Monday, November 26, 2012

Mr. Lonely


by Delroy Nesta Williams

You disappear then reappear just like magic
And it's so tragic what you do to my heart
I got so much love for you
But the situation is tearing me apart
How did our love wither so fast?
I can't understand what went wrong
Woke up one morning and you're gone
No longer the head of this home
The captain of my ship
Leaving this sailor to sit and just weep
As he faces rough seas by his lonesome
Unchartered waters is too much of a burden
Come back to me please
I need your affection to set my mind at ease
Those playful moments, those quiet nights
Calmed my soul; everything seemed so right
Where did I go wrong?
I need someone to point out the moment
So I could go back in time and correct it
Things aren't the same without you
Took losing you to see how much I do love you
I admit that it was probably my fault
So many thoughts filling my mind
I'm in constant state of depression,
And it’s killing me on the inside
The life of a loner is destined for me
Can't distinguish the forest from the trees
I can see us together, forever
But it's out of my hands
Just like an oasis in the desert
It’s only a mirage
One step forward but two steps back
Love wasn't meant for me
So love, please do me a favour
Just leave me lonely... 

To be continued...



Sunday, November 25, 2012

A gift for Junie


by Delroy Nesta Williams

Mr. Lazare kept inviting me over to his house; it had become our weekly ritual. At first, he would simply give me a few chores to do and give me a wage but recently we talked a lot more. He told me about his pursuits in England, how he fought in World War II, worked in a train station and married a beautiful “English Rose” before returning to Dominica in 1975 because he could no longer bear the cold weather.

“I came back to Gros Michel to live out my last days,” he often said. “There was no reason for me to stay in England anymore.” I later found out that his wife had passed away after a horrific car accident a few years before he came back to Dominica and the “rum assisted in his grieving,” as he often put it.

There was a lot more to Mr. Lazare than I had ever imagined, he had become more than just a neighbour to me now. We would often read books together and he even allowed me to play his recorder. But it was his stories of the war, England and his advice that I respected most. I could almost imagine myself besides him in pursuit of the Nazis or taking cover when his camp was being bombarded with enemy fire. He even showed me a bullet wound, in his right shoulder. The bullet had damaged the tendons and muscles in his should which made it almost impossible for him to carry any load. He made the war sound horrific but still very exciting.

He had lied about his age so that he could have gotten recruited, having ended up in England without a birth paper or any documents.

I also remembered him telling me how he won the love of Mrs. Lazare, when he was in the mood to talk. He told me how he would spend hours at the train station just waiting for her to pass by for a few seconds. He would wait at the Southampton Central Railway at precisely 3:00 p.m. every day when he knew she would make an appearance, albeit for a few minutes before the train came and whisked her away.

He would put his pipe in his mouth, draw in some tobacco, take a sip of his drink and commence a dramatic description of her school days and how she looked so smartly dressed in her uniform.

“Young man,” he would say, “she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and I still haven’t seen anyone as beautiful as her in my eighty five years of existence.” He was much younger than that though, as I found out later. He wasn’t one to share his actual age.

“She was a lot younger than me but that didn’t matter at all, I just loved how she looked so positive, so royal in her uniform. It’s almost like she expected the world to lay down a red carpet for her, but not in an obnoxious way, she walked with the grace of the Queen of England herself, but was still very polite.”

“Once, I had deliberately bumped into her and even before I could offer an apology, she was already requesting my forgiveness. She then smiled at me while leaving, I was more in love with her after that,” he continued.

Today, I had my own issues of the heart though and maybe it showed a lot more than I had imagined. But then again, Mr. Lazare could always read my mind.

“Young man, what’s wrong? You seem so distant” he asked.

“Nothing ner,” I replied.

“We speak the Queen’s English in this house,” he remarked, “and I can tell that you’re lying. Talk to me, son.”

I could tell that he was sober, that was the only time he stressed on the proper use of English. He could care less when he was under the influence.

“It’s a girl,” I said softly.

“I can tell, it could only be a girl.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s written all over your face, L-O-V-E: love,” he said pointing to my forehead, “you’re glowing like a firefly on a dark night. But I still see trouble in your eyes.”

“It’s my girlfriend; her birthday is coming up soon.”

“Girlfriend,” he said surprisingly, “How old are you?”

“Sixteen,” I confidently replied.

“Oh, that’s the same age that I had my first girlfriend and my first kiss too,” Mr. Lazare said as he gazed away, “I was still in Dominica back then. So what’s the problem?”

“Well………..” I mumbled.

“If you want my help then you need to speak up.”

“I want to get her a gift but I don’t have any money and I still don’t know what she would like.”

“Then you do have a problem!”

“Yes sir.”

“So when was she born?

“June 17”

“And do you know what her birthstone is?”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t they teach anything in school these days?” he remarked, “A birthstone is a precious gemstone that symbolizes the birth month of someone in the Gregorian calendar. It is usually associated with character.”

“Gregor what?

“Gregorian Calendar,” he said distinctly, “it is the calendar that we use today, January to December; it wasn’t always the calendar”

“It wasn’t?”

