Cecil Blazer Williams, San Vicente y Granadinas

Latinoamerican Poetry Magazine
Nº 86-87. July 2010.

Cecil Blazer Williams

(San Vicente and Granadinas, 1948)


One year after hot ash sprayed
the infected land
nematodes still shrivel our character
Our flag still burns in spots
Soufriere’s testimony gropes
like a blind beggar for a receptive
Only the sins of the poor are extorted
with shrieks on the needles of messengers
The grave lies gaping as the dead
move in silence.




Last night he dreamt of palaces and cadillacs
This morning he awoke in a shanty town shack
With the garbage heap at his door and the
sound of children ploughing tin and cardboard
to manure their swelling anger.




Politrickans hearing too much these days
So they decide to change they hearing ways
To keep out bread and butter sound
They corking ears wid machine gun.
Food an’ drink mek fo calabash an’ boley
But dem nah have hole yet dem empty
An’ gastroenteritis and malnutrition
Does cause explosion and conflagration
Hair an’ beard, bald head an’ big head
All ah dem might get half dead or whole dead.

Last year Johnny Pig was councillor
Driving big car and smoking cigar
Police use to mash big toe to salute
Now Johnny Pig like Browne blowing flute.

Hearing aid mek fo people ear to hear
Not to wax um up to cool down fear
Machine gun does run up ah mountain
An’ come back down ra-ta-ta-ta-ing
‘Cause machine gun does carry bullet
An’ lead don’t respect who get hit.

Bengie say dat one day
They going mek big mistake
an’ get eternal earache
Dat going be one hell-of-ah-sound
When hearing aid and all crash down!



Last night
I dreamt of three hundred
terrorising the flesh of
under a wailing palm tree.
The man with Eyre’s pen
was there hacking blood on
screaming mad obscenities at
a nervous firing squad as
bullets crashed into the sides
of saintly Paul Bogles
flashing lightening of blood
thundering trumpets of freedom
This morning
I awoke behind bars with
a number on my chest and
a tag on my back marked



For the People of the Grenadines
Brother, you are bigger than me
Volcanic ash has nurtured
Your bone and smoking flesh
Our blood runs thick
Joined by oceans of fish
We are on our own
Our mother’s Umbilical Cord
no longer strangles us
within the cold walls of her womb

Yet, Big Brother, our family
is imprisoned in an asylum,
And death lurks
In the crevices of our rocks

The rain falls and your crops flourish
A wave breaks and I wait
For the catch of pot or net
bare bottoms and blue breasts

We walk hand in hand
my fingers crushed and
my indemnity falls
at your heavy feet
Do you hear my cry and see
the anguish on my barren face?
Our sister menstruates
But your head is touching sky
Do you notice your boots on
her stomach pressing forth the blood?
Do you notice the flying fish come
to feast on her battered sons
the eagle perched
for the lease
and death lurking
in the crevices of our rocks?
I see the tattooed faces on
your arm
Zealous Zombies in a Zoo
laughing at our sister’s rape
Their eyes like shattered glass
shining lunacy through rusted bars
and death lurking
in the crevices of our rocks

The wound pains like
a rifle-butt at the temple
like oceans at our feet
My sister’s shame sails from
rock to rock
Blown by your sulphurous breath and
my cargo of lead is moored
to build batteries of hate
Big Brother, we all grow up
don’t we?



Tom-toms     Tom-toms
beat beat
beat out invisible hieroglyphics
Wind wind
blow the message
with musical notes
into the ears of my brothers
Boukman’s sword gleaming red
in the hot swirling fires
of Haiti;
Macandal’s ashes writhing
in the flames
of Toussaint’s vision
quake quake
quake the earth’s belly
fire fire
fire the grass
with tears
rain rain
rain blood on the back
on this hell.
Tom-Toms     Tom-toms
Tom-toms      Tom-toms



I am nothingness, wet with the tears
of time
I have seen mountains crumble
and beggars die
in the sands of time
I have sat in the wailing winds of God
feeling the chill of Death
I have peeped into the dark wombs
of poverty
and wept at her barren fertility
I have seen millionaires mingle
their bones
with Lazarus’ slum-children’s
I smile at their bombs
pregnant with genocide
I have seen Empires rise and fall
stenching my domain with filth.



