Jamaican Poetry: Seething

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2017, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe

I hiss mi teet an seethe
Like a cobra coiled

Execute fury or
I hiss mi teet an seethe.

Mi mind racing thru corridors
Like a Amtrak train
Seeking recourse, seeking solution.
Meanwhile di devils chirp
Their song in mi head
Claro 3G break free…’
I goin to break somin yes
Two months,
Two significant problems
Too much;

I hiss mi teet and seethe.

Dis lady seh I mus seek recourse
Fi a five thousand dollars
I goin to seek
I hiss mi teet and seethe.

Di devils continue fi sing deh song

‘Claro 3G break free…’
I feel di tidal wave break in mi head.
I recoil and
I hiss mi teet and seethe.

Jamaican Poetry: Dis Journalist Mad

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2017, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe

Now tell mi if di journalist nuh mad,
Fi go look pon 20 foot wave,
A wash pon land.
Afta yuh see sey one camera man almost drown,
Yuh a try get shot of Palisadoes grung;

Is anyting else damage?
Is yuh car alright?
Cause mi waan fi knuh,
Wah yuh a do inna storm 2’oclock a night?

Now tell mi if dis journalist nuh crazy,
Dem a go geh wi heart failure,
Or mek we have premature baby.
We jus waan knuh sey oonu safe an sound;
We nuh waan visit nuh burial ground.
Next ting di eulogy go read,
Great Jamaican, good friend father of some well sown seed;

Please mi a beg oonu nuh mek mi heart skip a beat;
Tek care, report good;
And of foolish acts, please beware.

Jamaican Poetry: Love, Slain

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2017, Denise N. Fyffe

The breeze whips my hair like fall leaves
Covering my face
Covering my vision
Of you;
I turn
And look in the direction where you went
My heart moans and vent
As it already misses that deep musk
I smell you;
My eyes turn into water pumps
Newly tapped by hurt
As you desert
The love, you left here;
And I sigh
As I realize,
You will no longer be at my side;
And I sigh
As I realize
I won’t ever see that dimple
Near your right eye;
My finger creeps to secure a hold of the door frame
Newly named,
The place where our love was slain;
My knees shift as the shakes overtake them
And then, my backbone bends
And sounds unheard rip from my heart
Off tongue and throat walls;
And I cry,
Silently I cry
As I realize
You will no longer be at my side;
And I cry
As I realize
I won’t ever see that dimple
Near your right eye;

I cry, and I cry
And my love screams,
Don’t kill what’s left within me;
And I cry, and the shadow of you
Now lives within me;

Water swells and wells at the corner of my eyes
As I remember, my favorite memory before you left
That of me looking into your honey butter eyes
And I cry.

Jamaican Poetry: Negril

By: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2012, Poetess Defy, Denise N. Fyffe

Negril, she is like a poison
Slowly strangling my marriage, to Kingston;
Her curves and twist,
Like a belly dancers invitation;
She lures me,
Into her waiting embrace and succulent kisses.

Negril, she is like a cobra’s venom

English: Sunset on the sea at Seven Mile Beach...
Whispering future promises,
To lie on her white sand beaches,
Smelling, the nectar of her bounty;
Forgetting about Kingston.

Kingston, my first love
My rude bwoy;
He knew my corners best.
He knew my history through to my adulthood,
He knew how to trill me and piss me off,
At the same time.

But Negril, she lures me
Her landscape like the shapely hips,
Of a dancehall queen, bubbling to music,
As I salivate at her invitation.

Negril, she is my poison
A rebirth into a new life.

Jamaican Poetry: Hurricane Sandy (Dance Sandy dance)

hurricane sandy dance sandy dance

hurricane sandy dance sandy danceBy: Denise N. Fyffe.
Copyright © 2012, Denise N. Fyffe

Hurricane Sandy blew very strong
Kicked up her skirts
Backed slapped Jamaica with her right hand;

Sandy trampled across the Pedro Keys,
tapping her heels as she sashayed across the Caribbean Sea;
She whipped up the waves onto the Caribbean Terrace back streets,

She moved like a pre-madonna with her Black Swan mastery;
Sandy cut across the East St. Andrew land, washing away bridges
Kintyre was stranded, before the wind even began;
St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary would not escape this crazed woman;
As Sandy put on her puma boots and gave chase,
Caressing their shores like a jealous woman about to wreak revenge in that place;
Junction and the Gorge
Tried to withstand,
But Sandy rained down rocks, blocking the paths so they couldn’t do anything but stand;
All eyes of Jamaica would turn to the Sandy Bay gully,

Hurricane Dennis on July 7 2005

Hurricane Dennis on July 7 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where as likkle rain fall, a house would slip and slid into the waters of that gully;
Hurricane Sandy continued her dance across the land
Blowing thru Kingston rooting up trees and flooding the land;Sandy rocked and gyrated her mighty hips,
For a Category One Storm
She could certainly bump and twist;
Sandy danced, Sandy danced all through the day
Playing Jamaica like it was Cinco de Mayo day;

Sandy danced, Sandy danced and rain streamed down
Washing away the sins of old Kingston town;
Hurricane Sandy continued to rain down,
devastating lives and scaring the landscape of every Jamaican town;
Sandy danced, yes Hurricane Sandy danced. Sandy danced gyrating across the land, Jamaica looked on, caught in a trance.

