingness of the abyss of a time

That is perpetually the past.

It’s like that.

Like the smell of storm clouds,

The splash of rain that commingles tears

And drives the fears of darkness and lightning away.

But the storm’s coming.

And with breathless anticipation every drop

Becomes the priceless diamond of perfection and purity.


It’s like that.

When a heart loses rhythm in submission

To the other

And become one


When even the dream of a whisper of a breath

Fulfills every desire for freedom

To be enslaved by the silk cords of –

Crimson red cords of –

It’s like that.

If only the inexplicable could become

A thing, to touch, to taste

To feel.

To feel again, and again, and again…

And fall aimlessly through clouds

And rain, and pain,

And hit love hard,

And then smile.

It’s like that.

(c) 2009

The second poem is not really a poem, per se. It is a provocative admonition that makes you squirm and smile in sweet surrender - all at once. Well, that's how I felt it. It's a quote by C.S. Lewis. I came across it a few days before Valentine's Day and I couldn't help but share it on my Twitter timeline. In a sense, it does read like poetry. There's a quote for that, isn't there? Yes. "Always be a poet, even in prose." - Charles Baudelaire :-)  Here is, To Love At All, an oft-quoted excerpt from Lewis' book, The Four Loves:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

And here, dear reader, is a pleasant surprise. A cartoon illustration of To Love At All. The cartoonist, Gavin, did a marvellous job with this, didn't he?


Saturday, 8 February 2014

"Thug No Show Love"

In the spirit of St. Valentine's Day - which, it seems, is spread across all of February - I thought I'd feature love poems in this month's posts. I came across this one a little over a year ago. It's by a Jamaican, Joan Andrea Hutchinson, and it's written in Jamaican patois. I remember reading it for a few friends shortly after I "discovered" it. What a challenge to get through it without cracking up! The irony tickled me to pieces!

Thug No Show Love
                    - Joan Andrea Hutchinson ©2007

 Baby mi love yuh and yuh done well and know
But a guy can’t too meck him feelings show
Yuh feel mi love and dat suppose to enough
But man a man and man haffie flex tough
So no expect mi fi come wid no lovey dovey love
Cause man a thug, an thug no show love.

Mi will tidy house an help yuh wash plate
Change baby diaper, iron cook an bake
Wash yuh hair an massage yuh body all night long
Hug up an dance like grandpa when mi hear love song
But outa street mi no eena di smoochie smoochie love
For man a thug, an thug no show love.

Most people no know say mi have a romantic side
Mi will give yuh sweet an tender loving till yuh clide
At home mi will bow, cause yuh control di remote
An mi ready fi go front a parson go teck oath
But John Public no haffie know bout mi romantic love
For man a thug… an thug no show love.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! By the way, did you remember to put on that deep "thug"  voice? No? Okay. Scroll up and read it again - in your "thug" voice.

Funnier now, isn't it?