Moon, Light and Shadow




Caribbean Creative Writers Workshop

In February of this year I received an email indicating that I was one of ten authors chosen to participate in Cropper Foundation’s Creative Writers Workshop in June. I was alone at home when the email came in and the feelings were completely unexpected. I felt like it was not really happening, and actually imagined that no one else had submitted poetry and so I was chosen to make up a quota. I had applied on a whim submitting six poems to compete with other Caribbean writers, never really believing that what I wrote could be seen as poetry.

I had never entered a writing competition before and had only shared my poems with one friend and anonymously on my blog. In fact, I’d never referred to them as poems and called them Scribbles instead. So, receiving that email and subsequently sending my acceptance letter was a pretty surreal experience. I felt like I was someone else, like a little kid about to steal cookies from the cookie jar, with the anticipation of something delicious and thrilling, and the fear of being caught where I wasn’t supposed to be. Was this really meant for me?

The workshop, sponsored by the Cropper Foundation, and organised in partnership with the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at The University of the West Indies (UWI), took place from June 29th to July 13th in the quiet seaside town of Balandra on the north-eastern coast of Trinidad. Over sixty applicants from across the Caribbean submitted fiction, non-fiction and poetry for a chance to spend two weeks with two incredible moderators,  novelist Dr. Merle Hodge (Crick, Crack Monkey and For the Life of Laetitia), and poet and short story writer Professor Funso Aiyejina, winner of the 2000 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa) for The Legend of the Rockhills and Other Stories.

I had no idea what was in store. A friend of mine had been a participant in 2008 and when sought she offered the best advice: Expect nothing. Appreciate everything.

I never imagined that my life would be forever changed.


The Lady At The Lighthouse

The Lady at The LighthousePhoto of me taken (and titled) by Kavita Ganness, one of my Cropper Sisters, on the last day of our Creative Workshop. We were at the Toco Lighthouse, squeezing in one more adventure before it was time to head back to “reality” and our old lives.

Soul Mate


Continue reading “Soul Mate”

Phoenix Day

The Act Of Leaving

“I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” Jack Kerouac


I posted this video on facebook today while watching a film called happythankyoumoreplease. I hadn’t heard about it before but watched another film written and directed by the same person, Josh Radnor, a few days prior, so felt like giving it a shot. During the movie, I heard this song and posted it on my page with a caption which read: “I received a gift today.” I did that because the song’s first few lyrics connected with me:
what are you so afraid of?
why are you feeling scared?
what’s the worst that’s gonna happen?
I know I’ve been holding myself back, out of fear mostly. Fear of the unknown, fear of opening myself up to love, fear of getting hurt, fear of failure. All of these fears were filling my mind and stopping me from moving forward, toward new adventures. They were taking up so much space in my mind and heart, leaving little room for appreciating what I do have and what I do know, and even less room for hope and promise. The song was a reminder to be open and to be brave and welcome new opportunities. I had to share it.
Ten, a few minutes later, one of the main characters, Annie, said: “About a year ago, I was in this cab, and the cab driver, this Indian guy starts telling me all sorts of stuff… He said, ‘You have great potential in this lifetime, and the key to your life is gratitude, you do not give it enough thanks.’ And I said, ‘Well, how do I do that?’ And he said, ‘Simple, say thank you!’…And he said after I say thank you, I should say more please… So that gratitude in the universe is eternally abundant.. so, I’ve been giving gratitude a shot. Thankyoumoreplease, thankyoumoreplease…” 
That quote resonated with me as well, as a reminder to do what I know: appreciate what I have, and welcome more.
Ok, so by this point I’m liking this unassuming little film, even if it’s simply because the characters are trying to find their way through life like everyone else, bungling and bumbling, like everyone else, fearing life, like everyone else. Like the other film I saw by Radnor, I understand what he was trying to do, and even though sometimes the dialogue seems over written and cliched, two additional quotes I’ll take away with me, just because I’m a hopeful romantic.
Sam #2: “It’s not easy to be adored – you in particular – you have a tougher time with it than most, I get that, but I want you to give it a try. Think of it as an experiment. I promise I will be very wonderful at adoring you Annie. It an area where, I think I got a great deal of talent. You’re worth the adoration Annie, you’re worth it, and the fact that you don’t believe it, has nothing to do with whether it’s true or not, it is true for me, and that is all that matters. “
Annie: “Sadness be gone, let’s be people who deserve to be loved, who are worthy, cause we are worthy.”

I Am The Story In Between The Lines

I am the story in between the lines
old journals and snapshots
decades of words and images
poetry and imagination
strung together by feeling and circumstance
inked in joy and pain
emblazoned on a page for all time.

“I want to live in between the lines, where the depth is.”

I Only Wish You Love

There you go again,
chasing down that road.
I’ve held your hand
and watched you do this,
time and time before.
Now this time has come,
and you can walk alone.
I won’t right you when you stumble
Nor catch you when you fall.
I won’t kiss or hug away the hurt
from bumps or bruises.
This time, on my own and from afar,
 I’ll celebrate your joys
and mourn for you your losses.
Fare thee well, my friend,
as every time before,
I only wish you love.

The Last Rainbow

As it was written so it has come to pass.
Wrapped in a hemp jacket, on a plane
bound for a destination away from his heart.
Raindrops collect tears on small oval windows,
gaining momentum and down they roll.
There’ll be no more talk of rare moonbows.
Sobs choked back and all ascend.
With a deep breath the time has come.
It’s now or never, Amber’s off the shelf.
A noonday sun casts a shadow
On the misty gray retreating clouds below:
An aircraft encircled in a spectrum halo.
A rainbow’s reminder and promise:
Thank you for being you.
To be anything else is to be so much less.
As it was written so it shall be:
Today a new story will be chosen.
It was always mine: The story of Me.

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