Jamaican Poetry: Who is Professor Mervyn Morris? Poet Laureate of Jamaica

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris
Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris

His name may not cut a dash with the dancehall crowd, but on the local arts scene, poet/author Mervyn Morris enjoys as much adulation as deejays Beenie Man or Bounty Killer. Without the bling and controversy, of course.

Morris, 72, was recently awarded the Order of Merit for ‘distinguished contribution to the field of West Indian literature’ by the Jamaican government.

It is the latest accolade for a man educator Ralph Thompson once said, “is no ivory tower intellectual”.

Morris, a professor emeritus at the University of the West Indies’ Mona campus, belongs to a long list of Caribbean literary heavyweights including C.L.R. James and V.S. Naipaul of Trinidad and Tobago, and Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott of St Lucia.

Like many of his contemporaries, Mervyn Morris was partly inspired by classic British writers like Shakespeare and Keats.
But he also admired champions of Caribbean thought, such as commentators John Hearne and Roger Mais, and folklorist Louise Bennett.

His work has a diverse list of admirers which include cutting-edge dub poets Linton Kwesi Johnson and Mutabaruka and poet/author Colin Channer, organiser of the annual Calabash International Literary Festival.

Enthusiastic audiences
Morris says it is good to know that his work and that of his contemporaries, remain relevant.

“We have students going through the educational system knowing who these writers are. This was not so a while back,” he told The Gleaner. He is heartened that events such as Calabash and Bookaphilia attract enthusiastic audiences. “There are a lot of young people there and that’s encouraging,” Morris said.

Born in the Maxfield Avenue community of Kingston, Morris was the last of four children born to Eustace, an accountant and Muriel, a primary school teacher.

He says he was not a voracious reader in his youth, although he was taken with the popular Hardy Boys teen mysteries.

His two older brothers attended Kingston College, but Morris went to Munro College in St Elizabeth and later the University College of the West Indies (now known as the University of the West Indies).

His batchmates at the latter included future prime minister of Jamaica P.J. Patterson and Burchell Whiteman who would serve as education minister in Patterson’s cabinet.

Rhodes Scholar
While at university, Mervyn Morris said he discovered Hearne and Mais, two socially-aware writers who penned piercing novels and also wrote for The Gleaner.

His first poems were published in the Public Opinion newspaper, but Morris said it was not until he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University that he began writing seriously.

“Being away from home gives you a whole new area of reflection,” he said. Morris points to ‘The Day My Father Died’ as his first “serious” poem.

He counts ‘Valley Prince’, an ode to trombonist Don Drummond, among his favourites “partly because the response to it has always been positive”.

He has had six books of poetry published including The Pond and Is English We Speaking: And Other Essays.

He has also edited the work of Louise Bennett and grassroots firebrand, Michael Smith.

During his address at the 2006 launch of Morris’ book, I Been There, Sort Of:
New And Selected Poems Thompson praised Morris for his selflessness.

“In addition to his poetry, which has ranked him among the top West Indian poets, he was one of the first academics to espouse the importance of nation language in helping to define in verse important aspects of Jamaican culture,” Thompson said.

Morris has been associated with the University of the West Indies as an administrator and lecturer in the department of English for almost 50 years.

He has been married to Helen for 48 years. They are the parents of three children.

Mervyn Morris is not only respected in arts and literary circles.

He has represented Jamaica in tennis as part of a successful Brandon Trophy team.




Professor Mervyn Morris named first Poet Laureate in 60 years – News – Latest News – Jamaica Gleaner.

Professor Mervyn Morris named first Poet Laureate in 60 years

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris courtesy of jis.gov.jm
Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris courtesy of jis.gov.jm

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris courtesy of jis.gov.jm

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris courtesy of jis.gov.jm

Professor Emeritus Mervyn Morris has been named Jamaica’s first Poet Laureate in 60 years.

Morris, an eminent poet was named by the Tourism Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill this morning.

The title of Poet Laureate is a national honor that recognizes a distinguished Jamaican poet for his/her significant contribution to the literary community.

It is expected to stimulate a greater appreciation for Jamaican poetry, write poems for national occasions, and preserve and disseminate the island’s cultural heritage through prose.

Morris, a retired professor at the University of the West Indies, has led the charge for the Government to do more to show the country’s appreciation for the arts.


Originally posted on Professor Mervyn Morris named first Poet Laureate in 60 years – News – Latest News – Jamaica Gleaner.