Monthly Archives: April 2015


The “Labourers March” on Sauteurs / Trinidad’s 1919-20 Stevedores Strike

o. Labour in the West Indies JacketThe “Labourers March” on Sauteurs (January 11, 1848) was the dramatic highpoint of an  industrial’ action initiated on December 22,1847,  arguably the dawn of collective political life in post-emancipation Grenada. Coming just a decade following the abolition of chattel slavery, the Sauteurs protest pitted ex-slaves against the former masters.

 

Labour Day in Grenada must remember the courage of the St Patrick’s labourers, the Country’s proto-trade unionists.

 

 

 

Trinidad’s 1919-20 Stevedore’s Strike enlarged the political  and ideological imagination of the “dock workers”.

This historic action produced several songs , including :

Write My Custom Paper The English say we can live on two dollars

The English say we can live on two dollars

But listen to what we say,

Listen , boys, listen

Two dollars cyah maintain our family 

Down with the flag, everybody,  down with the flag

Hear what we say, and

College Essay List Cheer, boys, cheer hart cover3


West Indies Cricket: Playing Plight and Potential

Fire-in-Babylon-Cricket-West-Indies-Survi-Review-RatingWest Indies cricket is a history-telling theatre.caribbean stumps

Our cricket plays against the background of slavery, indentureship,  and colonialism – the three stumps of our experience.

Our cricket is a “calypso cricket”: this is  a cricket that drives and dreams  well beyond  the boundaries.

Our cricket performs a pedagogy of plight and potential.
-Caldwell Taylor
Caldwell Taylor is  writer and cultural commentator. The former teacher and diplomat is a graduate of Windsor Law School .

Play one for Cricket

 

beyondboundaryA Nation is defined in its play. The Nation plays and play reveals the player’s imagination.

 

We are what we play!

Dissertation Photojournalism Play is an act of confession.

Andre Fletcher

Andre Fletcher

No one celebrates quite like the West Indies

No one celebrates quite like the West Indies

“All play means something”, says Johan Huizinga, the Dutch cultural theorist and author of the classic Homo Ludens (Playing Man).


Cricket

Grenada National Stadium
Grenada National Stadium

Cricket

April 21, 2015

“What do they know of cricket who only cricket know?” -CLR James

 

The West Indies Cricket Team remains the most storied of our federal institutions: the team has survived the Federation (1958-62) – its lamentable demise codified in a Sparrow rendition Federation. 

 

Junior Murray Grenada's first cricketing icon
Junior Murray

 

Federation boils down to simply this

It’s dog-eat -dog and the survival of the fittest.

 

Devon Smith

Devon Smith

 

Sparrow’s Federation is Eric Williams’ version of the mash up; there exists many other versions and we may wish to pursue them later on.

 

Genesis of West Indian Cricket

West Indies cricket is a study in European colonial rivalries, for the game was brought here in the early years of the nineteenth century by British soldiers deployed to protect the British colonies against Napoleon’s forces.

Clyde Walcott on the attack

Clyde Walcott on the attack

“Our Cricket” was first played between innings of gunfire.


AGE by Keisha-Gaye Anderson

AGE 

by Keisha-Gaye Anderson
 
Age should
expand the iris
of your name
into a doorway
that lets the blazing
light,
splintered through
darkness,
come into clearer view
years should bloom
you like
a field of freesias
under the sun
of you mind
and unfurl you into
into one of the beautiful things
in time
your journey
in bone and skin
should mark
a firmly-trodden path
into clay
to make a way toward home
for those lost
in the thicket
we should not just grow up
but grow in
and study
the sound that
spawned the stars
we are uncoiling
toward the greatest
possibility of the
grandest idea
just to know
how fire exploded
from blackness
into a heartbeat
a grain of corn
an ocean tide
laughter
Age is tempering us
into something
greater
the shape and
texture of the
Divine
 
