About the poet
James Berry (b. 1924) spent his childhood in a village in Jamaica, before working in the United...
Words of a Jamaican Laas Moment Them
When I dead
mek rain fall.
Mek the air wash.
Mek the lan wash good-good.
Mek dry course them run, and run.
As laas breath gone
mek rain burst -
hilltop them work
waterfall, and all
the gully them gargle fresh.
Mek breadfruit limb them drip,
mango limb them drip. Cow, hog, fowl
stan still, in the burst of clouds.
Poinciana bloom them soak off, clean-clean.
Grass go unda water.
Instant I gone
mek all the Island wash - wash away
the mess of my shortcomings -
all the brok-up things I did start.
Mi doings did fall short too much.
Mi ways did hurt mi wife too oftn.
from Hot Earth Cold Earth (Bloodaxe 1995), copyright © James Berry 1995, used by permission of the author.
James Berry Reading from his poems