“No boy, no, it was introduced by Pope Gregory long ago but that’s a different story. If she was born in June then her birthstone would be the same as my wife, she was born in June too.”

“Okay.”

“Wait here, I have something that you can give to her.”

I could hear Mr. Lazare rummaging through his room; the chest of drawers I imagined. I had never been inside his room, it was his private sanctuary. Things were been shifted, falling on the wooden floor.

“What could it be?” I wondered, “Did it have to do with the birthstone?

Mr. Lazare spent about ten more minutes before he reappeared, sweat all over his forehead.

“May I have a glass of water?” he politely asked. He looked liked he would drop down dead any moment if I wasn’t quick enough.  

“What was he doing in there?” I thought to myself, “he looks like he just revisited World War II.” The only difference is he had no war apparel, no rifle and he had a big grin from ear to ear.

“What’s with the smile?

“I found it”

“What?” I asked eager to find out.

“Before I hand it over to you, you have to promise me that you will do it justice, give it to this Junie girl only if you truly love her. I gave it to my wife for her birthday over twenty years ago,” He said as his voices continued to break up, “I’m passing it on to you because I don’t have much time left here and I can see you truly like this girl. I can see the same passion I had when I first met my wife in you.”

“Thank you, I promise but what is it?” I asked reluctantly, not wanting to anger him with my impatience.

“I’m getting to that, don’t rush me.” I could see it was hard for him. “This is a necklace, touched with Alexandrite. I got the stone from a villager in Russia when I was fighting the war. I had it formed into a necklace in England for my wife’s birthday. I think she would want me to pass it on to someone I trust. She would approve.”

“Thank you but may I ask you a question?”

“Yes, you may.”

“What exactly is Alexandrite?” I asked reluctantly, “Is it the birthstone?”

“Oh yes, it is. But there’s more to it than just that.”

“More?”

“Yes, put on the light bulb,” he said, “and see the magic as it happens.” To my amazement the rock changed colour from green to red.

“Oh, I see, now I’m sure Junie will like that.” Mr. Lazare just smiled and sat down.

“Something’s wrong?” I asked

“No, no, I’m just tired but you remind me so much of myself when I was a young boy”

“Me?”

“Yes, boy, you… I am sure you will make a fine young man one day, your mother will be proud.” And with that Mr. Lazare leaned back into his rocking chair, put his pipe into his mouth and picked up a book.

“What are you reading?’ I asked.

“Oh it’s nothing, just some Shakespeare.”

“Oh I know Shakespeare,” I replied proudly, “we study him in Literature classes, but he writes funny. I never understand him”

“Maybe you should read it funny then,” Mr. Lazare said as he gave a wry grin and continued reading. I could tell he no longer wanted to be disturbed so I moved to the shelf and picked up a book too.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m taking a book; I want to read Shakespeare too.”

“Okay, well read then.”

I didn’t really want to read, I was just looking for a comment or two from him but he was so enthralled in his reading that he wouldn’t budge from his rocking chair even if I had caught the house on fire. After pretending to read for about ten minutes, I decided to leave, it was getting late and I didn’t want my mother screaming her guts out at me again; I had heard enough of that to last me a lifetime. I picked up the necklace; it felt so cool in between my fingers, like it was being stored in a refrigerator. The gemstones kept changing colours.

“Junie going an love me for that wii,” I thought to myself. Mr. Lazare made my day, my month, and my teenage years. I would always be a part of her life now; she would remember that moment all her life. It was going to be perfect; she would tell it to her children and her children’s children. I was going to be a part of her history, forever etched in her memory. But almost on cue, I was brought back to earth by Mr. Lazare.

“Don’t get ahead of yourself young man; it’s only a gift,” he said, “but it’s still a special gesture.”

“I know, I know,” I replied, while not trying to give away the excitement bubbling within my stomach.

Mr. Lazare was too smart for that though; he saw clearly what was going on. I was getting ahead of myself but he wanted me to be humble and modest about the gift.

“I have to head home now, it’s getting late,”

“I know, just lock the gate when you are out the yard,” he joked. I had to give a soft laugh because the gate didn’t keep anyone out; half of the fence was missing. I don’t think he worried too much about the villagers entering his yard or his house. It looked dilapidated from the street. The residents of Gros Michel had no idea of the treasures that he possessed within those rundown walls. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

the Roseau Youth Centre Declaration... the ORANGE DAY SYMPOSIUM

If you're a follower of my blog then you would know that i am a big proponent of ORANGE DAY and also write a lot about various issues and particular, Domestic Violence and Abuse. Over the past few months we have raised awareness, on and around the 25th day of every month, about these two issues and today came the closure of this round of activities. We ended with a youth symposium on "The Role of Youth in Curbing Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women and Young Girls. A number of issues were raised at the symposium and statements made but principle among them was the declaration, which showed the intent of the youth present to work towards curbing the issue of domestic violence and all forms of violence. 

