Monday, December 9, 2013

The first article of my new newspaper column

Today the first article in my new column in The Trinidad Guardian (one of the 3 daily newspapers) appeared. My column is called "Tobago Peeps" and (now that I live in Tobago) will feature little 'peeps' into random events and encounters in my life there, often featuring the 'peeps' (people) that I meet along the way.

This first article features random snippets of experiences:

The articles, which will appear every Monday, are little 'bites' of no more than 600 words each, with an accompanying photo.

(Article in text):
The ferry lurched on huge waves as we left Tobago. The Baptist-looking woman sitting across from me said calmly, “Tobago waters always rough, yes.” In the background a man (who had been guzzling puncheon in the aisle with his friends before we sailed) clung tightly to a pole near the cafeteria. A man nearby shouted to him, “Yuh holdin’ onto dat post like Jack Warnah!”


Sitting in the Gulf City Lowlands Mall. Smiling man in ethnic garb comes and sells me a laminated A4 sheet with a poem called Love.
Man: “Yuh looking like a cultural lady. And yuh have spiritual eyes.
(Gives me poem, takes donation): “Stay loving.”
Here is the poem:
The love of God must dwell in the Heart of Humanity
Love thinketh no Evil
Love does no evil to anyone, but only Good
Love bears no Malice, Envy or Grudge
Love does not take advantage of other's Weakness
To advantage its own self
Love Boasts not, nor puffs up with Pride.
Gentle not Rough, Helpful not Lazy,
Love does not behave in an unreasonable manner.
Love is not easily provoked, impatient or fretful.
Love rejoices not in others’ misfortunes
But rejoices in Truth.
Love seeketh the Wellbeing of others also
And not only Me, Myself and I.
Love is fair and just, not biased or prejudiced.
Love does Violence to no one.
Love does not lose control of its Temper and do harm or injury
Or curse its fellowman and say it was a mistake.
Love has self-control.
Love does not encourage anyone in wrong doing.
Beloved, if God so loved us
We ought to love one another.


I was on the grounds of Healing with Horses. A guest appeared holding a small puppy that had been hiding in the garden. Shortly after, she returned with another pup. Both female, seemingly abandoned. Two children, there to ride horses, became fascinated with the pups. The little boy began “massaging” them while his sister stroked them.

 At one point the boy yelled: “Ouch!” The girl turned to me and whispered: “He just got bitten on his privates.”


Behind a line of trees near the fishing depot at Fort Granby is a wooden house with a wide verandah. Upon first seeing it I wondered who lived there. I found out early one morning after a beach walk, when I took a friend to see “this fantastic wooden house.”
The owner, who was on the verandah, beckoned for us to enter, dipped inside and resurfaced with three bananas.

Carl. Elspeth. Barbara.
As we munched on our bananas, Carl told us that he had built his house and, as a boatbuilder, had also trained most of the young men in the area to master the craft. “They are like my sons. I am like a father to them and they look out for me.” He laughed when asked what he does now that he no longer builds boats. “The last person who asked me that, it took 30 minutes to answer them. I do everything.”

“Everything” included the CD he subsequently slipped into his CD player for us to hear. His latest release: Christmas in Barrackpore—a festive parang mix currently enjoying local airplay. “Are you from Barrackpore?” “No. Tobago.” So how come Christmas in Barrackpore?” “That’s just what came.”  As one who doesn’t believe in the divided notion of Trinidad and Tobago, of course he could be from Tobago and sing about Christmas in Barrackpore.  “All of we is one.”

1 comment:

Lynn Cohen said...

Came by to wish you a happy Holiday season! Hugs and loves!