Paragraphs from a Life
Updated: May 16
My father was a hunter, a very talented man
I think he must have been hunting
Before hunting had even began.
My mother, she was the Princess,
Big Thomas’s favourite pickney girl.
She would glide around the district
Like she was its most precious pearl.
Well, I heard it was a double bet,
And Big Thomas prayed it would fail.
He did not want his Princess coupling,
With Jamaica’s baddest Alpha Male.
I am told that my heart first failed in forty-nine
Two months after I was born
It would fail again fifty years later
When death chased me early one morn.
I am from a little hamlet in Jamaica called Brook Dale or Hambrooks. It had three shops, one at either end and one in the middle. There was the Ball Ground, the old mansion and the Church. There was Bath Spring, Hag flat, Dean, Level, There was Blue Hole, women washing clothes by the banks of the Back River, digging in the planting seasons. Going down to Rivers View where the Rio and the Back Rivers meet to form the Rio Grande River which then goes all the way to the Caribbean Sea at St Margaret’s Bay. Remember buying ice cream from Hanna’s parlour in Port Antonio on a Friday. All of life’s experience wrapped up in one heavenly community in the backwaters, hilltops and dales of a big mountain on a small island in the Caribbean Sea.
It was always me and Seymour,
From birth right until now
From Hambrooks to England
From Sibling to deep understanding.
To my wife at Valentine’s. Love comes to you at quiet moments. It seldom comes at the peak of ecstasy or the loudness of parties. Nor does it often come when you are hurtling down the mountain slopes at a hundred miles per hour. It kind of creeps up on you, in the quiet moments. The moments you would probably forget, because they are unremarkable in themselves and only memorable, because, when you look back, they made you realise something, so subtle, so life reaffirming, that a totally different relationship springs out of that quiet moment.
To all my children, brothers, sisters, family and friends, the old and the new, I offer my thanks for being there for me always. And for the quiet and unobtrusive way, we blend into each other's lives.
To my children and grandchildren, you are my life’s work, the ultimate proof that I exist and ultimately existed. My journey from the big bang to the end, or from the void to the second coming, however, you believe it to be. I am so proud of you all. Sometimes I take a sneaky look at you when I do not think any of you are noticing and I smile.
It is a smile of satisfaction. Job well done?
Time will tell.