My Mind

Personal website of M.G. Daniel. Sharing poetry, my writings, snippets from my life and whatever's on my mind.


Leave a comment

Friday the beautiful 13th

Confession: I’ve said I love the number 7 as my lucky number, but I always kinda loved 13 as much or more and claim it as my luckiest number. That does not mean, given all the baggage – historical, cultural, social, etc. – that goes with that number that I don’t have some dread about 13th floors, Friday the 13th and so on. (Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th part 2, the first of the series I watched, nearly terrified me off horror movies for good.)

Where I am sitting at this moment it’s still Friday, October 13 , and that fact made me forget how I was feeling and drag myself to a church this afternoon.  The reasons why I love 13 have to do with my faith orientation. (Something I post about occasionally on this blog, not to proselytize or snare anybody’s soul, but because it is part of the make-up of me, as is my Caribbean/Saint Lucian identity, immigrant status, Daniel/family genes, etc.)

last supper-daVinci

I walked in with a friend and a bas-relief of Jesus and his 12 apostles (13 people) greeted us at the entrance. A bit further into the church and there was a statue of Saint Anthony, whose feast day is June 13 and whom I have a particular devotion to. (Yep: I devoured Greek mythology, over-consumed African folk tales and Caribbean oral literature growing up and I now like a lot of the Catholic mythology.) Anyway, the draw of church today was this October 13 being the 100th anniversary of the last Fatima apparition and the Miracle of the Sun – an event that the recorded newspaper accounts and other histories can sway a stubborn mind to the side of believing these eyewitness reports have more to them then mere group histrionics or mass hysteria.

caribbean-1504584_640

I know, this is not your typical Friday night post, but my mood is light and happy, as if I was enjoying a night out on the town. It has something to do with going to confession. I thought I had a burden of bad things to put down, in this essentially free and confidential spiritual therapy-like sessions. I am always bowled over by the gentleness, kindness, compassion and genuine caring, non-judgmental nature of the priests I encounter in the confessional. So my latest confessor, hearing all the bad things I have done,  cut me short with a finger wagging and a sharp, “Listen to me, you’re being too hard on yourself.” And for my penance asked me to go read Psalm 103 (you’ll find a 13 in there somewhere if you look hard enough). I just found it so beautiful, so consoling reading this that I had to share. In case someone else will find it soothing.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.

Update, Saturday the 14th: Note that ‘fear’ here does not mean bone trembling terror but awe, respect, reverence, and such like.


1 Comment

Today is ‘Happy Day’

Because 7 is my lucky number! October my ‘delights’ month before November and Lady, living and cherished mother, Saturday favourite
day of the weak — a confluence like no other.

Feel the joy, as Paul Laurence Dunbar did in his Merry Autumn poem:

October_Dunbar

 

 

 

The leaves are still quite green where I am, but that’s ok. Colour them smiling.autumn-209479_640

I am not complaining about joy and warmth on my decreed ‘Happy Day’ that falls close to Thanksgiving Day.  Good morning everyone. Enjoy the day, and some great poems about October.


Leave a comment

Martinique memories from moons ago

In the throwback spirit of Thursday memories My Mind returned to a poetry  performance tour in Martinique many moons ago. I was invited by a group called Sainte Lucie-Martinique Ansanm  – on two occasions actually – to do readings of my poems, television and radio chats about my poetry and country, interviews for print media articles, and answer questions before live audiences about how the economy of Saint Lucia (my homeland) had held up since it became politically independent from Britain.

Those all expenses paid trips did feel good. They also opened my eyes to the fact that there was a very vocal anti-colonial/pro-independence voice in Martinique, against being ‘ruled’ by France, even though it was a minority viewpoint at the time. The mostly poetry performance trips were also an eye opener showing no matter how much you think you are/have nothing, someone is out there eying you, patterning on you. That group felt Saint Lucia was a role model for their aspirations; with its much smaller economy and geographic size compared to Martinique, the island managed to get by with Independence. They argued that the people of Martinique should have more self confidence and stop fearing total collapse if they took charge of their internal and external affairs.

I must try to reconnect with some of the key figures to see how they have evolved since then. The name of the group loosely translates from Creole (a tongue we speak in common) to Saint Lucia-Martinique Together. It was great of them to translate some of my poems into French. (The full PDF of the snip below is here).

martiniquePoetry