Image by Nathaniel Stewart

Poem introduction

Crown Point, which is the title poem of my first collection.

Crown Point

Crown Point

The sea hums endlessly
Stars through the darkness
wake my homespun peace…

‘…A see mi great grandfather
jumping hopscotch and playing marble…’
I see MY grandmother praying
‘…Bless the Lord oh my soul
and all that is within me
bless his holy name…’

and the round green world of penny-royal
smells the room
through windows cool and sweet
and khus-khus from the cupboard
counter smells

On the shelf her pan
a miniature suitcase black and red
with stamps and old receipts and dust
there too her bible large and black
its file of leaves in red
turned to us kneeling
this bible full…
God’s words and other words
birth dates and marriages
and deaths

… and forget not all his benefits
who forgiveth all thy iniquities
who healeth all thy diseases
who satisfieth thy mouth with good things…’

Thus speaks my Gran
through this Tobago silence…
and recreates the order of her room
and recreates the aura of her God
and speaks so clearly in me…

Perhaps the clutter of my life
obscures her voice
Perhaps the clutter of my mind
frustrates her
streaming to my consciousness
Perhaps her mystic to me
waits my silence
waits my tomorrows’ spaces.


"Crown Point", from And Caret Bay Again: New & Selected Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 2012), first published in Crown Point and Other Poems (Peepal Tree Press, 1988) (Alt+0169) Velma Pollard 1998, used by permission of the author and the publisher.