Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Book So Deep

Book So Deep

de beat goes on
and de never ending river
of degree hungry people
flushin down
rushin down
thru dis valley of madness
see deam people
course riding
and hiding
from reality
in de shadows of success

de beat goes on
and on in UWI
because all ah we
get sentence
to four years hard labour
three years good behaviour
in dis concentration camp

 and I is just ah prisoner
just ah prisoner
in dis penal colony
behind de barb wire
of mental agony

Book So Deep

it left meh in ah daze
tryin to find meh way
outa dis maze...

             by Brother Resistance, Trinidad and Tobago in VoicePrint ed. by Stewart Brown, et al

Friday, 4 October 2013

Guest post by Delaney Diamond, author of The Blind Date (Giveaway and Contest, too!)

First Date: 4 Clues That He’s Into You

Remember the book He’s Just Not That Into You? I have it and read it and thought it was funny but insightful. The gist of it was, in general, if a man is into you, he’ll pursue you and you don’t have to guess whether or not he likes you. Unless he’s shy, you don’t have to do a lot of work outside of letting him know there’s mutual interest.
But what about the first date? It’s an awkward period and can be quite nerve-racking. If you like the man, you want him to like you, too. But how do you know if he does or not? I’m here to help. Check out the clues below and put your mind at ease.
1.      He dresses to impress. If a man is into you, he wants to make a good impression. Chances are he’s going to dress up, make sure the hair is looking good, and he’ll make sure he smells good, too. There aren’t too many things better than a well-dressed, good-smelling man. Am I right? In the animal kingdom, it’s the same reason male peacocks spread their feathers and frogs make those loud, croaking noises. They’re trying to impress the female of the species.
2.      Money is no object. Some men will let you know they like you by spending money. They may take you to an expensive restaurant, present you with flowers, or some such thing. It’s all part of the plan to impress you because he likes you.
3.      He seems unsure of himself. I think it’s kind of cute when a man is nervous around a woman. A little hesitancy can make a man endearing so that he doesn’t come off too cocky. If you notice your date seems nervous or knocks over the water glass because he’s staring into your eyes, he’s probably into you.
4.      He tries to extend the date. This might be one of the best clues. Let’s say your plan was to have dinner, but after dinner he wants to go for a walk. Or go dancing. Or to grab coffee at a nearby shop. Whenever a man is trying to extend the date beyond the allotted scheduled activities, watch out. He’s probably into you. 

In The Blind Date, the hero, Ryan, displayed all four clues to my heroine, Shawna. They ended up having an unforgettable night six years ago, but when they meet again, things don’t go so well because Ryan hadn’t been completely honest with her when they first met.
What do you think of this list? Or tell me in the comments other clues that indicate when a man is into you. 

One night changes everything . . . again.
Years ago, when Ryan Stewart saw Shawna Ferguson, it was love at first sight. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a free man, and his deception caused him to lose her after a weekend that changed his life.
When Shawna’s sister and brother-in-law set her up on a blind date, she has no idea it’s with Ryan, with whom she’d spent a weekend she wishes she could forget. She reluctantly agrees to finish the date with him, but doing so leaves her vulnerable to his charms and the heat he ignited in her that very first night.

