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A New Kind of Rain & Discarded Islands

by Mac Donald Dixon
13 December 2023

 A New Kind of Rain is Falling from our Skies

 

A new kind of rain is falling from our skies

boring through metal, devouring flesh.

Banana leaves, proud heraldic emblems wave

contradicting fury tumbling from our skies.

Nothing is the hopeless cause we fight with tooth and nail

our hopes and futures consciously suspended.

 

Tell us who died; how many still adrift on spars

littering a sea-loused middle passage —

We need statistics to colour speech— for Cortez

and Pissarro to seem real— for us to march

against the Raj, towards the empire’s setting sun.

 

Numbers please? Postpone fate, pretense desired.

 

Bottle the pride; airmail it to Calcutta

but numbers alone cannot numb the tide

rising in the ghettoes. Conscience, its thin night dress

reeking of turpentine; placeboes assuage blight

but not the pain.

 

Squeals stuck edgewise, numbed by an ocean’s drought

seal names to parched throats, still anchored in the bay’s silt.

History weeps with nettle and other stinging weeds

we need to find faces that match the bones in this sludge.

 

A new kind of rain is falling from our skies

lesser mortals bogged down by cross and alb

transpose their names on numbers for the vote.

Coconuts lobbed on copra heaps engender trade.

 

A new kind of rain is falling from our skies

howling through royal palms and casuarinas

pouring down on country hills from a black heaven.

Is this the maker’s master plan so that we still believe?

 

A new kind of rain is falling from our skies.

 


 

Discarded Islands

Salt-fish turning slate on roof tops

where old men sit swearing

under their cedar tree, morning

noon or night. Faces blank like a roll

of toilet tissue, they never learned to use.

Glimpses of a man nickname progress

limp past under their nose that cannot

smell fish gut rotting in the keel of a canoe

beached for generations in the sand.

Tourists pledge to return every winter

for photographs on the bow

weather beaten dollars keep the hull

safe from the sea ant’s dent.

Nothing’s new here to see.

Concrete swallows sidewalks eyes closed

a juke box spits reggae at the age.

Change will not come unless

we bellow with our pants below our knees

confused dreams, packaged in empty sleeves.

Nothing can erase complexion

the master’s master plan.

While different whips lambaste on our backs

we find ourselves groveling still.

Nothing has changed, nothing ever will

we have forgotten how to walk barefoot

on prickly pebbles, on our beach without sand.


These two poems were selected from our call for poetry and spoken word. Meet the two guest editors Melizarani T. Selva and Keith Jarrett who are curating this collection. Further pieces will be published between February and June 2024.


Illustration © Gisela Mulindwa

About the Author

Mac Donald Dixon

Mac Donald Dixon was born in Saint Lucia, West Indies. At sixteen, browsing through shelves at the St. Mary’s college library, he stumbled on ‘Twenty-Five Poems’ by Derek Walcott and knew from that moment he would write. Despite having written several short stories and plays and novels, he is best known for his poetry. He is […]

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