Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Glorious Twelfth

MAG 119

House at Dusk 1935, Edward Hopper
Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales on Blogger

What a day!
Tweeds on
Brogues out
Ready for the shoot

Moors of blue
Heather abounds
Beaters ahead
The game is on

Shots are fired
Grouse bagged
Labradors running
Bringing home a brace

Dusk is falling
Birds hanging
Waiting maturity
For a future weekend

Gong is booming
Butler calls
Guests scamper
To the great hall

Dinner is served
Glasses  filled
Toast given
To the glorious twelfth

Barbara M Lake ©
June 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Indian Arrival Day 2012

Artist unknown

It is Wednesday 30 May which here in Trinidad means yet another Public Holiday this one celebrating the occasion of Indian Arrival Day.  I have written about this holiday twice if not three times before and anyone who wants to know more about it, can search this blog and find Indian Arrival Day which as I recall is more in depth than Indian Arrival Day 2011. Failing that, both blogs, 2010 and 2011 can be found through the Google search engine! Indian Arrival Day 2011 covers the history of the occasion together with foods, fashion, music and the year before if I recall rightly, also covers names, feast days and religious holidays.  All the customs indentured laboures brought with them have stood the test of time.  

Apart from saying that, I will just add that  Indian Arrival Day commemorates the arrival in Trinidad of the first indentured labourers from India.  In May 1845 the Fatel Razack arrived in Trinidad. Whilst that momentous event has been celebrated amongst the East Indian community in this country for many years, it wasn't until 1994 that it was declared an official Public Holiday.  Arrival Day was, in 1995, renamed Indian Arrival Day. 


Now please don't get me wrong!  It's not that I have a problem with 'Indian Arrival Day' per se but the reality is that most people here in Trinidad  are descendants of people who 'arrived' from many different parts of the world at some time or another and my question has been and continues to be, "why can't we just have an 'Arrival Day'?  Why does it have to be put down to one race? 

Trinidad and Tobago is made up of an extremely vibrant and diverse community.  Apart from the East Indian community, there are those of African,  French,  Chinese, Portugese, Syrian, Lebanese, English, Scots and Spanish descent. They all  'arrived' from somewhere each bringing with them parts of their culture so that Trinidad and Tobago became, as Desmond Tutu once  called it, 'a rainbow nation'.

One can imagine that with so many different creeds, colours and races intermingling, how fortunate this tiny twin island Republic really is.  The tantalizing cuisine where anything from a curry to a gyro is available, the infectious music giving us steel pan,  calypso, soca, tassa, chutney, Latin and yes, the melodies of yesteryear as well as the up to date music; the everyday western clothing along with the sari and the colourful dresses paired with matching  head gear worn by females of African descent (and others) that are worn on special days and holidays.

And let's not forget the annual Chinese Dragon Boat Race which is open to every ethnic group.

Along with its culture, each country brought with it, its religion.  We embrace Hindus, Muslims, many branches of Christianity,  Spiritual Baptists and Orishas to name a few. For  those interested in the difference between the Spiritual Baptist and Orisha,  there is a wealth of information on the net.  

History teaches us that the Arawaks and Caribs inhabited this island prior to the coming of the supposedly deeply spiritual Christopher Colombus who upon sighting the  three mountains named the island, 'La Ysla de la Trinidad'. (Island of the Trinity). Today there is an active Carib community in Trinidad which is headed by a Queen.


I go back to my original statement.  We all arrived from somewhere at some point in time so whilst each ethnic group can celebrate its particular 'arrival day' within its community, why can't we have one single  'Arrival day' which encompasses every creed and race?  The impact would be spectacular. More so probably that Carnival!!

Happy Indian Arrival Day to all my friends of East Indian descent and to all those of different ethnic backgrounds who are partaking of the food and festivities.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Jester

MAG 118

The Circus with the Yellow Clown, 1967 Marc Chagall

Photograph courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magie Tales on Blogger

The quiz I took
Said that
In medieval times
I was a jester
A natural entertainer
One who can raise
Laughter from the toughest

The quiz I took
Said that
In medieval times
I was a jester
A maker of friends
One who moves
Amongst rich and powerful

The quiz I took
Said that
In medieval times
I was a jester
A political animal
Who can play
The diplomatic game

The quiz I took
Said that
In modern times
I am an actor
A powerful leader
A politician
One who is good
On the world's stage

The quiz I took
Did not say
In modern times
The actor in me
Like the jester of old
Masks the tears
Wears the smile
That hides the pain

Barbara M Lake
Trinidad WI
May 2012

This poem was written in January 2009 after I'd taken one of those silly internet quizzes which were all the rage.  For this Magpie, I have changed the wording ever so slightly. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tropical Dish

Mag 117

The Meal, 1891, by Paul Gauguin 
Photograph  courtesy Tess Kinkaid, Magpie Tales on Blogger

A good fish broth
Is tasteless

Sweet mango and guava
To follow

Barbara M Lake
Trinidad, WI
May 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Day for Mothers and Others

Although late in the day I'd like to send warm wishes for a Happy Mother's Day to all my friends who are mothers - be they mothers to their own children, to other peoples children, to their nieces and nephews, to children in their classrooms, to mothers of fur kids, to mothers who raise their grandchildren and to those fathers who are both mother and father to their children. 

 I hope you all had a wonderful day.



Monday, May 7, 2012

Memories of the River Swale


image: River Irwell by R.A.D. Stainforth
Photograph Courtesy Tess, Kinkaid, Magpie Tales

You, me and the dog
One hot Yorkshire day
Abandoned our desks
And ran far away
Like children without care
We flew holding hands
Peels of laughter
But senses so aware 

Shoes thrown on the grass
We waded and trod
Cares left behind
The removed clear glass 

Freedom at last in the Swale
No eyes watching
Our tiny escapade
Deep in the Dale
Touching and daring to dream 
Of beyond today
Hearts knowing that
Tears could only stream

Years have come and gone
Waters continue flowing
Lovers long parted
The watching eyes won 

Barbara M Lake
Trinidad WI
May 2012



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