Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Quote of the week: Frederick Douglas

I chose to highlight a quote from Mr. Frederick Douglas this week because I can hardly believe that February went by without this blog's recognition of Black History Month. I have been so preoccupied about so many things that I simply forgot the significance of February and in a move to ask for forgiveness I am highlighting a quote from an abolitionist, author, orator, statesman and so much more.

He will forever be linked with Black and American history as the first black man to seek election as a Vice President in America on the same ticket with the first woman to seek the Presidency of the USA.

He was frequently heard to utter the following words: "I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong." but this is not the quote I would like to highlight in this blog.
He had a number of other famous quotes; one which I have often recited myself: "There is no progress without struggle" even before I knew who the orator was and I grew even prouder when I found out who I was actually quoting. But the quote of this week is:
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men"
I think the quote in itself is clear, putting more emphasis on raising our children right than correcting them when they become adults through judicial and prison systems. I think the Bible also mentioned something along those same lines in Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
So many people have sung that song and the message is even true today as we see the breakdown in so many societies across the globe. Let's hope this present generation takes heed and takes time to really train its children...

For more Frederick Douglas quotes
For more Frederick Douglas information


For Nesta: Love Left

Wrote this one last night. I didn't go to carnival this year so I had a lot of free time and just when Carnival was coming to an end, I got an urge to leave the house and run down to Roseau. But instead I chose to open up a box I had next to my bookshelf. Now the bookshelf is filled with books, papers and so many other things that most of the important books, notes, etc never find themselves there. I have been promising to do a general clean up so long that I don't even know where to start now.

Back to the box, I opened it, just to remind myself what I stuffed in there in the first place. Turned out to be a set of letters from an ex-girlfriend. I knew they were in my room, just forget where I stored them. Off course, I started reading them and I must mention that we wrote each other frequently, particularly since she was in NY at the time and emails, web chats and phone calls just didn't suffice.

I remember sitting down on my bed for hours trying to find the right words to convey to her my feelings and sometimes writing five or six-page letters to her. It was a wonderful time for me, to feel loved and to convey my love to her as well. Then the distance creeped in slowly and I could no longer support a long distance relationship, it was all good in the beginning but as with everything else, I soon got tired of having to write, email, chat or call over the phone, I wanted some physical contact and she couldn't give that to me at the time. So I called it off, reluctantly, very reluctantly; it took me months to tell her my decision. I think I did it by email too, not very classy.

I found myself going back through her letters, reminiscing about all that we had gone through and trust me, it was alot, too much to even try to share in this blog; she was/is special to me. So while reading her letters and watching her photos, I started to write her a poem and now I am sharing it with you all.

Love Left
By Delroy "Nesta" Williams

I had Love once
And I let Love go.

Now that I need Love again,
Love is a no show.

If only I could return to the day
That I let Love slip away.

I would have said different things,
I would have given Love my ring.

But today, I sit in bed in full reminiscence,
Wishing for Love’s caring presence,

But all I have is painful memory and regret
Of the day Love left.


But all is well as I remember this quote from Samuel Butler: "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all."

Friday, February 20, 2009

Man of my word

One of my favourite videos and one a message that i try to follow: being a man of my word.

The artist is Sanjay, a Jamaican dancehall artist, and although he didn't really like the black and white effect of the director he soon learned to love it. I cant imagine the video in a better way, the black and white accentuates the video and brings out the message so well. He also has another touching video called Lonely but that one is for the heartbroken or persons seeking love.

Hope everyone enjoys the video and even more takes something from the positive message.


Quote of the week: Osho

I came across this quote via a website ( that sends me daily tips, quotes, hints, suggestions, etc. I usually put some of those quotes as my sign in name on my msn or yahoo messenger, at least when it pertains to me or says something that i believe is true.

This week's quote of the week was sent to me some time ago by this website (January 26, 2009) and for some reason i didnt delete it after i read it, which is my normal response. Today i was going through my emails and came across it today and so decided to share it on my blog. The quote is by Osho, an Indian who had several name changes during his lifetime. He was a spiritual leader, educator and sometime controversial critic, especially when he spoke out against organized religion and other leaders like Ghandi.

He was also known for outlining his own "Ten Commandments" although he mentioned that he was against any kind of commandment:

Never obey anyone's command unless it is coming from within you also.
There is no God other than life itself.
Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
Love is prayer.
To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
Life is now and here.
Live wakefully.
Do not swim – float.
Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.

For more on Osho

Now for the quote of the week:

That which can be taken away by death is worthless to accumulate. Accumulate something that death cannot destroy.

I guess what he is saying is riches, possessions shouldn't be the goal of man because we cant really take it into the after life but that as well is controversial since he didn't really believe in the after life from his commandment "Life is here and now" and even if you accumulate that which you think death can't be taken away, you can never truly be sure because you are dead and i'm sure there are people who died with good names and characters only to have it sullied after.