April 19, 2015
 
© Keisha-Gaye Anderson
 
Born Kingston, Jamaica on April 19, Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a poet, professional writer, screenwriter, and transmedia producer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The City College, CUNY. Her latest poetry book, “Gathering the Waters” (Jamii Publishing), was released in December 2014. You may visit her website at http://www.keishagaye.com

My Sweet Grenada – Poem by Leslie Alexis

My Sweet Grenada – Poem by Leslie Alexis

 

What is it about this island
That makes it to all paradise?
Is it the people, plants, places
That bring smiles to all faces,
And when on parting, tears to eyes
That venture into this Heaven
On Earth land? Grenada, Spice Isle!

Maybe it is the pearly white sands
On the land’s natural beaches
To which the minutes from, one can
Count on two pairs of hands. The riches
Possessed by this lovely nation
Are Priceless, and cannot be stolen,
Pure treasures from in paradise, golden

And fresh like the young nutmeg.
Their souls are seasoned with cinnamon
And with fiery flames from the ginger
With sharp flavors from the saffron,
Then they’re finished off with a touch of clove
It is no surprise that the people burst with love.
And to stranger’s courteously they say

With a tipped hat, ‘have a good day! ‘
And then their smiles spread, which make
Strangers share blushes – and build bridges
For journeys to hearts that were otherwise
Pinnacle-lized like the luscious green
On the nation’s hills and mountains,
Where you can swing with monkeys,

And have a cool drink from the springs
After singing songs with Wellsi,
Then take a swim in the mouth, grand!
Of mother volcano, mama island.
Towns like; Gouyave, Grand Anse, Grand Etang!
Sweet Soca, Calypso and Parang!
Make for a time grand! in my treasure island.

Copyright © 2009 Leslie Alexis

 

 


A Grenada Poet a Day: Anthony Wendell DeRiggs

Tatoes

To Dream 

by Anthony Wendell DeRiggs

 

To dream,

To plough within

The depth of the soul.

Unearty the joy,

The desire

To shake off the gloom.

Embrace the hope,

And Rise!

 

To dream,

To find the seed

And nurture it.

Wrap yourself,

In the garb of confidence,

And water the urge,

That will bear the fruit,

Someday.

 

Exploratory Essays Anthony Wendell DeRiggs is a Grenadian writer and poet living in Brooklyn, USA. He is the author of three books, Recollections of an Island Man,Island Reminiscences and Other Selections, and Reflections and Ole Talk. Emerging from a long family tradition of writers, storytellers, and folklorists, Mr. DeRiggs holds a BA in History from Brooklyn College.


A Grenada Poet a Day: Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992)

Audrey Lorde

 

Inheritance—His

by Audre Lorde

I.
My face resembles your face
less and less each day. When I was young
no one mistook whose child I was.
Features build coloring
alone among my creamy fine-boned sisters
marked me Byron’s daughter.

No sun set when you died, but a door
opened onto my mother. After you left
she grieved her crumpled world aloft
an iron fist sweated with business symbols
a printed blotter dwell in the house of Lord’s
your hollow voice changing down a hospital corridor
yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil.

II.
I rummage through the deaths you lived
swaying on a bridge of question.
At seven in Barbados
dropped into your unknown father’s life
your courage vault from his tailor’s table
back to the sea.
Did the Grenada treeferns sing
your 15th summer as you jumped ship
to seek your mother
finding her too late
surrounded with new sons?

Who did you bury to become the enforcer of the law
the handsome legend
before whose raised arm even trees wept
a man of deep and wordless passion
who wanted sons and got five girls?
You left the first two scratching in a treefern’s shade
the youngest is a renegade poet
searching for your answer in my blood.

My mother’s Grenville tales
spin through early summer evenings.
But you refused to speak of home
of stepping proud Black and penniless
into this land where only white men
ruled by money. How you labored
in the docks of the Hotel Astor
your bright wife a chambermaid upstairs
welded love and survival to ambition
as the land of promise withered
crashed the hotel closed
and you peddle dawn-bought apples
from a push-cart on Broadway.