When Shawna entered the restaurant, smiling staff welcomed her with a “Bienvenue!” She told the hostess she had a reservation and gave her the name of the person with whom she had the meeting. “Roger James.”
“Your party’s already here.” The brunette smiled, and her gaze drifted to the interior wall, outside Shawna’s line of vision.
Shawna pasted a smile on her face and stepped forward to get a good look. That’s when her date stepped from the dim interior into the better-lit entryway.
Her smile froze in place and her body became as stiff as a corpse.
It wasn’t that her date was unattractive. Oh no, he didn’t suffer from a deficiency in looks at all. In fact, he was sexy. Hella sexy. Even more sexy than the last time she’d seen him, though a bit underdressed in a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up to reveal rugged arms dusted with fine hair. Wisps of dark hair, which she knew from firsthand experience were soft, brushed the collar of his striped shirt.
She pressed her palm to her chest in a futile attempt to control the erratic beat of her heart. Unfortunately, her brain had gone into overdrive, reminding her of unbridled passion in Chicago six years ago when she’d fallen into bed with this man. 
She’d never forgotten the two torrid nights they’d spent together where the intimacies they shared had left her breathless and exhausted in his arms. Every caress of his lips and touch of his rough, work-worn hands was seared into her brain. And she could never, ever forget what it felt like to have the dark stubble shadowing his jaw graze the sensitive spot on her neck—or the skin of her inner thigh.
Her knees weakened at the thought.
A corner of his lips did a slow slant upward, and Shawna tore her eyes away from the invitation in them to stare into a pair of amazing blue eyes that rooted her in place.
“Hello, Shawna.” The mellow sound of his voice greeted her as he approached. He exuded a confidence and casual virility not present during their first introduction. Back then, he’d been a little less sure of himself, though very charming.
The sound of her name on his tongue sent a tremor through every cell of her body. “Ryan.” She whispered his name in disbelief because his name wasn’t Roger James, and he wasn’t a stranger. She’d hoped never to set eyes on this man again.
“It’s good to see you, love.”
Shocked out of her reverie by the affectionate word, rage erupted inside of Shawna. She hadn’t seen him since that day in Chicago when her heart had shattered into a thousand pieces. She did what she hadn’t been able to do back then.
She hauled back and slapped him. 

Get it now for FREE until October 7, 2013: Amazon
Contest information:
Not only is Delaney Diamond giving away a free copy of her book, she’s having a contest!
Prize: Winners choice of four (4) of the following items: (1) Delaney Diamond T-shirt in large or extra large (2) Delaney Diamond two-tone tote bag (3) $20 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (4) Delaney Diamond keychain (5) an autographed copy of Hot Latin Men Vol. I (6) an autographed copy of Hot Latin Men Vol. II (7) four bookmarks with Delaney Diamond book covers.
Eligibility: You must be a subscriber to Delaney’s blog. Prizes open to U.S. and international entrants.
How to enter: Correctly match each blog on her tour with its description. Visit the contest post on her website for the details. 
Deadline to enter: October 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST
Winners will be notified by email and announced on the contest post on her website. 

Delaney Diamond writes sweet and sensual romance novels and is the site manager of Romance Novels in Color, where diversity in romance in celebrated. When she's not reading or writing she's trying out new recipes or traveling to an interesting locale. Find free reads and the first chapter of all her books at www.delaneydiamond.com.

Contact Information:
Romance Novels in Color: www.romancenovelsincolor.com

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

For Angela Davis

For Angela Davis

...I am thinking about you,
Angela Davis
I m thinking about you and
what I want to do
is to command the drying pools
of rain
to wet your tired feet and
lift your face
to the gift of the roof of
clouds we owe you.

               By Martin Carter, Guyana in Voiceprint

Friday, 27 September 2013

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Jamaica Dreaming playlist!

Some of the songs in Jamaica Dreaming...

Buju Banton - One to One

Roberta Flack - Angelitos Negros

Maxi Priest - I Want to Be Close to You

Gregory Isaacs

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival, 2013

Some of my pix of the 2013 parade in Road Town, Tortola.

The Prince and Princess of the Festival and their court!

Probably the BVI's best-known farmer and a popular participant in each year's parade.

Young majorettes doing their thing!

A troupe with a Panama theme

The St. George's Anglican Church returns to participating in the parade with a historical theme.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

BVI's New Hospital in the Making

Our new hospital has been a long time coming but everything seems on track to bring it to completion by the end of September! Yay!  The new hospital will be a state-of-the-art facility with the latest equipment and will also bring us some significant innovations in terms of patient care.  Our old Peebles Hospital has only one surgery room but the new hospital will have three. There will also be a full mental ward with seven rooms and, if you need, physical therapy there will be a whole array of services offered, including a plunge pool.

The rather impressive lobby area where the names of benefactors will be prominently displayed.
Project Manager, Shaina Smith, in one of the three surgery rooms which are almost completed.

A room on what will be the Medical Ward

The new kitchen area. The cafeteria will also be open to the public as an additional revenue earner.

Minister for Health and Welfare, Hon. Ronnie Skelton, discusses hospital operations with backbenchers Hon. Archie Christian and Hon. Marlon Penn. (Not pictured but also present was Hon. Delores Christopher.)

A nursing station

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Jamaica Dreaming - AVAILABLE NOW!

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords! Coming soon to Kobo, Apple, etc.

