Paulette RamsAy: The Dynamism of Words

Both poetry and prose use language in an imaginative way to create vivid images and pictures. Both use a rich array of elements that communicate meaning in a creative manner. Paulette Ramsey

Mothers Make Magic

(For mothers everywhere)

they create magic

mothers do


they stretch time like endless

elastic ropes

that children swing on

to the moon and back


make tuneful onomatopoeia

and put the night on hold,

they keep the day running

as their sons float their kites

on the wind,

games must be played,

bodies fed,

fantasies spun

with the thread

of magical words,

songs must be sung,

the stars repainted in the sky

everyone must go to the moon

and back

as mothers make magic.

I write prose and poetry.  I write because I enjoy using language in different innovative ways. I love the dynamism of words and figures of speech and expressions.

As a childhood  I loved to read a lot and this enjoyment of reading gave mean appetite for living in the world of books. I enjoyed the books of Enid Blyton and Andrew Salkey, Everard Palmer , Jean Da Costa and others who drew me into the world of their works.

Because I like to write about Caribbean experiences, place is important for establishing cultural contexts and political and social background.

I do believe that poetry and prose can draw attention to social ills, and  try to subtly, and without preaching, suggest the ills that need to be addressed.

I am not writing now but I am thinking about my next novel. I usually carry things in my head.

I am an academic who does research on the injustices faced by people of African descent in Latin America.

My new novel is Letters Home. The title is based on the fact that the novel is made up of letters and diary entries.

I wrote it for about two years and eventually decided I wanted it out there in the public. It focuses on the trials, challenges and problems faced by Windrush people in England in the 60s and 70s.

My next project will be another novel, but you should know I wrote a novel for three years and never bothered to publish it.

My writing process is –I read , think ,then write and rewrite many times.

I would like to win an award one day…

Star Apple Blue and Avocado Green

our star apple tree is old and tired now

so many many years after my

great grandmother planted it

it now leans lazily yet gracefully

against the avocado tree that I planted

ten years ago

interestingly, they each carry stories

of two different generations

in a family that celebrates

our tropical trees with great spirit

my great grandmother loved the star apple’s purple blue skin

and its succulent purple and white flesh

so delicately arranged in a wine coloured bowl

I planted my avocado for its smooth, waxy fruit

that my mother used to feed me

with hot slices of yellow heart roasted breadfruit

they seem to like each other’s company

my avocado tree seems happy to

bear the weight of my great grandmother’s

aged star apple tree with its purple green leaves

the star apple tree is happy to find

friendly support in a young strong trunk

in its last days

so reminiscent of the way great grandmother

loved the company of us young people

as we laughed and chattered around her

in her last days

our two trees seem to like

the cosiness of being snuggled against each other

listening to the soft whisper of their leaves

brushing against each other

in the quiet green breeze

sometimes I watch them with envy

I contemplate joining them

but then I wonder

who will I lean on

my avocado, or great grandmother’s star apples?

for now, I’m content to just watch them

or close my eyes and imagine myself

sitting in the V where they meet

surrounded by star apple blue and avocado green

flowers and colours, my colours of life and joy.

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