This is a copy (photo) of the Declaration that was signed (my signature is there too, somewhere) by young people in Dominica as it relates to "the role of youth in curbing domestic violence and violence against women and girls...




Also find below a copy of the Agenda (my name is there somewhere) of the day's proceedings which was organized by the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Mr Dalton Maronie and Miss Natasha Jervier, in collaboration with the Youth Development Division of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.



Hats off to them on a very successful initiative as this augers well for our youth, especially if given the opportunity to implement the number of activities/initiatives that were suggested during the day's proceedings.

We also had a special/secret visit by the Secretary General of CARICOM, Mr. Irwin Larocque, who just happened to be in his homeland Dominica during that period and stopped by to discuss with the young people. It was a welcomed surprise.






Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leandra Lander presents... Mam's Advice

Earlier tonight I attended the 2012 Independence Literary Competition Prize Giving Ceremony, where I received the first prize for the Short Story category. But this post isn't about me or my prize, au contraire, I want to highlight a pleasant surprise that took place at the ceremony though.

We were graced with Carnival royalty... Miss Leandra Lander, who won Dominica's Carnival Queen Show a few years ago, along with a number of regional crowns was present at the ceremony. She wasn't there as a mere onlooker but she had actually participated in the English Poetry Category. She came 2nd in that category and graced the podium reciting the poem "Mam's Advice." I actually made a video of the performance, albeit on my blackberry, so don't expect HD quality.

Below is the recital, do enjoy:

video

Sunday, November 11, 2012

First place

boys playing cricket in the streets
Remember this time last year I posted about coming  second in the Independence short story competition in Dominica with my piece "Hair On My Chest" well guess what? This year I came first with another chapter from my soon to be released book "David and I." 

This time I entered "Cricket in the Streets" a short story that I had already published on my blog... but i changed the ending to suit the criteria of the competition.

I am so elated to win this competition. The prize giving ceremony will be held soon, hopefully I can get some photos or even a video to post in here as well...

I also submitted a poem "Walking Away" for the poetry segment but didn't win, still I am not disappointed and will continue submitting my poetry until I do win... I will continue to write as long as i have the strength and inspiration to do so... I love writing... 

I'm currently working on so many different stories all at the same time, hoping to complete all so very soon...

Here is a status report for those who follow my blog:

David and I - novel (70% complete)
Untitled Children's book (50% complete)
Moods and Attitudes - book of poetry (90% complete) to be released during Easter 2013
The Escape - short story (40% complete) to be released in the summer of 2013

Keep checking my blog for updates and short clips from the books...

Friday, November 2, 2012

Female Condom Anyone?

Every year, the Nature Island of the Caribbean, Dominica hosts a month long celebration of its independence and creole culture. Key among these events are the World Creole Music Festival and the Creole in the Park. These are two of the more popular activities during the months of October/November, depending on how the November 3rd date falls. November 03rd being the date for official recognition of Independence from Great Britian.

As has become customary, I always find myself at the Creole In The Park as I work at the Botanical Gardens where it is held. I have also made it a habit to have some memorable happenings while feasting on creole music, food and culture. This year, I wanted to have a low-key participation and as such I stayed away from much frolicking and drinking; I did however manage to witness a female condom demonstration by a friend of mine. She explained how to rip the wrapper, insert the condom and also a few tricks in initiate "feelings" among both the men and women... All in all, our trip to the Planned Parenthood booth was to say the least "inspiring" Let's see if i manage to have any children after this.

Check out the video I made of my friend, Kenitta Dorival, demonstration how to insert the female condom into the vagina. This is not for the faint at heart of the hypocrites...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a new offering... true story... Untitled R&B

forgot to post this in here the other day:


This is a true story
The pen jus seemed to grab my hand
Some things I just can't understand
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow
In the end it will all make sense:

Untitled (R&B)

How you waited till I wrote you my love letter
To tell me we can't be together
From awakening my soul with hugs and kisses
To breaking me into a million bits and pieces
My world turned upside down in a matter of minutes
I had guarded my feelings for so long
Until you came along
I took a risk opening up to you like no other
But in the end all you've managed to do was expose my deepest fears
And now for the first time in so many years
Girl, you've got me shedding tears
I was already planning my future around you
Thought our love was shared, thought it was true
I accepted your daughter as mine
Loved her like she came from my own blood line
I loved you with all your flaws
Because that's just what true love does
Takes the good with the bad, hoping for the best
Now my mind will never be at rest
Wondering what I could have done different
A tender touch by here, a phone call by there?
All these questions plaguing my mind
All these emotions of the troubling kind
Wish I could smile but all that comes out is this lowly sigh
I couldn't even utter a word when you said goodbye
So shocked I was at what just transpired
Like the boss walked into my office to say I was fired
From this job I've looked for all my life
I really thought you would have been my wife
I wanted you to be the last one that I would ever love
Until I depart this earth to meet the maker up above
All I feel now is hurt and depressed
Because I don't want anybody else
I will grow to accept that you're gone
What's done, is done
I'm prepared to grow old n lonely
If you're not the one for me,
Then who can it be?
You seemed so perfect for me