More than a year after surviving a horrific accident, Chicago songstress, Julissa Morgan, still hasn’t returned to the stage and her bills are piling up. When she’s offered a few gigs in Jamaica she’s tempted to say ‘no,’ but she needs the money and the concerts there might be a great way to test her readiness to launch a comeback in her home city. What Julissa doesn’t know is that Sebastian Chung, the wealthy benefactor footing the bill for the fundraising concerts, has an ulterior motive. Sebastian fell in love with the dark beauty after watching her perform and he’s determined to leave no stone unturned in his effort to have her. Julissa is engaged, however, and loyal to her man. Will Sebastian be able to win her away from her fiancé or will he and Julissa share only an ‘island’ romance?

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Back soon...

On Hiatus until 15th August

....working on new projects, etc. but I'll be back!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Storm Warning - free!



 "...Half of the stories are tight slices of storytelling, glancing into lives that are haunted or marred by “something not quite right.” The very first story, “Storm Warning” and later with “The Righteous Ones” treat the reader to that queasy feeling of dread that crime fiction lovers long to feel. It immediately reminded me of the work of Dan Chaon’s short stories, Stay Awake, whose imagery also stayed with me late into the night. I would lay awake restlessly wondering if there was really maliciousness in a person’s face or whether it was a projection of guilt or just a passing shadow which could have explained away and avoided a gruesome fate. Was Shirley’s husband aware of her suspicious activities or was it just the air of tension in a community preparing for a coming storm? “Storm Warning” offers a look into the lengths one may go to pursue a dream while “The Righteous Ones” has an unnerving tale of a man’s missionary service gone awry.
"The other half of the stories are a bit fuller, extended works with fleshier stories that are character driven. “Collision” features a pair of brothers,  facing a last resort attempt to leave the island for America. The brothers are juxtaposed with a young man, Rufus, whose life is just beginning to stabilize with his girlfriend. The three men are tied together through drugs and violence (which could be construed as a tired trope) but O’Neal has mostly separated the two issues, leading to some refreshingly organized and calm scenes involving the trading of goods. The drugs cannot be blamed for all of the violence and we’re left wondering what truly constitutes the mettle of these men. Rufus’ story reminded me strongly of moments from Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her, where the lead character is extremely hard to cheer for, but you feel greater empathy for this flawed man..."

For more, go to Racialicious.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Olive Senior

Olive Senior

To The Madwoman in my Yard

Lady: please don't throw rocks at my window
because this is Holy House and God send you
to get all the moneylenders to drive the harlot
from the inner temple. Again. Please don't
creep up behind me when I'm gardening beg me
lend you a knife. A bucket. A rope. Hope. Then
threaten to ignite, set alight and consume me for you are the Daughter-of-a-Eunuch-and-a-Firefly
sent to X-ray and exhume me.

Lady: this is nonsense. here I am trying hard
with my Life. With Society. You enter my yard
dressed like furies or bats. Bring right in to me
all the hell I've been trying to escape from...

...Yes, here is what the difference between us
is about. I wear my madness in. You wear yours out.

More from the poet, herself.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Snapshot Saturdays

It's not too often you can catch one of these taking a rest but I got lucky! This little one was taking a well-deserved rest just outside one of my windows.

Today, I'm once again participating in Snapshot Saturday which is sponsored by Alyce of At Home With Books! Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Postcard Friendship Friday

My very first visit with Postcard Friendship Fridays -

The Botanical Gardens, Basseterre, St. Kitts

 St. Kitts is one of my favourite Caribbean islands (I have a lot of favourites, it's true) and I love this old shot of majestic royal palms.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Linton Kwesi Johnson

CARIBBEAN POETS - Linton Kwesi Johnson (aka LKJ) (born in Jamaica, 24 August 1952) is a UK-based dub poet. In 2002 he became the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Modern Classics series. His performance poetry involves the recitation of his own verse in Jamaican Patois over dub-reggae, usually written in collaboration with renowned British reggae producer/artist Dennis Bovell. His middle name, "Kwesi", is Ghanaian.  From Wikipedia.

This is one of my favourite poems of his:  Sonny's Lettah

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

More Caribbean Writers

Today we're taking another look at the diverse authors of the Caribbean.


