About the poet
John Lyons is a painter and poet, born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. When he was nine,...
Ageless Christmas ketch ah piggy-back
from time, an he comin laden wid promises,
expectations thick in de air. There’s no lack
of energy; people making commesse
excited about Christmas. Charlotte Street
stores sellin lace curtain-cloth, doing business
like dey never done before; soca beat
loud on dey P A system; Fada Christmas
wid a black face, pillow-stuffed belly, greet-
in everybody; he dress up like ole mas.
But nevermine all-ah-dat, is de food
I waitin for. A-lot-ah rum go pass
dese lips; ah go hit de Vat 19 good,
an before Christmas come-an-gorn
I go get tight as everybody should.
I go eat Christmas cake meh mudder born
to make wid she special rum recipe.
She cookin through de night, den Chirstmas morn-
In, de house smell like food festivity:
boiled smoked ham, roasted turkey, rice-an-peas,
plenty sorrel, ginger beer an mauby;
an every Tom, Dick an Harry like bees
in de house jus’ like round a sugar barrel.
Now lehme wine meh body, if yuh please.
from Cook-up In A Trini Kitchen (Peepal Tree Press, 2009), © John Lyons 2009, used by permission of the author
John Lyons Reading from his Poems