For #napowrimo poetry challenge day 25, my challenge is to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which I’m from.NaPoWriMo Poetry Challenge Day 25: “Lady Wadadli” — chattinatti
Tag Archives: poetry
by Lehana Simon, 23
Lead me lord I will follow
but not through the bushes and on the roads with crack.
Not through the alleys, 1735, nor the rastaman shack.
Perhaps through the green pastures,
and around the church room?
maybe somewhere real far, like Freetown?
Then again, it’s too soon.
Lead me lord I will go,
but I need to know in advance
because my schedule’s already planned.
These new church shoes can’t be walking on dirt, or in potholes.
Suppose I mash two ants?
I’d destroy their home!
But don’t worry I will go.
Actually, something came up,
how about tomorrow ?
You have called me
at a time that’s extremely inconvenient.
And you have a son that you could’ve sent
‘cause it’s quite obvious that your daughter is busy –
name talking and of course deep sin diving.
The person you’ve called is unavailable,
so please, leave a message after the tone.
As a matter of fact, put down the phone.
I will answer.
As long as you call back later.
And I’ll try my best not to let you speak to the operator
And I’ll try my best not to rush you
But you already know that sermons can’t finish minutes to two.
Lead me lord
Down this path.
This one that doesn’t have any bumps or too many curves,
This one right here that’s paved out already,
the one without the word.
I will go
If I don’t go lord, then who?
Am I to walk the long bitter road in this old tattered shoe?
Cause im empty and im tired
And I’m trying to endure and wait for you.
I’m trying to endure and wait for you.
But Lord, I cant talk like them, walk them, or dress like them of old.
I’m not a product of USC, so cant you see I’m not one you got to mold?
So are you going to leave me here in Tarshish?
To endure all the mess that i’ve built?
Are you gonna leave me here to eat with pigs?
Are you gonna leave me here because of that one small fib?
Can’t you see that I stutter in my sins?
And every last one keeps reoccurring again
And every last one keeps reoccurring again.
And I’m just trying endure and wait for you
But could I endure and wait for you?
ABOUT the poem: “The poem was written with the average Christian, or more specifically SDA Christian in mind. Often times persons may profess to be willing and able to fulfill the great commission – to preach and teach about Jesus, but when the time comes, an array of things get in the way – pride, jealousy, or even other responsibilities and commitments. I wrote the poem to remind myself, and other Christians that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect time to share the gospel’ or behave in a christian manner. Rather, every opportunity should be maximized if we are to truly be disciples.” The poem was second placed in the 18 to 35 age category of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2020 Challenge.
ABOUT the author: Lehana Simon is a 23 year old daughter of the soil. Like many others before her, writing became an avenue for self expression and reflection. Her poems largely revolve around the complexities of being a Gen-Z female Christian, though she would take inspiration from other themes of life. Her goal is to create pieces that reflect the reality around her, and that would resonate with people everywhere.
ABOUT prizes won:
Prizes – Patrons:
EC$250 – Dr. Hazra Medica; Bath and Body gift package – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter)
Each winner is also set to receive a certificate, a selection of books from The Best of Books Bookstore and cultural items from the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda.
For the full breakdown of ‘who won what’, if not linked (yet), use the site’s search feature.
ABOUT Wadadli Pen: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 16 years later. It is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, encouraging writers (and visual artists) in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to create a piece on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. In 2020, there was also an Imagine a Future climate change challenge. To support the work of Wadadli Pen, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please respect the author’s copyright. If you share, excerpt, credit, and link back; do not republish without permission nor without crediting.
by Ian McDonald
The great forests of the world are burning down;
far away in Amazon they burn,
far beyond our eyes the trees are cut
and cleared and heaped and fired.
Ashes fill the rivers for miles and miles;
the rivers are stained with the blood of mighty trees.
Great rivers are brothers of great forests
and immense clouds shadowing the rose-lit waters
are cousins of this tribe of the earth-gods.
Under the ancient watch of the stars
all should be secure and beautiful forever,
dwarfing man, generation after generation after generation,
inspiring man, feeding him with dreams and strength.
But over there it is not so; man is giant
and the forest dwindles; it will soon be nothing –
shrubs sprouting untidily in scorched black earth.
The sun will burn the earth, before now shadowed
for a hundred thousand years, dark and dripping,
hiding jewelled insects and thick-veined plants,
blue-black orchids with white hearts, red macaws,
the green lace of ferns, gold butterflies, opal snakes.
Everything shrivels and dust begins to blow;
it is as if acid was poured on the silken land.
It is far from here now, but it is coming nearer.
Those who love forests also are cut down.
This month, this year, we may not suffer;
the brutal way things are, it will come.
Already the cloud patterns are different each year.
The winds blow from new directions,
the rain comes earlier, beats down harder,
or it is dry when the pastures thirst.
In this dark, overarching Essequibo forest,
I walk near the shining river on the green paths
cool and green as melons laid in running streams.