Liane Spicer
After teaching high school for twenty-two years, Liane Spicer ran away and embarked on a more adventurous lifestyle, living by the Tolkien motto "Not all who wander are lost." She has sojourned in several countries, working as assistant editor of a newspaper, human resource manager and company administrator while writing and editing three novels, one memoir, and two gift books for writers. Her book reviews have appeared in print and online newspapers in the Caribbean and North America, including the Nassau Guardian, South Florida Caribbean News, and the Trinidad Guardian. CAFÉ AU LAIT (Leisure Books, Dorchester 2008) is her first novel.

 Cafe Au Lait - After their misencounter on a plane from London to Trinidad, Michael and Shari meet again and try to untangle the threads that draw them together and apart...and what is the true connection between Michael and his frequent companion, the beautiful but venomous Zoe.


 Julia Alvarez (born March 27, 1950) is a Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist. Born in New York of Dominican descent, she spent the first ten years of her childhood in the Dominican Republic, until her father's involvement in a political rebellion forced her family to flee the country.
Alvarez rose to prominence with the novels How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of the Butterflies (1994), and Yo! (1997). Her publications as a poet include Homecoming (1984) and The Woman I Kept to Myself (2004), and as an essayist the autobiographical compilation Something to Declare (1998). Many literary critics regard her to be one of the most significant Latina writers and she has achieved critical and commercial success on an international scale. From Wikipedia.

The beautiful movie based on the haunting In the Time of the Butterflies -

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Snapshot Saturday - ye olde Jamaica

Today, I'm once again participating in Snapshot Saturday which is sponsored by Alyce of At Home With Books! Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Vintage Postcard - Kingston, Jamaica. 1950s.

From my collection of vintage postcards from the Caribbean and around the world.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Old Walt

Old Walt Whitman
Went finding and seeking,
Finding less than sought
Seeking more than found,
Every detail minding
Of the seeking or the finding.

Pleasured equally
In seeking as in finding,
Each detail minding,
Old Walt went seeking
And finding.       -  Langston Hughes

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sepia Saturday

It's been a little while since I participated in Sepia Saturday and it's been a period of ups and downs, my beloved tia Linda died which has been a complete shock to my system, despite the fact that she was 91.  Somehow one continues to take life for granted even when one should know better.

On the up side of things, my latest book, Storm Warning, is out. My aunt was a great supporter of my writing so I think she'd be happy about that at least.

Below is a picture which I think was taken at the Antigua Girls High School back in the twenties or thirties but I'm not sure. It was a trimmed picture but when I asked my aunt about it, she couldn't say why.

FROM THE AGHS WEBSITE - "The history of the AGHS began in 1886, when an English couple- a Mr. and Mrs. Williams, came to Antigua, because of Mr. William's failing health. Mrs. Williams became the school's first headmistress. After her husband died, she sent for her sister and together they shared the responsibility of running the school. At this time the school had boarding facilities for local students, as well as students from neighbouring Caribbean islands such as St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Dominica and Grenada.
"In 1902 Mrs. Williams and Ms. Easie resigned and were succeeded by Ms. Simpson, who served for two years. From 1905 to 1944 Misses Millicent and May Branch served as joint headmistresses.
Because of steadily increasing numbers, the school changed its location several times. It first moved to St. Mary's Street, near the Nook, then East and Radcliff, back to St. Mary's Street and finally to its present location. At that time suitable accommodations became a pressing problem and so the idea of a building fund started. It was also decided that a governing body be created and have complete control of the school. In 1964 the school became government owned.
"During the 1960s the school's curricula was rather limited. Subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Spanish and Music were excluded from the school's curricula. At the end of Secondary School, many of the young ladies were only able to teach Latin, French, and English. Many passed through without the benefit of a science subject. However when the government took over the school there was expansion of the curricula and sciences were included. A science lab was built, for prior to that, the ladies had to go to the A.G.S for Science classes. Today, in addition to the science, business subjects, Spanish, Info. Tech, Library Studies and Music are all part of the curricula."

