PETER JAILALL – Poet

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Peter Jailall is a teacher, poet and storyteller. He has read his poetry in schools, libraries and universities across North America, the United Kingdom and the Caribbean. A graduate of the University of Toronto ( B.Ed., M.A.), Peter is an avid supporter of human rights and social values as well as an advocate of  environmental protection. Peter has published several books, This Healing Place 1993, Yet Another Home 1997, When September Comes 2003, all of these published by Natural Heritage. His book Mother Earth: poems for her children is due to be published in September 2009 by In Our Words Inc.

He was a finalist for a Mississauga Arts Award in the category of Established Literary Artist. He is currently a volunteer with CUSO-VSO as a teacher- trainer in Guyana. Peter lives in Mississauga with his wife Sabi and their two sons Dave and Nari. He enjoys gardening during the summer.


 

FRUIT SELLER 

by Peter Jailall

Sumintra sits patiently

On her wooden peerha

Under the spreading neem tree,

Near Mahaica big bridge,

Where the river bends

And the road curves,

Selling the beset tropical fruits

Grown in the land.

 

Smooth, round, brown sapodilllas.

Short, sweet, yellow fig bananas.

White and purple star apples,

Juice running down you elbows me buddy.

Rattling green avocados.

Yellow spice mangoes.

Beautiful red cashews,

Insides white like candy floss.

Huge watermelons sounding,

Kangsing sweeter than tassa drumming.

 

Sumintra awaits the arrival

Of the minibus and the speedboat

On the other side of the world,

Far away from Big Market.

 

THIS AND OTHER INSIGHTFUL POEMS

CAN BE READ IN PETER JAILALL’S

CO-AUTHORED BOOK

PEOPLE OF GUYANA

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

 

 

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MIDDLEROAD PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHED BY MIDDLEROAD PUBLISHERS


RACING WITH THE RAIN (2012) by Ken Puddicombe

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JUNTA (2014) by Ken Puddicombe

Front Cover of Junta A Novel by Ken Puddicombe


DOWN INDEPENDENCE BOULEVARD AND OTHER STORIES (2017) by Ken Puddicombe


PERFECT EXECUTION AND OTHER STORIES (2017) by Michael Joll

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PEOPLE OF GUYANA by Ian McDonald and Peter Jailall (2018)

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DANCING MY WAY TO 80 (2019 Private Publication) by Doris Naraine

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WITNESSES AND OTHER STORIES (2019) by Raymond Holmes

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INSPECTOR MASTERS INVESTIGATES PERSONS OF INTEREST (2019) by Michael Joll

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FOR BOOKS PUBLISHED BY MIDDLEROAD PUBLISHERS

GO TO

www.middleroadpublishers.ca

 

Rena Graefner: Poet/ Writer

Rena Flannigan was born in Scotland and many years ago moved to fill her childhood dream to live in Canada.  Her biggest success was becoming the speed skating champion of Scotland and Great Britain.  She became the Canadian Champion at Kempenfeldt Bay, Barrie in 1964.  Always athletic, she was a good tennis player and skier. Later, she found her niche on the dance floor winning trophies for Latin and Ballroom dancing.  Rena was a tailoress, a teacher of Fashion and Design, and she became the Vice-Principal of a private designing school.  These were followed by a career as a Tour Guide and Manager, her all-time favourite occupation.  Now she is learning how to use a computer and wants to be a writer of various genres.

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SPRING, WHERE ARE YOU?

Snowdrops appear

Their bell heads waving in the breeze

There is no sound of ringing

Are they sad because

The April showers are not here

To give them a drink?

Instead of April showers

Bringing the flowers

There are snowflakes

Dancing in the wind

Enough to cover the snowdrops

Holding back other colourful buds

The trees once again have branches of white

There should be green all around

Snow is for winter

It is now Spring, but it is hard to tell

A white carpet covers everything

It is all over the grass and flower beds

Are the buds on the trees also confused?

Are they hiding, waiting for the sun

To warm them and welcome them

To please the souls

Of the winter’s weary people?

Will it end soon is a question we all ask

To see a blue sky during the day

Lifts the spirits and hopes high

The night falls

So does the snow – again

This is not supposed to happen

It is April not bitter winter

Mother Nature fooled us

No snow when it should have been here

Summer in January.  Some days

Shirt sleeve weather,

The climate is so confused

Upside down and back to front

Even the sun is hiding

Above the grey clouds

No warmth can we feel in the air

To lift our spirits out of the doldrums

We must think positive

Spring will come . . . it must.