Twisting Twirling
       curling worm
semi-circling your way on
the hot concrete
you shudder spasmodically
as the innocent boy runs
his tin-cover over
your tender body
arches your longness
       in pain
as the ants come swarming
       to feast on
your wriggling carcass
your torture and pain
have not escaped
       my pen
the history of your death
                     my poem.




Here at this corner
sand will be no more
no more will we say “beach”
the multiplying concrete jungle
would have swallowed up each
black grain in its cemented guts.

                           Here progress disfigures
                           with each stabbing shovel
                           with each roll of monstrous wheels
                           on this virgin’s belly
                           She dies slowly into
                           and unceremonious grave
                           of sea, mud and stone.

                                        Here there is silence
                                        not one voice raised
                                        not one finger pointed
                                        not one arrow fired
                                        not one salute rendered
                                        for the Callinagoes died at
                                        the sea’s boundary mark
                                        with the blood of birthright
                                        in their eyes
                                        and no one plays at her
                                        creeping funeral for
                                        here murder dumbs and numbs.



Those who denied themselves
priceless years
Look on from pushed distance
in tears,
Celebrants once volunteered dead
now declare their sacrifices.
Claims of new discoverers and
bandwagon pioneers
Are struck each agonising day
And rats rewrite history
With hearts of stone.



The organs that meshed
synchronised movements
of flesh and hot blood
gave birth to the womb
that rose to the heart’s
palpitating love
filled with a new pride
and grew with warmth
‘till its cloistered seasons
floated on the sun’s rays
into the bright birth
of a new born life



Look at this funeral procession
that dangles on a political string
these caricatures of the dead
puppets of the merciless who breed
deformation in the bones of the
See the spine that cringed under
the whip of poverty; and
the leg that compensation
blew into the beggar’s trade.

Look at the twisted frame that
wobbles and hobbles wrecked to
the crucifixion of the
heart’s compassion; and the bulging
belly that breeds on the
bone of a brittle box that
flew famished into the hot
plentitude of her man’s strong
See the care packed brain that
bulged too far and jarred ‘gainst
the teeth of lunacy; and the un-
balanced feet that staggers to
the slavery of liberation
in a bottle of white rum.

Temples are holy shrines
and peddlers of wares must
haggle in the market square
Here profits are squeezed from
beggars rags and souls lost
on the platform that
               dies with an X.
This marker place in our temple
jabs its teeth multiparty deep
             into the flesh of
                Jaja’s sons
and Chatoyer weeps posthumous
blood on the wilted cheeks of
            unborn infants.

Look at the ballot box that
burns bullets into the present
and ricochets into the
See the wound it makes with
and lumber that galvanise
the flesh of the land into
the blood-banks of opulent

Look behind polished steel doors
riddled with statutes of anaemia
Where no blood runs through
              veins of wood and rock.
See where priests swallow brown
Salted with the tears of workers
and crumbs fall on genuflecting

Here spirits are as false
as gods that cannot be
palmed or buried in a
This is a church without
spirits without gods
where priests are drunk with
and the congregation kneel
as lambs to the slaughter.



The dead stood straight
naked bones clicking
a welcome salute
ay your internment.

Spirits which once regaled
as gods cowered
on their knees and
kissed your footprints as
you ascended to the
glory of womandom.

You where there
ebon fibred, ebon fired
in the step by step marches
you were there
beat by beat
as the heart pounded
for justice
I learnt that woman
was more than flesh
to be spiked with phallus
more than gossiper chained
by fashion and
the death of falsehood.



             For Nelson Mandela


Not for me he said
But for all
Whose arms were bitten
Lungs gassed and swollen
Legs dragged in iron
Buried in the cold white
stone of Robin Island.
Not for me he said
But for babes buried
In their mother’s womb
stilled arms clutching books
In screaming Soweto’s flames
Reading for the world to hear.

Not for me he said
But for all
Whose bones were broken
Heads battered, bodies battoned
and bullet ridden
Shoulder-driven in bleeding coffins.

Not for me he said
But for all
As he stood tree tall
arms like branches
Singing in the loaded wind
Cracking their code of hate
Flooding their lily white fields
With Back hope
Then I knew how much
Tears are stored in
One footstep.