Monday, 6 May 2013

Soursop-Mango Drink

From Native Recipes by the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service



4 cups soursop pulp
3 cups mango pulp
5 cups water
1 tsp. vanilla essence
sugar to tast

Serves 12

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Baobab Tree and Me

In the configuration of a baobab tree
Seen on a 21 inch teevee screen
I find runes to puzzle my waking in this new world dawn
Waves of shivering heat distort my sight
Taunt my understanding of this land
Where discovery happened twice
And old diseases and new hatreds sent ancient peoples to unmarked graves
Where the salt of my ancestors' sweat seeded the ground to rise again in lush sweetness

A recurring genetic imprint confirms ties still unsundered
By tropic heat and nautical miles

And now, in this time, the greed of kith and kin
Asserts itself in the onslaught of bulldozers and concrete mixers, creating new air-
conditioned jungles to house savage predators
Fashioning, with stroke of pen and ringing "ayes," novel
Oppressions for brothers and sisters still out in lava-hot fields

The voiceless
Feathered, furred, scaled, with and without body hair
Are pushed to join others now forgotten who stood small and sacrifically in the way of PROGRESS

None of this is televised on my teevee
Instead, all of it is caught on the retinas
A knowing of blood and flesh
Seeing. Remembering.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Barbados Tuk Band

 "A tuk band is a kind of Barbadian musical ensemble, which plays tuk or rukatuk music. They consist of a double-headed bass drum, triangle, flute and a snare drum; the traditional fiddle has most recently been replaced by the pennywhistle. The tuk band is based on the regimental bands of the British military, which played frequently during the colonial era. The Tuk Band is accompanied by characters that are African in origin. African tribes used costumed figures to represent elements such as fertility, witch doctors, and describing routes of commercial transportation, as well as having survived difficult times.
In the Barbados Tuk Band, the regular costumed figures are Shaggy Bear (who is sometimes called the Bank Holiday Bear), the Donkey Man, Mother Sally, a masked man dressed up like a woman with an exaggerated behind, and the Stiltman." Wikipedia

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Snapshot Saturday - boats

One of the ferries that goes between the BVI and the USVI arrives at the ferry terminal full of passengers and, in the background, a cruise ship docked at the much larger pier.  The ferries make about three or four trips a day between the two sets of Virgin Islands.  The journey lasts about 45 minutes though it can take longer on a slower boat or when the sea is rough.

Today, I'm once again participating in Snapshot Saturday which is sponsored by Alyce of At Home With Books! Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Dreadwalk for the children

blackman came walking I
heard him sing his
voice was like sand
when the wind dries it.

said sing for me dreamer
said blackman I cannot
the children are gone
like sand from the quarry

said are you afraid I
come closer said blackman
his teeth were like stone
where the pick cuts it...- Dennis Scott, Jamaica

"Dennis Scott was one of the most significant poets writing in the early post-independence period in Jamaica, and his first published collection, Uncle Time (1973), for which he won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, is marked by an effective literary use of the vernacular, or "nation language". He has been regarded as one of the main influences for modern Jamaican poetry. His other poetry collections are Dreadwalk: Poems 1970–78 (1982), Strategies (1989) and After-Image (2008).
His plays include Terminus (1966), Dog, and An Echo in the Bone (1974); the latter was published, together with a play by Derek Walcott and one by Errol Hill, in Plays for Today (1985), edited by Hill. Scott's dramatic work is acknowledged as a major influence on the direction of Caribbean theatre." Wikipedia

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Plants and Poisons - Lore of the Native Americans

The New World’s wild men, the Indians, were said to have a deep lore of secret poisons, too.  Hans Sloane, in A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbadoes, Nieves, St. Christophers and Jamaica, quoted Hawkins as describing poison arrows made with “mansaneel apples together with venomous Bats, Vipers, Adders and other Serpents.” Some writers speculated that the Indians shared this knowledge with the blacks.     
Several writers mentioned poisons which, applied by native Americans to the tips of their arrows, paralyzed their prey almost instantly.  Among these, Richard Madden mentioned the vejuco de mavacure and the juice of the upas tree (antiaris toxicaria) but the upas is native only to Africa, Australia and Asia so he may have gotten it mixed up with one of the varieties of curare which native Americans used for hunting and fishing.  Madden also mentioned woorara as being used by the natives of Guyana.  He claimed that, applied to a wound, woorara produced immediate death, but when taken internally, it took longer to act. The word curare is derived from wurari, a word from Guyana’s Macusi Indians.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Snapshot Saturday - vintage Tortola

Today, I'm once again participating in Snapshot Saturday which is sponsored by Alyce of At Home With Books! Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.
A vintage postcard from the 1960s or thereabouts.