Friday, 16 March 2012

Talking Trees Poets Explored Emotions, Prophets and Real Lives

Talking Trees Poets Explored Emotions, Prophets and Real Lives

Part 2
The writers at the Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta that was held on February 25 at the Two Seasons Guest House did not limit the reading of their work to humour and good memories, but also delved into social issues.
Christine Craig

Christine Craig used the island of Jamaica as her muse and started her reading from the unpublished poem, Pura Vida that is inspired by the healing tranquillity of Treasure Beach.

“And now here it is: A small boat on a dark sea, a night full of stars, rising and swirling; a sense of music moving in the air, chilling the moon and stars. Scenting the sound, it is possible to hear with heart and mind, to taste with skin and eyes, a clear saltiness in the air and the deep thick smell of the ocean. I want to drift here quietly forever, not thinking, barely breathing.”

Craig moved away from the idyllic landscape to give a glimpse of the emotional chasms of Estelle, a mother coping with life as an unemployed domestic worker. 
“Weep, weep for us women who speak of Kingston.”
St Ann Saturday is a community reflection of a woman who died alone although she had six adult children living abroad.

“Starapple leaves, double toned, bend quiet over the steady walking; walking for Miss Martha bound to rest. The path she walked: food to market, children to school, Sunday to Church; steady walking. In the end, alone, under the starapple leaves, a hush fell over her.”

Kalilah Enriquez
Kalilah Enriquez admitted that her job as a reporter had led her muse into hard news subjects of serious crime, including murder.
“The men let it rain only inside their lungs, stood there blank faced, sunken-chested, as if awaiting their turn.  And his ghost will never bother a soul, not even his killer, for the first time he rested in life, was in death,” from And.
Enriquez read a poem that she wrote while still in her home country of Belize and that was dedicated to a well-known talk show caller, Irene Wallace, who lost two sons to violence, Enriquez wrote:

“The song is more than metaphor, and the mothers are left to mourn on the morning shows with bodies to bury and young lives unaccounted for….Making men of boys is more than ease.”

Fabian Thomas
Fabian Thomas showcased his range of feelings with poems about relationships; responses to the movie, The Colour Purple in Celie’s Reply; and his highlight for the day, his Jamaica 50 poem Two Score and Ten.

“This black green, gold nation state has spawned the most influential artist of the millennium; Jamaica, the father of black consciousness and for black pride; I pledge my heart forever; bred, fed and unleashed to the world the fastest man on the planet; Jamaica, we have witnessed the days of Dudus, to serve with humble pride, these last days it looks like more skin a bleach now than clothes, but still we rise soaring like Captain Barrington Irving Jr; Jamaica land we love, ready fi di nex two score and ten.”

Michael Abrahams
Recording artiste, Michael Abrahams, performed his work with energy and rhythm, touching on the controversial subjects of the past year and also furthered the discussion with his remarks on religion. He closed his segment with an ode to the performance of the Jamaican athletes at the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF) World Championships, Daegu 2011.

“The record was ours, but could we go faster; and could we achieve it without Asafa?.... Jamaica get gold in record time, faster than any had run before in 27.04. The only record in Daegu that bruk! Only Jamaicans posed beside the clock. Bringing the games to a grand climax, creating history pon the track. The last anthem that they did play was from the island of JA. Big up the black and gold and green.”

Malachi Smith
Foundation dub poet, Malachi Smith, returned to Talking Trees for a second year, and in a 25-minute set filled the tent with his mellifluous voice: sometimes plaintive, sometimes militant. He started his segment with a tribute to the conscious reggae artistes of his homeland. The quote below recalled Garnet Silk.

“The prophet changed to the morning, he chanted to the evening to the rock sounds of Silk like a quilt of coolie dry bones filling them, warming them down in Jamaica…..The prophets saw Zion in a vision, Mamma Africa stretching forth her hands, the dry bones could not understand but rapture out of Babylon. A man is just a man.”

Smith took the audience to a frenzy of excitement as he recalled the USA Presidential race of 2008 in the style of a championship horse race. His closing poem was his undying love for his homeland in the biblical style of a epistle expressing a man’s love for a woman.
Two Seasons Talking Trees Literary Fiesta was staged with special partner, JAMCOPY, (, the Jamaican copyright licensing agency.