Category Archives: agriculture/foodgrowing

Life Continues

unnamed-2I realize an hour had passed

and my mind was locked

zooming through the pandemic

news of doom and gloom

and poor Italy and its spread

but the Cubans arrived

and will yet save the day


but I suspect my day is

loss      inertia

barely able to move

from coach to fridge

desiring something to nibble

even though I’m not hungry

my eyes even assault the

blues hills that always have been

respite surely they shouldn’t seem

so proud          contended      at ease

I’ll not let this malaise consume me

I rise and walk to the veranda

why are the birds singing loudly

as they always do       a chatter

back and forth between those

in the ackee tree and the ones

in the mango tree       don’ they

know that people are dying

not the daily dying      the pandemic

dying   don’t they know the world

has stopped    schools            business

restaurants     even bars are closed

but the birds continue their engaged

chatter   the butterflies flit about

unnamed-1and the flowers are still splendid

in bloom


life indeed continues

The Solace of Nature

My house faces the Blue Mountains of Jamaica.  All around me hundreds of butterflies flit joyfully in the morning flying from the mango trees to the Bougainvillea hedging. In the back yard they love the Soursop and Sweetsop trees, and even the cane stalks.  Mongooses dart, pause, then raise their heads before burrowing into the bushes.  Every morning the wood pecker wakes me with its drilling. The green parrots, loud and querulous, compete for the peas pods on the Gungo shrubs.  At least 5 species of birds, chirp, chortle, stutter and sing.

The breeze is lush, and I sit on either of my two verandas and hours pass seamlessly like waves in a still ocean.

At night the croaking lizards hum me to sleep.

I’ve been writing poems.  I’ve been dreaming. I’ve been blessing and helping to heal the world with my thoughts.  I’ve been deeply concerned about the indigent all over the world, but particularly in Jamaica, where it is so easy to leave others behind, despite the jargon of inclusivity.

I do not take my ease and privilege for granted. I share food with those in need when I can. I accept my copiousness, with gratitude.Adinkra-Symbols-and-Meaning

Revisiting My Childhood: Going to the Denbigh

One of the fond memories of my childhood is being taken annual to the Denbigh show by my mother.  We would spend all day in the hot sun, looking at fruits and vegetables and animals, then returned after the sun set, loaded with fruits and plants that Mommy always purchased.

I had not been to a Denbigh show for over twenty-five years, but in memory of my recently deceased mother, and also as part of my newly infused independence spirit, I wanted to see if I would recapture my childhood exuberance.

My niece agreed to take me, and on our way, close to Maypen, Clarendon, the site of Denbigh it began to rain, and that too was a part of my memory– that it always rained at Denbigh.  Sure enough, as we entered the entrance gate, I heard two women talking loudly about how every year it rains at Denbigh and that was a symbol of its blessings.

I don’t remember if the show was organised by parishes when I was a child, but was happy to visit each of the Parishes and see the abundance of fruits and vegetables that are being grown in all of the Parishes.  I enjoyed the displays, was very gratified at the re-purposing of plastic, car tires and other disposable item refashioned and shown how they can be put to good use for home gardening. Mostly what gladden my heart was seeing and sampling the diverse by-products of the many fruits and vegetables. For example, I sampled a juice made from potato and pineapple.  There were numerous hair and facial products, organic and made from home grown products. It has long been said that given the geo-diversity of Jamaica, that if we were to push our agriculture production, we could easily feed the entire Caribbean region, and that was evident at the Denbigh show.

Denbigh lived up to my expectation, especially since I plan to go into farming when I retire from academic life. I can raise two goats, a few chickens and grown the food I love to eat like pumpkin and callalloo and yams. We all need to know how to feed ourselves, and despite what limited space we might occupy each and everyone of us can and should grow something, not just plants and flowers to beauty our home, but some herbs, vegetables and fruit trees. May Denbigh continue to grow and improve and I hope parents will continue to understand its importance and take their children to see and appreciate our food and what we grow.