Peace & Good Tidings To You

Also check out the following Xmas selections by St. Lucia’s own, Ronald Boo Hinkson & The Tru-Tones:


Better a jungle in the head

than rootless concrete.
Better to stand bewildered
by the fireflies’ crooked street;

winter lamps do not show
where the sidewalk is lost,
nor can these tongues of snow
speak for the Holy Ghost;

the self-increasing silence
of words dropped from a roof
points along iron railings,
direction, in not proof.

But best is this night surf
with slow scriptures of sand,
that sends, not quite a seraph,
but a late cormorant,

whose fading cry propels
through phosphorescent shoal
what, in my childhood gospels,
used to be called the Soul.

Aah yes….Given that I am away from the warm, festive delights of my beautiful island of St. Lucia this season, I chose the above poem by St Lucia’s very own Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott, out of a sense of deep nostalgia. This is primarily a poem about the nature of belonging. The Christmas season embodies this need to belong to something bigger than oneself (God, family, land…). Not to downplay the beauty of snow and the warmth of being inside with loved ones or playing outside in the snow, this poem highlights the power of the Caribbean sea/land on one’s soul. For Walcott, and I would gather for many people of Caribbean descent, there is a strong contrast between spending Christmas in a cold Northern metropolis & spending it in the wild freedom of an island’s landscape surrounded by childhood friends & family. Of course, Walcott’s genius frames this contrast in the most beautiful way that few can imitate. 

I sincerely wish you all a safe, deeply meditative & enjoyable Christmas season and an auspicious 2012. 



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