Now I laugh at the man
Who swore that guns and barb
wire could imprison the
who said that tear gas and
rubber bullets blew deterrence
into the streets of the heart;
Who said that fire hoses
soaked up the riveted rays of
the eyes intent;
Who said that loaded laws could
crush the resilient spine
Who said that battered, bulleted bodies
bet a retreat into coffins
at birth
Now I laugh, for Mandela
And vows, never, never to
repeat history.



London Jam

People in concrete
cemented in skyscrapers
People in cars smoking
along motorways
People in trains burrowing
through punctures
in the earth’s guts
People in planes scarring
the sky’s face white

People, more people hurrying
with hands in pockets
shoulder to shoulder
breathing smoke on
jammed side walks
Red, amber, green
Hustle, bustle, hoots, honks,
controlled curses
Gentlemanly gestures
Going to some never
ending somewhere
in London



Yesterday the bees swarmed
away from the honey-comb
Sirens wailed a prelude
to the death of a bomb
A telephone booth shivered
with numbers ticking
in its stomach
then warmly smiled

Wrecked, wrapped, twisted metal
shrieked, expelling expletives
of blood and bone
Then expired at the Savoy’s
A hand slipped its coffin
into a burnt grave
like an undertaker’s
lowering device

Pieces of peace splattered
the Isle of Dogs
a ghastly ghostly chasm
swallowed two
in the wailing dust of
glass and brick
and somewhere mothers

Todat bags are held close
to chest lest trains
are halted and stations
Feet no longer firmly
hi the ground to stand
Offices are like waiting rooms
At the Executioner’s surgery.



Her rapture
wrapped me in
Embracing fire
and ruptured a
spring that poured
over her flame
I always remember
how we had ice-cream
smiling with the sun.



To shiver and to cover
are the fruits of winter
slowed trains on icy tracks
watery eyes numbed ears
and pocketed fingers
waiting on the impatient

Snow flakes in animated
float across the eyes
to rest as ice on the
cat’s grass
He has retreated through
my neighbour’s fence
dressed in white wet cap
defying the gardener’s blade

To sweat and to uncover
are the fruits of summer
The sun smiles with
golden teeth washed with
the tide of the sea’s surf
How I long to be stroked
by her gentle arms
to be enveloped in her
wet embrace
To soothe muscles wearied
by a day’s encounter

So if you see me
compressing my shoulders
and breathing smoke
It is the fire of the
Caribbean sun burning
everlasting in the brain
I am not waiting on the train
I am waiting on the plane.



I know this gentleman
he happens to be my
he has relatively good hair
his record is clean
he never groveled in dirt
he always played with my kids
he is obedient and work oriented
his sweet mother served us well
I can swear for him
he could even be my
Another Gentleman.

Cecil Blazer Williams  nació en San Vincente y Granadinas el 13 de marzo de 1948. Poeta, dramaturgo y ensayista. Libros de poesía: The Crowd, 1969 e In the Mind, 2005. Éste último incluye una selección de poemas, relatos breves, fábulas y otras piezas de ficción y ensayos escritos entre 2970 y 2003. Sus ensayos han aparecido en the News newspaper, un semanario de San Vicente en el cual mantiene una columna. Ellos reflejan, entre otras cosas, el enfoque filosófico del escritor en asuntos de educación, arte, desarrollo económico, política y transformación social. Todas sus obras teatrales han sido llevadas a escena, entre ellas: Bacyard; Drawing Room; A Breaking of Chains; Peacefulness Falls in Love; The Clearing; The Bedroom Is Not For Sleeping; The Woodworker; I Don’t Want To Bathe; Our World is a Bloco; The Well; Sion Hill; War; Delussions; Rocking Chair; Hold Me Strong. También publicó Rootings, en 2002, Chilhood Reflections on Life at Stubbs, y The Legalogracy. Fundador y director de The New Artists Movement (NAM) en su país. “Poesía es la visión de un espíritu interior que da estilo, forma y movimiento a nuestro ser, nuestro ser en un espacio físico que es infinito en sus posibilidades para la expresión sin límites de la imaginación creadora.”

Última actualización: 04/07/2018