From “My Father’s Shadow”

Sunday morning Andre got up, got ready and went to church with his mother. They arrived at the church and as soon they walked through the doors his mother turned to him,

New installment of OBEAH, this Sunday

From his graf in the old time cemetery, Pa Pa Jumbie is inviting you to tune in Sunday for another installment of OBEAH. Pa Pa Jumbie say that the Akans should watch their backs. Plants and flowers is not the only thing that the Ligaroo King will use to attack them. Much more demons and jumbies will come at them. Now what is wrong with that boy Kwao, is he making a play for Akosua. How will this play out. Keep tuning in to find out. Don’t make Pa Pa Jumbie bring it to your dreams.

One of Those Moments

Sitting on the hilltop
Watching the sun rise
Watching the reflecting orange ocean ripple
The cool trade winds brushes her hair into your face
Her shoulder touches yours for a second
Its one of those moments
When you realize, you need to breath to stay alive

From “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre woke up to voices in the living room. He got up and opened the door. His mother was talking to a man,
“Fada, I don know wah I go do wid him, is like de child possessed or sumting,” she said in between sobs.
“I thought bringing him here woulda change he, but he is still bad, fada, I don know what to do I tek him to church, I give him good licks, I sent him to stay wid he aunt, but notten works. Sumtimes he acting jus like he fada you know”
“Sister Monica, God works in mysterious ways, I am sure your son will be fine,” the man said, Andre creped down the hall and peeped into the living room. A priest sat on the couch, his silver hair combed like a bridge over his bald spot. His mother paced in front of him a mere shadow in the light from the window.
“Bring him to confession on Sunday, there is nothing pray can’t fix.” He said. Andre turned and walked back to his room and flopped onto his bed. He heard the front door close and he got up and went to the window and opened the curtain. The priest walked across Rochester Avenue and got into a small car and drove off. Andre went back to the bed and sat down.
“Ohhh Ohhh, you in real trouble now.” The shadow said, “Is you fraid?”  Andre sat up,
“I not fraid of notten,” He shot back,
“Ohhh, liccle man ha some balls all of a sudden eh? The shadow said snickering.
“Don laugh at me you know, cause I go…”
“You go do what eh?” the shadow said. “Is me who teaching you to be a man and don forget it,” The shadow said. Andre’s mother opened the door.
“Who is you talking to bouy, who in dey wid you?” His mother asked walking into his room, her long straight black hair swayed as she moved.
“Nobody,” he replied,
“Bouy, why you always talking to youself eh?’
“I don know,”
“I is real disappointed in you you know, why you always misbehaving for eh?” she asked. Andre hung his head,
“I don know,”
“Every ting is I don know I don know. Bouy you is getting to be a big man you know, time you start acting like one,” She said reaching out to rub his head. Andre smiled,
“I know mamie, I promise I go try me best,”
“Sunday we go go to church and you going to confession, the fada say he go talk to you,” she said,
“O K mamie,” Andre said,
“Now come help me make super, I getting real hungry,” Andre got up and followed his mother to the kitchen.

Memorial Day Picnic Lunch

Ahhhhh a quiet Monday, well quiet Monday morning. I can smell the food cooking, hear the calypso music coming from the old fashion radio in the drawing room. We had just gotten back from the Poppy Day parade, oh the pageantry, police in their white tunics, black pants with the red strip down the sides. They 303 riffles perched on their shoulders. The white helmet with the shiny silver points, their black boots had sparkles like stars in the moonlight. Cadets from the secondary schools, scouts, veterans, all marching through the city to the police band. Now here we were, Me and Mommy Charles in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. I was not old enough to do most of the cooking, so here I was mimicking all I had seen her done over the years and by the scent coming from the pot, it is sure that I learned from the best. Man, you should see all the food as I packed it into containers to take to the beach. Avocados, yams, plantains,  green figs, (green bananas) dashin, and to go with that some saltfish souse. Ohhh yes, this meal is fit for a royal family. Now the decision on what to drink, hmmmm, oh I know, how about some homemade Mango juice ohhhh yes, that will hit the spot on the beach. 11062146_977419175625229_4704684745282317629_n

Ohhhh yes, I did a little dance cause if I did not stop myself I would have drank it all right there. Now its off to the beach for the picnic.

The Fish Lady

I stood in the kitchen looking down at the bowl of seasoned fish. It was just yesterday I was sitting in the veranda watching some butterflies fluttering around the rose bushes when I heard the fish vender yelling, “Get yuh balahuuu buyers!!” I jumped up and ran to back of the house where Mommy Charles was washing clothes. “De fish lady outside Mamie.” I said. Mommy Charles went into her room and came back with two dollars. “Tell her to give yuh two dollars worth.” She said handing me two pale red crumpled dollar bills. I took them and ran off, out the front door, down the street. I was half way down the road when the jagged edges of the gravel covered rode bit into my feet. Damn I forgot to put on my slippers.  I stopped and listened for the vender, she had not yelled in a few minutes. I heard the chatter of people on a side street to my right and turned in that direction. There she was, a bamboo basket perched on a red turban on her head. A group of people surrounded her, some holding dollar bills screaming what they wanted. I took off, hoping to get there before all the fish was gone. Before I got to her I started shouting, “Two dollars worth, two dollars worth!” I knew if Mommy Charles knew I was acting like that she would be less than please, but damn it I wanted some fish. The fisherwoman smiled as I ran in my skinny arms flailing over my head. She sat the basket down and turned to me. I looked into the basket expecting to see flying fish but instead I saw Jacks, one of my favorite. The woman dug into he basket with both hands and motioned for me to hold out the plastic back I hand in my hand. She dumped the fish in it and I was about to close the bag when she smiled and motioned with my head to keep it opened. She picked another handful and dumped it into the bag, the silver, black and gray fish sparkled in the sunlight.  I gave her the two dollars and thanked her and turned and ran back to the house. Now to sit and watch Mommy Charles do her magic before she fried up the Jacks.

Sunday Ritual of Peace

Ohhh yes, its one of those Sundays, when you was to go sit on the hill top overlooking the emerald ocean, watch the sailboat glide into the beach, its white sails flapping gently in the wind. Marvel at the green trees with sprinkles of red flowers on them. Watch the shadows of seaweeds float back and forth in the ever moving surf.  Smile as boys and girls compete to see who had the best run up and dive into the warm waters. See the house that are built into the forestry, yes man, look at the cluster of buildings in the small city, it was that very place last Sunday when you sat and watched the fish swim in the habour. Squint your eyes as the sun bounced off the colourful roofs, inhale the fresh sea air, shift a little making yourself comfortable on the soft grass you sat on. Take a sip from the cold refreshing Mango juice you brought with you. Ahhh yes brother, another peaceful Sunday on the island.