Dear Nana

This poem was first performed on March 25, 2014 at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport’s World Poetry Day 2014 event – An Evening of International, Regional and Guyanese Poetry. I dedicated the first performance to Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony. The poem itself is dedicated to my nana, those Guyanese of Indian heritage who have had their hearts broken, to all Guyanese fighting the blindness and anyone who wishes to see beneath and beyond the mud. Perhaps now, I should replace “Without Wax” with “Without Riva Mud”.

Moonlight bright, bright tonight
Suh bright, riva mud na hide dem rakshas face.
Ah de same moon yuh lef nana.
Same, same moon yuh lef.
Suh how come me ah see and you na bin see?
Ah de same moon yuh lef nana.
Same, same moon yuh lef.
Same moon mek dem same coolie
tun nyam man and nyam woman.
Dem ah nyam everything nana.
Everything dem ah nyam.
Ow nana, dem ah nyam dem mattie
and dem mattie pickanee tuh.
If yuh tink me ah lie,
mus ask Nagamootoo and Ramkarran.
Ask dem when dem come dah side.
Ask dem if na truth me ah talk.
Dem guh tell yuh
dat if dem coolie dah,
if dem same coolie dah
coulda find yuh ash weh e deh
Den dem woulda nyam dah tuh.
Moonlight bright, bright tonight.
E bright, bright tonight nana.
Suh bright, me ah see dem
dutty skin unda dem nice cloth.
Ah de same moon yuh lef nana
Same, same moon yuh lef.
Same moon dat glad, glad yuh done dead
because now, yuh na gah geh moonlight
fuh see dem rakshas face.
Now, yuh guh see wa dem bin ah hide
with all dah riva mud dem bin ah dig fah.
Ah de same, same riva mud dem use, nana
Same, same riva mud dem use
fuh bruk yuh heart.
Bruk yuh heart when yuh done dead nana.
Dem bruk yuh heart, nana. Ow! Dem bruk am!
Dem na know how fuh love ah land
like you bin love am.
Dem na know nothing bout love.
Moonlight bright, bright tonight nana.
E bright, bright, bright nana.
Suh bright riva mud cyan hide nothing nah mo.

(Without Riva Mud. Bharrat 2014)

Reportah Storie

For our journalists.

Yuh tink I like wake up every marnin’ an’ see you?
Dat I like lef’ meh house, meh pickanee, meh lil piece in dis cowboy country?
Yuh tink dis is how I wan’ live?
Dat I wan’ watch dem minista thief?
Dat I wan’ watch thief watchin’ thief?
Yuh really tink I wan’ hear how yuh beat yuh wife?
And how she tell de police lef’ yuh cause she love yuh?
Bai look, you na tink I gah better ting fuh do dan dat?
Last week when yuh neighbah thief dem fowl an’ end up in front de magistrate, yuh feel I had time with he?
Yuh feel I didn’t sit dunk in de court room and laff meh rass when de chinee lie-ah tell de magistrate dat is hungry yuh neighbah de hungry mek he thief fowl?
Banna, look, is who tell you dat fowl thief na fuh laff in dis country?
Yuh feel me na laff when de mad man de shootin’ up last week?
Yuh na tink dat show yuh is wa dem people in this country deh pon?
Yuh feel dat right now meh heart na hu’tin’ fuh dem people dat dead?
Fuh dem policeman dat gi dem life fuh something dem na know bout?
Bai look, is wa you feel at all?
Couple year back when dem seh fineman shoot up de people dem,
Yuh feel I de wan’ see duh?
Yuh tink I de like seein’ how dem pack de bartica ppl like dead fish?
Is wa you feel at all?
Dat dem tings don’t hu’t meh heart?
Dat meh stomach don’t bun like you wan?
Dat meh eye watah na does leak fuh meh brethren?
Yuh feel dat I don’t feel?
Bai look, is wa you feel at all eh?

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.
Sara.

Day Time Madness in Dreams

Twin globes of soft, golden light. Two suns in a sky kissing gentle Atlantic waves. The epitome of heavenly. The essence of peace. Or maybe, just day time madness in dreams.

But then my greedy eyes reached for the sky again and beheld a moon and sun, separated by space, connected by space, sharing space. Apart and together all at once.

And you were there too, like you always, always are, but this time it was you taking me somewhere in my own dream. Wherever somewhere is I don’t really care. As long as somewhere contains the sum of us. And in your somewhere where I now am, I was promised to you for every lifetime wherever life can be, has been and will be.

How can it be day time madness in dreams then? Nothing is ever madness where I’m with you. Because for me, you’re the epitome of everything real, sane and eternal.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.
Sara.

Do we fall or grow in love?

Been thinking of a summer romance in the tropics. Been thinking of creating a galaxy for us, a galaxy built with the bricks of English syntax and fortified with the intricacy of meaning, built for me to be forever with you. I wanna be with you more than I’m with me.

But mostly, I’ve been thinking of love and theories of how it happens. Do we fall or grow in love? How does it happen? I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking. How do I imprison the how of love in these bricks of mine? How do I capture perfection with imperfection?

All along I was breathing and then one day you saturated the air around me. You became the oxygen entwined with my blood, rushing through every inch of me, keeping this me alive to be with the me you’ve always known. Now all I breathe is you. That’s how it happened for me.

So you see, it wasn’t a falling or a growing.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.
Sara.

I’ve bled words for you…

For days and days, I’ve bled for you. I’ve bled upon a page. From that place deep, deep in me I’ve bled words for you every minute, every hour, every day.

And they watch me bleed, quietly waiting, waiting for me to die. But this bleeding, it’s an endless flow of you from me. This is how I know that I can never be empty while you’re gone. Because I’m so full of you, I bleed and bleed and drown endless pages. I’ve even drowned me in you to immortalise this thing between us.

In this ocean of blood, of words, your name has become the single adjective which defines me, which floods me with meaning. So I’ve bled words for you to make space for more of you. I’ve bled words for you. I always will.

Sharing a quick moment with you while I’m on the go.
Sara.