 



 

nature red forest leaves

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

WHAT IS THERE TO BE THANKFUL FOR ?
The time has come . . .
For the leaves of brown
To come tumbling down
The trees of gold are ablaze in the sun
Telling us that summer is nearly done
The colours of Autumn are always so special
Beauty surrounds us at every turn
We mortals will die and never return
But nature sleeps until there’s warmth in the sun
In the meantime the crisp air of winter will come
To nip our noses
To kill the roses
To transform the scene with a blanket of snow
All is not lost as time changes colours
In spring buds will reappear
The flowers will grow in a multitude of blossoms
And, once again, all is right with the world.

All they have to do is say first thing in the morning, I am alive, I will make the best of today. I can get up and move around which is more than millions of people in this world can do. For this, I am thankful.
Go to the bathroom for morning ablutions and be glad they have a toilet, and they do not need to go to the bushes like millions of people who will never know what a flush toilet is, or have running water from a tap so they can take a shower or make their morning coffee.
Even if they don’t have a lot of money they can go to the grocery store to buy food and eat while millions don’t know if they will ever eat again – and often don’t. To have a roof over their head and a stove to cook on, when others are still using outdoor fires with antiquated utensils to cook with, if they do manage to get food, much of what has been found in rubbish dumps. Not to have to huddle in doorways on the street for shelter, or beg for handouts from passers by. For this, they should be thankful.
Hard as life can be for many among us if they think about these things then maybe they will start to look around and realise how fortunate they are. Maybe they will see the marvellous colours of the trees in autumn, the beauty of spring and the smell of fragrant flowers as they emerge from the buds. Even if they find winter chills them to the bone, will they not look at the beautiful trees covered in snow and wonder at Natures handiwork in creating such beauty with ice crystals? There is so much to be grateful and thankful for it is hard to define it all.
Good health, good friends and family, people who care for them and encourage them to live each day and who look forward to being with them. Finding pleasure being with such friends. If a person hibernates at home, alone, it is a sure thing they will only be morose and no fun for others to be around. They might even stagnate by being so much alone. Do they not understand that having friends gives them something to look forward to and that they can be glad and thankful to have such people in their lives? So many people in this world have no one so to have good friends and family is a big bonus to be happy about.
To grow up in a warm family home, to study and find a good job with a reasonable income. Maybe eventually marry and have their own family, even to lose a spouse which is one if the hardest things to do. To reflect and be thankful for the happiness shared knowing that their departed spouse does not want them to be alone or unhappy.
Truly, there is so much to be happy about, just to be able to do anything, no matter how trivial it might be, to share it with friends is a blessing in itself. To bring a smile to a stranger, hoping it makes their day, and that they in turn will share a smile with someone else. Because they gave away a smile -just about the cheapest thing a person can give and share. It costs nothing but can do so much to lift a person’s moral and spirit to set them on a happier path for the rest of the day. Even a pat on the back or a handshake can be stimulating to someone else. Someone who maybe needs that warm touch to make them feel better just when they need it most.
So once again, I pose the question, what is there to be thankful for? If you don’t know by now then sadly, you never will! Life is such a short span to enjoy, be thankful that you had the opportunity.
Rena Flannigan Words 848 October 11, 2012



 

STORMS AND GALES

Outside the window the wind blows fiercely
The trees bend to the whim of the gale
On the quayside ropes are straining
Against the metal bollards
Holding the old wooden boats secure
They will not sail on this wild night

Maybe not even on the ‘morrow
Creaking and straining at the ropes that bind them
They will heave and pull but find no release
The sails are furled ‘till morning light
No one will climb the mast or stand in the Crow’s Nest
There is nothing to see far off in the dark

When the boats came to the dock what did they carry.
Cargos of gold and silver from far away lands
Bartered jewels for a foreign Queen’s crown
Did slaves row the boats – men tied deep in their bowels?
Were they captured and their life stolen away
To be sold in a foreign land from a public square?

Where people would stare as future owners poked and prodded
Checking their teeth as if they were horses
Shackled ankles, chains on their wrists
With iron collars around their necks
Chains tying them to the next man
Taken to plantations for the rest of their lives

While the drunks became the King’s Men
Men dying of thirst to drink a tankard of beer
Being mindful to watch for the King’s shilling
Deep in the bottom of the glass
Not seen until the beer was done
Too late Mate, we’ve got you now

The wiser men checked the tankards bottom
They had no intention of sailing as crew
Knowing the terrible life on board those boats
Seeing a shilling through the glass the navy grabbed them
Destiny set them to sail the Seven Seas
Even in wild winter gales, but not this night.

Rena Flannigan Words 302 December 12, 2018



 

Janet Naidu -Poet

Janet Naidu was born in Covent Garden, Guyana, a rural village close to the sugar plantations of Farm and Diamond.  Janet comes from humble beginnings—her father worked as a cane cutter and her mother sold greens in the village and in the market place.  She, along with her seven siblings assisted their parents in earning extra income.

