It’s time to say adieu

Dear fellow poets and writers – It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  There’s a reason. I was not well and I had to take care of myself. However, during this period, I was able to re-assess my priorities and make some decisions. So, I’ve decided to bring an end to this blog. It’s been a wonderful and enjoyable experience meeting such talented writers here, and I hope to meet you in other virtual fora. I’m on Twitter (https://twitter.com/wholefullness),
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/shery.alexanderheinis), LinkedIn (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sheryalexanderheinis).

I wish every one of you much success in your writing endeavours and I just want to say: keep on going, write on!

Walls

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brick wall

Angry, frightened hands
built these walls
harsh in their protection
loud in their rejection
an eyeless house
looking only inwards
a tongue receding
into shuttered isolation
conversing only
with the ghosts inside
haughty walls, forbidding walls
casting dark shadows across
decaying lawns littered
with signs to keep out
they are like you
like this town
they never say hello

© Shery Alexander Heinis

Still

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I’m reprising this poem for it’s hurricane season again in the Caribbean. It can be quite a dangerous time.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

bestir not you leaves
let not the carved teeth of wind
grind your wiry spines

watch out you seas
her mighty breath will slice
your frothing waves asunder

for she crouches, unmoving
patiently, she waits
in the haze of clouds

cradled in the bosom of darkness
while all is still and deathly silent
she gathers her forces

a fierce and mighty army
soon to roar through the hills and mountains
mounted on swift, white steeds

armed with vicious lances
to slay everything in its path
and she will not rest

until all genuflects
before the throne
of the hurricane

© Shery Alexander Heinis

Under the Golden Apple Tree – Book 3, Part 24

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She kept on running, and she could hear him panting behind her, she could almost feel his breath on her neck. But the wind seemed to transport her, and she felt herself being lifted and almost flew into the tunnel. It was pitch black and wet in that long cave, but she could see. A ghostly beam shone before her, the glow of eyes that led her to a hidden crevice in a bend in the cave. She heard his voice, deep and gravelly.

“Giselle, Giselle, I won’t hurt you. I just want to speak to you, I just want you to listen to me, to hear my story. Giselle, where are you?”

He turned towards where she was hiding. The glow of eyes shone on his face. She saw his full face for the first time. Angry, red parchment skin covered the left side of his face. She gasped. His eyes stared towards her hiding place. She pressed her hand against her lips. “You see me now, no Giselle?” He brought his hand to his left cheek. “That’s what she do to me, my mother. My own mother. She threw a frying pan of hot oil on my face one day. She was so vex, so vex, when I told her I was going to have a child.

His voice was stony. He lowered his voice, speaking softly now. “Why would a mother do that to her own child? Would your mother ever do that to you, Giselle? No, Jeannine would never do that. She was beautiful and kind and generous, she could never do that. But my own mother, yes! The things she did to me…she gave me that scar on my neck too.” He dragged his hand to the serpentine scar at the back of his neck.

“But you killed her…and you tried to drown me!” the words emerged unbidden from her lips.

“I had to, to stop her from killing me first.” He spoke in a distant voice. “And I wouldn’t let you drown, not me. But there’s someone else who wants you.” He looked around him furtively and then walked closer to where she was hiding. He gazed right into her eyes. She shivered with fear. When she spoke, her voice was reedy.

“Who? You’re lying! You killed mama and daddy! And what have you done to my Uncle Gabriel?”

A short silence ensued. Then he murmured, “You know they put me in jail. I couldn’t see you there.”

“Me? Why would you want to see me?”

© Shery Alexander Heinis

(To be continued)

Blue Night’s Goodbye

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Image credit: bigstock.com

Image credit: bigstock.com

in the deep
of the swirling
blue night

your banana moon
speared my heart
left me naked

bleeding, alone
to face the monsters
of your love’s transgressions

the pieces
of my savaged heart
wander in search

of you, blind
aching to bloom again
when you return

© Shery Alexander Heinis

Under the Golden Apple Tree – Book 3, Part 23

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Frangipani Photo credit: MariaF https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com

Frangipani
Photo credit: MariaF https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com

“What he do, Grandma?” The words emerged from Giselle like dry leaves being driven along the ground by the wind.

“He kill his mother.”

Giselle froze in shock. What a terrible thing! He killed his own mother!

Grandma told Giselle she could sleep with her that night. She kept on asking Giselle whether she had her bracelet, although it was clearly visible on her wrist. Giselle’s mind was in turmoil, and she knew she would not be able to sleep. Grandma lit every candle in the bedroom. Giselle protested that all this light would make it hard for her to sleep, but Grandma told her that her protection was what mattered most now. Giselle couldn’t understand why this man would be after her and her family. Grandma said he used to be very good friends with mama and Aunt Grace.

So if they were friends, why would he want to hurt them? Grandma told her she was asking too many questions. Giselle lay awake, thinking of what Grandma had revealed to her. The more she thought about it, the more questions she had. Why did The Man kill his mother? And why was he invading her dreams? What did he want with her and her family? She touched her bracelet and called upon the Two Sisters. There’s just so much I don’t know and understand, she whispered, and I need you to help me. Next to her, Grandma wasn’t sleeping either. Her mind went back, back in time many years ago, when she knew a boy and a young man, so different from the man he became, and her heart ached for the young man he once had been.

Giselle’s eyelids began to flutter. He was back again. She saw his eyes first, then she felt the wind against her face, and heard the roar of the waves. She was standing on the beach at Cas-En Bas once again. He was standing before her, a broad, tall man, as tall as Philippe. But she still couldn’t make out his face, only his eyes. He was dressed in denim overalls. She remained frozen in place for an instant, and then began running in the direction of the precipice, the sand kicking up behind her. She remembered there was a sort of tunnel there, a long cave, that she and Sabine had once discovered, where she could hide from him.

