Great-Grannie Mammie’s Sunday Food

Coocoo and peppery callaloo
was meh great grannie’s Sunday meal,
de food fuh she body and she spirit too;

and though de rest of us eat chicken stew,
we still have appetite fuh Mammie’s real
coocoo and peppery callaloo.

Wen she reach fuh de pot we knew
de nex ting she go need was some cornmeal
to mek de food fuh she body and she spirit too.

Sundays she was a changed woman; she drew
a-lotah strent cookin wid a ritual zeal
she coocoo and peppery callaloo,

an wid each mouthful she eat she grew
in wisdom to cope wid any ordeal.
Dis food fuh she body an she spirit too

did mek she remember Afrika, and renew
she identity; it did mek everytin real.
Coocoo and peppery callaloo
was de food fuh she body an she spirit too.


from Cook-up In A Trini Kitchen (Peepal Tree Press, 2009), © John Lyons 2009, used by permission of the author

Where next?

Recordings

John Lyons

John Lyons Reading from his Poems

1Chickichong

£0.89

2Madbull Kite

£0.89

3Grown Away

£0.89

4Skin Skin, Yuh Na Know Meh

£0.89

5Not Every Old Woman is a Souyouan

£0.89

6You Not A Soucouyant

£0.89

7Soucouyant On Bonfire Night

£0.89

8The Tamboo Bamboo Band

£0.89

9Gru-Gru Beff

£0.89

10Bobolee

£0.89

11Great-Grannie Mammie’s Sunday Food

£0.89

12Hauling in the Seine

£0.89

13Bonito in the Night

£0.89

14Fish on the Menu

£0.89

15King Fish

£0.89

16Jumbies

£0.89

17When Mum Switches on the Dark

£0.89

18Carnival Jumbie

£0.89

19The Climbing Skeleton

£0.89

20I Love Chicken Roast

£0.89

21Witch Ghost

£0.89

22TV Alien

£0.89

23A Room in the City

£0.89

24In a Welsh Cafe

£0.89

25Grandpa Dolphus

£0.89

26Terre-Animus

£0.89

27Hauntings

£0.89

28My Praying Mantis

£0.89

29Mantis

£0.89

30Z Sprittle Lepidopterist

£0.89

31An Iguana Chase

£0.89

32Mongoose

£0.89

33Pig’s Boast

£0.89

34My Dog Named Woopsin

£0.89

35Kisskadee Bird

£0.89

36Ancestors Say Goodbye

£0.89

37Christmas Come-An-Gorn

£0.89