Does an image of return
wealthy and triumphant
warm your chilblained fingers
as you count coins in the Manhattan snow
or is it only Linda
who dreams of home?

When my mother’s first-born cries for milk
in the brutal city winter
do the faces of your other daughters dim
like the image of the treeferned yard
where a dark girl first cooked for you
and her ash heap still smells of curry?

III.
Did the secret of my sisters steal your tongue
like I stole money from your midnight pockets
stubborn and quaking
as you threaten to shoot me if I am the one?
The naked lightbulbs in our kitchen ceiling
glint off your service revolver
as you load whispering.

Did two little dark girls in Grenada
dart like flying fish
between your averted eyes
and my pajamaless body
our last adolescent summer?
Eavesdropped orations
to your shaving mirror
our most intense conversations
were you practicing how to tell me
of my twin sisters abandoned
as you had been abandoned
by another Black woman seeking
her fortune Grenada Barbados
Panama Grenada.
New York City.

IV.
You bought old books at auctions
for my unlanguaged world
gave me your idols Marcus Garvey Citizen Kane
and morsels from your dinner plate
when I was seven.
I owe you my Dahomeyan jaw
the free high school for gifted girls
no one else thought I should attend
and the darkness that we share.
Our deepest bonds remain
the mirror and the gun.

V.
An elderly Black judge
known for his way with women
visits this island where I live
shakes my hand, smiling.
“I knew your father,” he says
“quite a man!” Smiles again.
I flinch at his raised eyebrow.
A long-gone woman’s voice
lashes out at me in parting
“You will never be satisfied
until you have the whole world
in your bed!”

Now I am older than you were when you died
overwork and silence exploding your brain.
You are gradually receding from my face.
Who were you outside the 23rd Psalm?
Knowing so little
how did I become so much
like you?

Your hunger for rectitude
blossoms into rage
the hot tears of mourning
never shed for you before
your twisted measurements
the agony of denial
the power of unshared secrets.

———————————————————————————————————————-

Audre Lorde (born Audrey Geraldine Lorde) was born in New York City to Grenadian immigrants, Frederick Byron Lorde and Linda Belmar Lorde, who settled in Harlem. One of the foremost African-American feminists of our times, Audrey Lorde was a writer, poet and activist. She wrote her first poem at age 8.  She died November 17, 1992.


Celebrating a Grenada Poet a Day (Alister Hughes)

Alister Hughes

CARIBBEAN MAN

by Alister Hughes, Journalist and Poet, 1919 – 2005

 

We’re now independent, yes, massa day done,

We’re free. It’s a new day which now has begun.

So please, let’s get working as hard as we can

To foster the growth of Caribbean Man.

 

Let’s take a look backward, remember with pride

Those brave ones who stood up and battled the tide,

Who braced up and faced it when all others ran,

Who fought for the birth of Caribbean Man.

 

Paul Bogle, as brave as you ever will find,

And Gordon, like true steel in fire refined,

They died in Jamaica pursuing a plan

To fight for the rights of Caribbean Man.

 

And Critchlow, for gains to the workers he fought,

And when he was fired that counted for naught,

Guyana his country, farsighted his scan,

He called for the vote for Caribbean Man.

 

More noble nude freeman than full gilded slave

He lived by that precept, and Donovan gave

Example that we too with dignity can

Though trampled, be proud of Caribbean Man.

