The Things I Miss.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

hot ‘tarmac’ beneath bare feet– slippers abandoned, and fingers

splayed upon the road, seeking to capture warmth for themselves;

 

heat simmering across empty streets, empty roads– waves swimming

in the midday sun: people hiding, waiting, watching the sun;

 

the fragrance of curry in the still air– while savouring cook-up, and swank,

pondering met-em, and the power of sweet dumplings in soup, over

heavy ‘duffs’ (doughs?) in met-em loaded with ripe plantains, and good fish;

 

the grating of coconut, the grinding of handheld mills– mortars filled with

the heavy ‘thump, thump, thump’ of pestles pounding plantains;

 

settling onto dusty, uneven floorboards– church pews half-empty, as

congregants kneel in front: skin aches from the cruelty of sand grains,

intercessor’s prayer drifts, soothing afternoon air enters…carries with it

the sound of children playing in sandy, gravel-strewn streets;

 

walking on cracked sea-walls– slippers in one hand, other…sometimes outstretched,

chasing away vertigo, flirting with gravity until slippers are abandoned:

easing over the edge, pausing to find grip, and toe-hold,

earning bruises for clumsy descents,

having slippers thrown down (be careful! people does throw all kind of thing…),

walking, watching water inch in, feeling water lash out;

 

sapodillas cracked open– so sweet…damn it, so sticky;

 

teeth breaking the skin of ripe cashews– jaw clenching, mouth flooding: half,

the flavour of ripe red flesh giving away to white inside, half, mouth watering,

salivating;

 

half-ripe mangoes– sharp, sweet, tangy, rich with salt, and vinegar, ‘hot, hot’:

the sear of peppers;

 

sitting on the upstairs verandah– wide concrete rail, cool beneath thigh: traffic rushing,

house vibrating from speeding, loaded truck (girl! get down from there!);

 

peaked concrete fence, guava tree’s friend– sitting between branches, ignoring

crawling black ants, the press of concrete against bare-foot: belly full, jaw aching,

book forgotten under arm, tree forgotten after cutlass’ touch (what?! you cut it down?!),

and fancy, incomprehensible new fence winks, with its gold-painted iron points;

 

granny’s fish broth– calaloo, and carrots floating: dish made for two, until she migrates…before

the world falls apart, before the months run together;

 

afternoons watching t.v. up close– sitting on the back of the big chair (couch?): one

afternoon nearly taking the glass-filled t.v. cabinet down, as it tips over when it is grabbed

when someone slips a little too far down the wrong side of the chair back…

it is let go, it rumbles, it settles, glass clinks…a heart beats wild, fast, hard;

 

aunty’s erratic, fast driving– clutching handholds in the ceiling, thanking God

we all pray: praying for safe arrival, thrilled, delighted, as the needle inches higher

(now…do ministers even drive?);

 

you;

her;

me?

 

K.N.O.W. Sunday, June 26, 2016. 12.30 p.m.

On The Edge

Standing on the edge of normalcy,

With the perfect smile, and the perfect words.

Don’t look too long, don’t ask too much,

Look away, and pretend you don’t see the secrets there.

 

Waltz blissfully along, and laugh at the jokes,

With the perfect smile, and the perfect words.

Grin a little wider, don’t frown too much,

Don’t question all.

 

Smile a little wider,

Wear the perfect dress, and the perfect crown.

Don’t fail. Don’t fall. Don’t cry. Don’t call.

Be the friend that’s perfectly calm.

 

Stand on the edge of normalcy,

Glaze the mask, and shine the crown.

Send a smirk to the murmurs,

Quirk a brow for the others,

Don’t fail. Don’t fall. Don’t cry. Don’t call.

 

K.N.O.W.

Thursday, February 11, 2016. 20:55 hrs.

For those Moments

In which there are no words;

When all has been swallowed

By the empty laughter

That rings against vastness,

Trying,

But not entirely failing,

To fill the unpronounceable thing

You refuse to give a name,

Saving yourself from the grim deed

Of enunciating a clear epitaph,

I am sorry–

As I am sure many before me are,

And many after me will be;

In the knowledge that it is easier to lift and hold,

The mass of weightless laughter,

Than to kneel with your hands and head,

In a sort of obeisance to nameless things,

While trying to hold weighted clear pearls,

Slipping through your fingers,

In a flood of wet beads around your knees.

 

K.N.O.W. Thursday, August 20, 2015. 15:28 hrs