Anyways, i am in no real position to critic his quotes or beliefs, but just sharing my thoughts.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Many Moods of My Love: Beyond Comparison

The young, up and coming poets of Dominica put on a show to remember last night at the Alliance Francaise before an appreciative crowd. Poetry writing in the island state has been a underground activity and finally some persons where able to showcase their writing abilities because of the National Youth Council and Free Expressions Poetry Company initiative.

There were a number of memorable moments and despite no PA system, the show had a real romantic feeling with cupids, hearts, balloons and other decorative pieces setting the perfect ambiance for the performance of love poems.

I can still hear the laughter, cheer and finger snapping of the crowd as they were wooed by the competitors, guest poets and especially during the open mic. Ameka Cognet's delivery of Silent Words for My Valentine and Delroy Williams' plea "Can I?" were clear crowd pleasers.

Poetry, if promoted properly, surely has a place within the small performing arts world in Dominca and all should be done to harness the talents and writing skills of the emerging generation of young poets and story tellers.

The show, however, was to display the works from the competition, The Next Great Love Poem, and Kamarsha Sylvester won with her piece Beyond Comparison, with Ameka Cognet's Silent Words for My Valentine in second place and Lien Philogene's Expression's of Love taking third place.

So here is the piece from Miss Sylvester, winner of the Competition:

You’re the sun baby; you surpass the others by far
For you’re way brighter than any ordinary star
As a matter of fact, they could never be on par
Cuz you’re like a Rolls Royce amongst the Hondas
If you were a plant, you’d be a black rose
Rare and precious like pure gold
And if you were a farm, you’d be the Garden of Eden
For you’re so perfect, man you’re God-given
It’s said that there are Seven Wonders of the World but I’ve proven them wrong
For there’s actually eight, and baby you’re number one
And if you were music, you’d be soul
The only genre that forms part of mans whole
You’re like a beautiful dove in the company of pigeons
As a result it’s impossible for you to blend in
For you’re way superior, ooh you’re a perfect ten
Unequalled, incomparable, mmm, mmm, mmm that’s my man!

I was hoping she was talking about me but it wasnt so...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Father failed me

No, this isn't a blog post or poem about my father or his adventures during my youth, but it is a call to authorities that be to look at the situation of the sons of our soil (Dominica) because there is a very serious social issue that is not giving enough or any substantial attention. So last night while reading a book I came across a line that spoke out to me and immediately I grabbed pen and paper, which is always conveniently next to the bed (never know when a good idea pops up in the middle of the night) and as usual the thoughts just flowed.

This poem isn't really about internalized thoughts or experiences as is with a lot of the other poems that I have written because although my father left a lot to be desired from his parenting skills, he did do a very good job with no experience with the task at hand and he only once chance to get it right. Yes, I consider myself an only child, well at least I was an only child during my childhood (on my father's side... he only had two other children when I was already grown 21 or 22).

I didn't come out too bad but I can be described as one of the lucky ones because there are thousands of young men here who havent escaped and have fallen through the cracks of our inadequate social system. There are a number of reasons why these young men seem to falter through childhood unto adulthood but that will probably be examined later on in another post, but I would like to share this poem, written last night:

Father Failed Me

They should have noticed
the silence before the storm
and now the silence has returned
after the tempest's destruction
souls hardened, veins cold, eyes constricted
yes, absentee father, your planted this seed

Killing all hope
dream-dazed, dreams choked
reality all up in a blaze
no water to quench the fire's thirst
for father has failed
and now son is worst

Prison record passed
from father to son
not hard work, commitment or patience
lifelines of generations past
but rash, harsh words
scarring the soul
As the world turns

Sons slipping beyond rescue
everyday the situation compounded
society dumbfounded
no answers to the questioned posed
where to start? where to look?
to the "wine"; to the rope
as his last, best hope

too late, too late
society has sealed his fate
and now mother cries
because mother tried
while father hides

by Delroy "Nesta" Williams

Saturday, February 7, 2009

quote of the week: hellen keller

The quote for this week comes from Hellen Keller and it speaks for itself. She even spoke for herself too as a deafblind activist and author.

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

Hellen Keller

For more information on Hellen Keller click here
and for more of her quotes

Friday, February 6, 2009

untitled poem

This poem is untitled, not for any real reason but i just wanted to have an untitled poem, lol. Well actually i wanted to name it after the girl it was written for but now i think i will just keep it a mystery for certain readers of my blog know who she is...

Maybe one day
when I'm old and gray,
I'll comprehend
but right now I am confused,
and can no longer pretend.
Maybe when
I'm sitting in my rocking chair
it will all make sense.
Now it's all foreign to me,
although you speak in my mother's tongue
your words just sound so wrong.
for when I hold your hand
I feel it in my heart,
more and more reason
why I can't understand.
And now it's affecting my health,
I can't eat, can't sleep
night after night...week after week.
I close my eyes, I see your face
wake up at nights
longing, hoping, wishing
for your warm embrace,
this reality should be the dream
for this can't be what it seems.

by Delroy "Nest@" Williams

maybe someone can give me an appropriate title

Back on Air

Well I am back doing my radio guest spots on Kairi FM as co-host on the Environment and Sustainable Development program of the Environment Coordinating Unit, Ministry of Health.