 

In Donovan’s tracks then came Ted Marryshow

His dream was that we had just one way to go

One country, Westindies, division he’d ban

One nation, one people, Caribbean Man

 

These are but few of the great ones of yore

Who faced the rough storm in the time gone before

When it was easy to drift with all in the van

With never a thought of Caribbean Man

 

When all were so willing to swim with the tide

Be accepted, and join in the social ride

Kowtow to the massa, and pray that he can

Forget that you are a Caribbean Man

 

Be called in to dinner or Government tea

Get an honour, a knighthood or CBE

Think Limies superior and much better

Black, brown or whatever, Caribbean Man

 

Not so these great ones, much more noble their game

Unselfish, farsighted the stars were their aim

Society’s glitter was not in their plan

They knew the true worth of Caribbean Man

 

They knew that the Masters did’nt dare educate

The objects they ruled in colonial state

The learning they gave us was ‘Dan in the van’

The basics, no more for Caribbean Man.

 

And history for us never touched on our shores

But focussed on Europe, kings, treaties and wars

What mattered, developed, continued, began

In no way included Caribbean Man.

 

They taught us of Raleigh and Hawkings and Drake

Their exploits and how brave a fight they did make

We saw this with pride, as true British eyes can

But not with the eyes of Caribbean Man

 

We knew naught of Fedon, Toussaint or Quacko

Nor Christophe, Quamina or loose-mouthed Cudjoe

We knew not of Cuffie away down in Guyan

And what he had done for Caribbean Man

 

But now we are free, and it’s slavery no more

Our fate is our own. We’ve the key to the door

That leads to our future, let’s find if we can

What stuff that he’s made of, Caribbean Man

 

When we were colonials in long days gone by,

To make like massa was what we did try,

To be like the British, our aim and our plan

A synthetic Limey, Caribbean Man.

 

That’s over but, sadly, we’ve not yet begun

To see our own place, recognize our own sun,

In place of the Limey, we’re now African,

Not yet do we know we’re Caribbean Man.

 

How dare we forget and consign to the breeze

Our brother the Indian, our sister Chinese

And others who cover the whole ethic span

For they too, my friend, are Caribbean Man.

 

We’re all of this region, no matter the skin,

Black, white, pink or yellow, we’d better begin

To know we’re a nation and one common plan

Is what must develop Caribbean Man.

 

Let’s turn eyes inwards and scales from them shed,

See us as a people, and not that we’re wed

And fixed to some Mother, whom never can

We grow and develop Caribbean Man.

 

Not England nor China nor India nor Spain

Not Africa, Scotland nor France nor Bahrain

Can now be our Mother, that can’t be our plan.

We’re nobody’s child, we’re Caribbean Man

 

We have our own customs, traditions, folk lore,

Like Carnival, John Canoe, Big Drum and more

Anansi and Tigue, Lajabless and steel pan

A heritage rich of Caribbean Man

 

And pepper-pot, oil-down, ackra and bush tea

With foo-foo and jug-jug, bul-jhol and bodi

And ginger beer, sorrel, all foods that we can

Be proud are produced by Caribbean Man

 

Walcott, Louise Bennet, Rhone, Peters and Hill,

McBernie, Keens-Douglas and many more still,

In drama and poetry, dance, none better than

These greats, they’re the soul of Caribbean Man

 

Our foods and our culture are not second place

The’re unique and reflect our multiple race

We’re a nation, a wonderful blended clan

We’re special, we’re vibrant Caribbean Man

 

And why, in this climate, continue to try

To ape the ex-masters with jacket and tie.

That garb is for cold clime, can’t we find a plan

Of suitable dress for Caribbean Man ?

 

That may seem a small thing but symbols must be

The pointers which prove to our children that we

Are not orphan people who catch as they can

At standards to govern Caribbean Man.

 

We must know and teach, we’re a people by right,

We’re not bastard offspring in desperate plight,

Pretending we’re British or African clan

Ignoring the fact we’re Caribbean Man

 

Let’s shake off inertia, let’s find a new birth,

Let’s lift our heads high, recognize our own worth,

Our future awaits with unlimited span

Awake and move forward, Caribbean Man. !!!

 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

One of the Caribbean’s best-known journalists, Alister Earl Hewitson Hughes was born in St George’s, Grenada on January 21, 1919. Mr. Alister Hughes was not as well-known for his poetry but he was a proud poet.