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.