The host and my good friend, Jahisiah Benoit, recently returned on vacation from studies in China and we have gotten the program back on track. Over the past three weeks we have tackled topics such as biodiversity and organic agriculture and hope to discuss climate change, global warming and other such issues.

The program is held on every thursday evening from 7:15 to 8:15pm and every saturday afternoon from 2:00 to 3:00pm eastern caribbean time.

If you are in Dominica then you can listen at Kairi's frequencies either 88.7, 107.9, 93.1 and 99.1 in total FM stereo and overseas based persons can listen via the website at

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hold the bull by the horn? yea right

This is the part of the job that I can do without, well at least I could have done without on Tuesday afternoon. For those who don't know I am an agricultural extension officer in Dominica and my role is to provide support and technical services to farmers among many others and I specialize in crop production and project writing/management.

There is this clause, however, in the job description that says that an officer may be asked to undertake other tasks, from time to time, that are not mentioned in his job description. Oh how I hate this clause, particular when it deals with delivering veterinary services to animals, well not all animals, just cattle.

I am a small bodied individual of only about 140 pounds, okay okay, 135 pounds but I sometimes believe that I am the "Iincredible HULK." Why on God's green Earth do I think that I can tackle a 500 - 750 pound bull/cow is beyong me. Let me explain:

The Amblyomma tick situation within the Grand Bay catchment (south of Dominica) has been identified as an area of significant infestation and as a member of the Southern Agricultural Region I am called on, from time to time (hear it is again) to assist the veterinary officer in delivering ambulatory services to animals, particular cows which are most affected by the tick.

I have already had some bad experiences with cattle, well one bad experience, I was pulled, well actually dragged by a bull when I got tangled up in its rope a few years aback when we were working in the Grand Coulibri area doing surveillance.

But on Tuesday we were not doing any surveillance, in fact we were at a staff meeting when a farmer requested that we treat his animal, not for ticks but just a vacinnation. So being the nice person that I am, I decided to assist the veterinary officer. Everything went smooth with the first cow, well actually it was a calf.

Then comes the bull, lol, I am still laughing when I think of what happened. Okay so the bull started to misbehave, so we strapped it by the rope unto a papaya tree (why we thought a papaya tree could retrain a 750lb bull is beyond me). The bull then circled the tree a few times to really restrict its movement so I felt that all was clear and that it would put up limited resistance.

I grabbed the bull and held it by the nose ling or nose ring (not too sure what is the correct spelling) which is a tool used to subdue cattle by holding them in their nose. So the bull dipped it head to eat some grass and I felt in total control but everything changed suddenly. The vet officer then proceeded to inject the animal, which off course startled the bull. I know some of you are probably saying poor bull, but what happened next can only be described as unlucky me.

The bull then jerked its head forward and the horns hit me right in my left arm. A shot of electricity ran through my body and all I could do was run for my life. I ran towards a river, full of pain, screaming away, the bull just behind me but thanks God it wasn't really chasing me else I would have gotten really hurt. I started to tremble when I reached the river, sat down on a hot rock in the blazing hot sun but that was the least on my worries. I could hardly stand straight, I just sat down, head woozy, feeling helpless but all the time with the vet and farmers trying to calm me down.

I assured them that I would be alright (after a few choice words) and then I made my way back to the vehicle all weak and in pain. After all the calamity, we left and now all I have to show for my efforts is a night of pain and a red scar on my left bicep muscles. Oh and off course, my coworker bought me a Carib beer, lol.

Never me again...


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Poetry session at Bath Estate

I (the one in red and black below) haven't performed any of my poems since the National Literary Festival in Dominica last year, not because i was keeping away from performances but the timing of the sessions always coincided with some other activity that i had to do.

This time it did clash with a calypso show, but i decided that since it was in my home community that i couldnt shy away from performing and i was glad that i had the opportunity to share my craft with fellow poets, community members and onlookers.

The crowd started rather small but very appreciative and grew as the night got darker and at the end we had what could be referred to as a full house, although we were actually in the yard of Mrs. Shawna Johnson, fellow poet and our hostess for the night.

My second showing of the night went alot better than the first, by that time i had gotten over my nerves and after seeing performances by Alpha Dennis and others had grown in confidence and just let my poems out much to the delight of the crowd. My first time in front of the crowd i delivered more reflective poetry (see timely reflections in a previous post) and the second time around i delivered two of my favourite love poems.

But the night wasn't about me, it was about developing a friendship with other poets, some of whom i had already known and others very new to me. I can still picture Miss Kimasha Sylvester performing Eat It, a piece that recieved a standing ovation and an encore performance. It had the crowd laughing and calling out for more. Overall, the ambiance was very good with our hostess going above and beyond showering the crowd with jokes, gifts and even her own thoughtful poems.

I'm so looking forward to the next one, which isn't that far away because i am coordinating the competition and poetry show dubbed "The Next Great Love Poem" and all indicators point to a successful outcome.

Poetry performance is not a mainstream event in Dominica but that may not be for very long if we, present crop of up and coming poets, have our way, be on the look out...