“Stop, Giselle!” he cried out after her. “Stop! You don’t have to be afraid!”

© Shery Alexander Heinis

(To be continued)

Where I come from

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Village of Gros-Islet, St. Lucia  Photo courtesy: WVH

Village of Gros-Islet, St. Lucia
Photo courtesy: WVH

Here’s a reprise of this poem. Hope you enjoy!

I was born where the glare of tin roofs
burned the eyes at mid-day
where towering breadfruit trees
spread their sun-tanned shadows
over raggedy yards
where children played in the middle
of scorching asphalt streets
and cars were a
seven day wonder
where the stench of stale white rum
from corner rum shops
wafted on Sunday morning breezes

I was fed on sun and sea and stories
stories that sang to me in foam and salt
when I felt alone and abandoned
stories of soucoyants and boloms
of jabs and jablesse
haunted my dreams
and I screamed silently
at every night shadow
not even the terror of howling hurricanes
their teeth gnashing at our windows
could overcome my fear
of these creatures of the dark

I am shaped by the blood
of nameless ancestors
buried in tombs of shell and sand
their words and memories ring in me
clanging ancient bells
from unknown, distant lands
my inheritance
let them speak for themselves
let them roar and rise
shatter the silence of a thousand moons
each shard, each fragment
witness to where I come from

© Shery Alexander Heinis

Like the Winds

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Image courtesy: heARTbeatgal

Image courtesy: heARTbeatgal

like the winds
of a tropical storm
his kisses assail her
in her eyes
the still, starless night
catches fire

shades of autumn
rattle in her soul
as his hands
flutter over her
like falling leaves
in a deep, immense forest

an ocean rises within her
swift and thunderous
she is drunk
with foam and salt
adrift on waves
falling into the horizon

© Shery Alexander Heinis

Under the Golden Apple Tree – Book 3, Part 22

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Crown-of-Thorns Photo credit: MariaF https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com

Crown-of-Thorns
Photo credit: MariaF https://tropicalfloweringzone.wordpress.com

Giselle knew she had to tell Grandma about that awful dream she had had of The Man. Grandma was tired. She sat at the table in the damp kitchen with a cup of steaming tisane. Giselle sat there watching her. Grandma looked at her and told her that she knew she had something to say to her, so she better come out with it. Giselle bit her lip, took a deep breath and proceeded to tell Grandma about the frightening dream she had had, and how the Two Sisters had rescued her. Grandma listened in silence. She was very still.

“And Grandma, I think his eyes were blue. I’m still not sure, but I think I saw blue eyes, like I’ve never seen before.”

Grandma’s body tensed, and her face drained of colour. Her hands were trembling.

“Giselle, you say this man had blue eyes?” Her voice sounded like granite, Giselle thought, like the sound of a stone when she dragged it along the sea wall.

“Yes, I think so, but maybe it was just the colour of the sea I was seeing…I dunno.”

Grandma did not reply. A heavy silence reigned for what seemed like ages to Giselle. She began to shift uncomfortably on the hard kitchen bench. Was Grandma alright?

“Grandma, you not feeling well?”

“I know a man Giselle.” Her voice was exhausted. There was a long pause. “I know a man with blue eyes.”

Giselle was stunned. “Grandma,” she whispered, “you know this man?”

Grandma nodded. “There was a man in Soufrière. I know him from the time he was a little boy. He used to be such a sweet child. He used to come and play by my house with your mama and Aunty Grace. His name was John. His father come from America. He was a Peace Corps, you know, young people the American Government send to help us build schools and hospitals, things like that. He get his eyes from his father side. His mother was a young girl from Soufrière. His father used to travel up and down between America and Iyanola just to see him. Then, when the boy was seven years old, he just stop coming.

Nobody know why, for sure. But one day, his mother tell me John’s grandparents don’t want the father to see him no more, or they going to take away the father inheritance. They say they don’t want no half-baked child in their family. The girl change so much after that. She was so wicked to John. She did some terrible things to him. I remember the last time I saw him. It was in a court room. They send him away to jail, Giselle, because he go mad, and he did something so bad, so bad. Aie, Bon Dieu, it was terrible.”

© Shery Alexander Heinis

(To be continued)

Hard Fruit

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Photo courtesy: heartbeatgal

Photo courtesy: heartbeatgal

I haven’t been very active on my blog lately. The past few weeks have been quite challenging for me. I had a root canal, and have just been in tremendous pain since then. I’ve had constant shooting, stabbing pain in my face and scalp that feels like live wires are being held to my face, as well as headaches and mandibular joint pain. I’ve been variously diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia and temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. I still have swelling in my gums and the left side of my face. I’m on medication and my dear physiotherapist is providing me with alternative treatment. I’m hoping a possible visit to the neurologist will provide more information about my problem. For some reason, when I’ve been able to write poetry. I’ve been writing love poetry. Go figure! Here one of my more recent poems. Enjoy!

hard fruit
bitter fruit
cracks the teeth of the unwary
poisons the mouth of the innocent
flavourless fruit
odourless fruit
birds flee on quaking wings
tender are the words
that fall to the ground
ripened by sunshine
sweet are the kisses
that hover on clouds
embraced by the wind
they cannot penetrate
this unyielding fruit
this unforgiving fruit
this merciless heart.

© Shery Alexander Heinis