Janet has made Canada her home since 1975. In 1973, two of her poems appeared in a small booklet called Heritage. After writing sporadically over the years, her first collection of poems, Winged Heart (1999) was short-listed for the Guyana Prize for Literature, poetry category.  Her other two collections include Rainwater (2005) and Sacred Silence (2009). Her poems capture themes of uprooted movements, nostalgic memories, resettlement, feminism, resilience and survival. Her writings also include essays of cultural and historical themes. Janet Naidu (4)
Her poetry and writings have appeared in news media, online publications, anthologies, referenced in books on Indo Caribbean themes and in the Women’s Journal of the University of the West Indies.

Janet obtained a BA from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of London, UK.


Janet, thanks for taking the time to do this interview for my readers. I’d like to focus on your collection Rainwater, in addition to your writing, in general.

Q. At what age did you start to write? What do you remember writing about? Does that writing still exist today?

A. As a teenager I sold greens in the village with my mother and had a notepad to write down credit given to the villagers. I used to also make little sketches and writings at the back pages when I waited for people to purchase items in our baskets. But most significantly, I started writing to pen pals around the world after posting my name and address in a pen pal magazine. I had pen pals from New Zealand, England, Germany, Japan, Pakistan, USA and many other countries. It was during this time, I entered into writing to pen pals around the world, telling them about my family life at home, and life in Guyana. I used to get creative, talking about simple things in the village, like when the sugar cane would burn and the cane dust would come through our windows. I made it sound exciting. Living in Canada, I am often taken back to that time when I was care free and thoughts of the natural world flowed so greater then. This reflection continues to influence my writing.

Continue reading

STORY OF THE MONTH

NOTE: “The Story Of The Month” changes every month OR bi-monthly and might also have been featured in my collection DOWN INDEPENDENCE BOULEVARD published by MiddleRoad Publishers in 2017 and available on Amazon, or might be an Extract from my two novels RACING WITH THE RAIN and JUNTA.

FOR MORE WRITING LIKE THIS CHECK OUT

Down Independence Boulevard: and other stories
by Ken Puddicombe
Link: http://a.co/4Fy5oBg

 

2017

December –The Touch Of Peace

2018

Jan – The Interview

Feb – The Underground [2nd Prize Polaris Magazine]

Mar –Welcome  To Punta Canada

APR – Return Of The Prodigal [from Down Independence Boulevard and Other Stories]

MAY- No Thank You

JUNE – The Shoplifter

JULY/ AUGUST: The Last Straw [from Down Independence Boulevard and Other Stories]

SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER: Relics In The Attic [from Down Independence Boulevard and Other Stories]

NOVEMBER: The Day Queen Victoria Lost Her head [Published in The Caribbean Writer]

DECEMBER— The Touch Of Peace

2019

JANUARY/ FEBRUARY –The Effect Of Light Rays On The Milky Way and Minor Constellations

MARCH: Memory

APRIL/MAY: The Other Side

JULY/AUG: Love Through The Ages

OCT: Don’t Cry For Me

2020

MAR: Going Back

 

 

GOING BACK ©

 

The long slanting rays
Of the sun bounced off the silver skin
Of the 747, pushing an ever-reluctant area
Of luminosity.

airplane wing towards clouds

Photo by Sheila on Pexels.com

A dirt road ran parallel to a wide river. The road
Just a narrow swath — emptiness carved
Out of the woods.

The bright glow raced
Ahead of the plane, swerved
As it hit a crude wooden bridge, bounced
Off a cluster of rooftops, disappeared again as it passed
Over a stretch of trees.

The luminous disk hesitated, crept slowly into the nearby river,
Its mutable bulk undulating with the waves. After entering
It became a fiery omelette, ever
Changing bands of orange,
Pink and maroon
Surrounding it.

nature sky sunset the mountains

Photo by NO NAME on Pexels.com

Going back. Could one ever really go back?

Flying through a field of white clouds,
No reference point above or below, the silence
Broken only by the constant hum of the engine,
The plane buffeted by an air pocket.

That’s how it always was in British Guiana
During the colonial days: periods of calm
When nothing happened and time stood
Still, and those intervals with events
Changing our lives forever.
Suddenly, we ran into
A rain cloud. Large drops
Poured down, bounced off the
Metal skin, cascaded down the flaps
And disappeared into the grey void below.
Droplets formed on the window, were caught
In the backward flow of an air stream created by
the movement of the plane, and dispersed into rivulets.

Sixteen years: More than a decade. One hundred and ninety-two

captured memories

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Months. Not a very long period when considered in the
Passage of time, but long enough to warp the memory
And dull the senses, And like loosely connected
Parts of a puzzle, the years fall into place
Once the pieces
Are joined.

Going back. Could one ever really go back?

 

END