On the Twelfth Day

By S. Bharrat

 

I dreamt that the day of revolution would come;

that thousands would storm the city streets

screaming for justice. – Mahadai Dass

 

The day for revolution has come and gone

and I hear your cry echo the wind

that carries nothing but my brother’s silence:

mouth sealed shut by his own mud and water.

One counterfeit general – his wings beating strong;

his brooches of vanity shining

in God’s eye still – is replaced by a puppet

whose strings are imagined

to save us from our worst fear.

And it is the stringless puppet

who holds back the climbing sun in the sky;

who cements our lips with river mud,

lovingly applying the paste with his rakshas self.

His muddy hand touches our eyes; our hearts, our souls

so that he can be savior; the sacrificial lamb

avoiding an atmosphere of confrontation.

It has been twelve days since he saved us

And only another pen’s ink on the

tenth day softened the mud on my lips.

But our words bring no irrevocable flood.

Instead, waters storm the city streets

raising dirt and filth and waste

that will be shoved down our throats;

drowning a lonely call for justice.

And in all of this, I think of you

and your dead dream and I wonder

if maybe, I swallowed some of the river mud

covering my heart and hardening it.

Or is it that his hand reached into my chest

grabbing it, choking it, smearing it with mud

so that god’s eye would linger on it – drying the water from it

like the puppet sucks the life from them –  until it is a rock in my chest?

Until it pulls heavily on the rotten yarn of my life?

Until, like your dream, I am dead?

(November 22, 2014)

To Ian McDonald

Dear Ian McDonald,

As I sit here this cold, grey morning in Craig Old Road my mind and heart and soul wander through the moments you’ve remembered these past decades. I see now, Ian, if I may be so bold, that there comes a time when a girl must rise and burn the leeches from her skin so that she may forge a sword of metaphors.

Swords, I’m sure you must know, are not only meant for blood. No Ian, some swords have been created to carry flames; flames from the same fire which has kept your dear Martin, our dear Martin burning until now. It is the same fire, Ian, which I have seen in the soul of my Martin.

I have witnessed much more than the man Ian McDonald in A Cloud of Witnesses; I have witnessed my country and region and world. But more importantly Ian, I have been taught by you to see so much more than I’ve been willing to see. And even though, I may not agree with some of what you say, I am honoured that I could drink from this reservoir of yours. Knowledge is never enough. It seems that I have been condemned to thirst until death.

In some ways Ian, I envy you. I am not jealous of Martin, no, I have my own Martin, but I am sorely jealous that you have been able to experience that thing which died long before my birth. You are right though, not all ages can be golden. I am certain that this is an age of lead.

But still, hope is an eternal friend (or foe) of man and so once my Martin lives I have hope. I await the day when the nation recognises that my Martin is really our Martin. You see Ian, men like my Martin (and even your Martin) and maybe one day I may be able to say women like me were not conceived in a womb but in the university of war.

Eternal Gratitude,
Sara Bharrat.

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

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.

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.

“She has witnessed…”

Is it really pinker than usual?

Is it really pinker than usual?

Old, weathered, beaten, the golden apple tree stands in my backyard. Her leaves dance in the morning breeze like singing kites in the Easter sky. Grey clouds hustle across the clear blue but still the sun fights to make my world a place of vivid greens, yellows and splashes of pink.

The bougainvillea is a beacon of pink brightness. But are her petals really pinker today or is it that my senses are sharper?

Although my eyes keep reaching for the pink, not once does my mind wander from the crooked, curving old golden apple tree. This old tree has witnessed long ago memories that drown me in nostalgia. She has witnessed great East Indian storms, the bonding of souls and the breaking of bodies. So when I look at her I see my past swimming in her skin and limbs and leaves and fruit.

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

Encouraging Young and Emerging Talent – The Ruel Johnson Book Launch

Ruel Johnson signing a copy of Fictions

Ruel Johnson signing a copy of Fictions

Ruel Johnson may be infamous for his Facebook cuss-outs, but he is also the main man when it comes to encouraging young and emerging talent. He proved this during the launch of Fictions and a collection of Poetry at Oasis Cafe last evening.

The launch was less about Johnson’s own work and far more about his sister, Stacy Johnson, and other poets and writers present. In a way, Johnson sacrificed his singular beam of light to and for something much, much greater.

Whatever Johnson is accused of being flickers and dies when compared to the effort he makes to help young and emerging writers. Writing is clearly life and passion for this man.

All the best to him and Janus!

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