I cannot imagine all the forests going down,
the great black hogs not snouting for the pulp of fruit,
all this beauty and power and shining life gone.
But in far, once emerald, Amazon the forest dies
by fire, fiercer than bright axes.
The roar of the wind in trees is sweet,
reassuring; the heavens stretch far and bright
above the loneliness of mist-shrouded forest trails,
and there is such a feel of softness in the evening air.
Can it be that all of this will go, leaving the clean-boned land?
I wonder if my children’s children, come this way,
will see the great forest spread green and tall and far
as it spreads now far and green for me.
Is it my imagination that the days are furnace-hot,
the sun-parrots late or not come at all this year?
Ian McDonald is a Guyanese poet and writer of fiction (such as Caribbean classic The Hummingbird Tree) with Antiguan roots. This timely and urgent poem is reprinted here with his permission.
This past week Linisa George posted to the Expressions Poetry in the Pub facebook group, an open mic series that has brought many new voices forth over the past seven years, that they were taking a break. The series is produced by August Rush – a professional and artistic partnership between George and Zahra Airall. But they both need a break to pursue other projects. I can relate and the best answer at such times is, I understand. Below is George’s full message (reposted here with her permission).
Hey Expressions’ Poets, Patrons, Friends and Family,
We know many of you have been waiting with baited breath for the new season of Expressions: ‘Poetry In The Pub’ to begin. We are eternally grateful for the continued support that both performers and audiences have shared. This is why, with a heavy heart, we announce that we have decided to delay Season 8 of our open mic night. We will be embarking on personal creative projects that will prevent us from efficiently managing Poetry In The Pub over the next year.
We’ve been back and forth on the issue as we struggled with whether to bring Poetry In The Pub to a complete end or turn over the franchise to another entity. We started Expressions because we were passionate about developing and exposing the authentic and unique talents of writers, poets, spoken word artists, musicians, visual artists and other creatives that stretch across the island. After 8 years, we are still committed to that goal.
We would like to shout out Shirlette Thomas and her team at Heavenly Java 2 Go for not only providing us with a home for Expressions, but for also going above and beyond our expectations. Java 2 GO has been our home away from home, and the hospitality and support from Shirlette and her staff fuels that comfort. August Rush would also like to thank Fred and the rest of SpillingInk for providing the sound system equipment for Expressions for the past two years.
We would also like to thank EVERY performer that has stepped on stage, especially our regulars who’ve been with us from the beginning. We’ve watched so many of you step up to the mic and find your light and voices. From becoming authors of multiple publications, to gracing the stages locally and regionally, to branching off and developing your own creative initiatives, it brings us immense joy to see each of you flourish. We remain forever committed to supporting and spotlighting your amazingness. To the attentive audience members that show up every month to cheer on the artists in addition to our numerous supporters and private sponsors and donors, you form part of the development of the art and culture scene in Antigua and Barbuda. Your support is invaluable.
Expressions Poetry In The Pub will return on Tuesday 9th October, 2018. During that time our Facebook page and Twitter will remain active sharing literary news and happenings from across the island. Our Expressions: Poetry In The Pub group will remain open to all the blogger, poets, spoken words artists who want to share their work. All three pages will still be managed by us.
Although we will be on hiatus for a year, there are still many opportunities for you to get your creative fix. Please don’t forget to support the Wadadli Pen Open Mic which happens ever 2nd Saturday in the month at The Best of Books Bookstore. Do check out The Captain’s Monthly Wine-tasting & Poetry at the Captain’s Quarters Restaurant & Bar which begins on Wednesday 29th of November, where you can enjoy performances from many of our Expressionists. We are also looking forward to the 5th anniversary of Soothe happening early 2018.
Thank you all for your patience as we made the decision to take this year break. Your understanding is greatly appreciate. We will be back, better than ever, with an even greater experience for everyone.
‘Til then, continue to make loud and beautiful Expressions!!!
Linisa x Zahra
August Rush Productions Co-Founders
The anthology comprises poetry from 26 poets, including Eileene L. Parsons, Patricia Turnbull, Verna Penn Moll, Natalio Wheatley (Sowande Uhuru), Richard Georges, Quincy Lettsome, Traci O’Dea, Joe O’Neill, Adell Semper, Giovanni Herbert, Kamaal Lettsome, Jennie Wheatley, Beverly Donovan, Nia Douglas, Leslie Cramer, Bobbi Fawcett, Tracy A. Christopher, Daiikiru Maximillion (Errol Percival), Lavanta ‘Artful’ Thompson, Brandon Tang, Diana Stewart- Walker, Juana France, Jaedia Smith, Kimberly M. Cordes, April Glasgow and Osario Norman.
Launched in November 2016, it is a product of House of Nehesi Publishers based in St. Martin/St. Maarten. The Where I See the Sun series also includes Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin, published in 2013 and Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla, published in 2015.