“Pointerman/The crossroad is self…./ seek the source of rivers/ begin here, in your hands, begin/each beginning,/new beginnings/ like vertiginous sacraments of water/ begin at the navel’s resolve, new/ incarnate flower.”
—LeRoy Clarke, Douens: Poems and Drawings
Painting was LeRoy Clarke’s true forte, but he was equally adept at poetry. In Parables of Joyless Days, Clarke described himself as “The Poet Who Paints With Words.” In 1981, he shocked our sensibilities when he cried: “Carpenter, shoemaker, dancer, wirebender,/ let me be the Artist—Poet—Farmer./ I will fork this earth, with my tongue/ let me plunge into your ear/ through syllables of violet, the science of turquoise, / through populous ochres and energetic reds/ through fathomless greens, through supplicant blue, / through the arterial vegetation of the rainbow” (Douens). Continue reading The Passing of the Pointer Man→
If I were asked to put a human face to a new portrait of Trinidad and Tobago at age 59, I would sketch a decrepit Jean or Dinah, aged beyond her actual years, scowling and regretting her wasted years, waiting to die at the feet of an ungrateful people.
I am not happy conjuring such a sorry image of my native land at a point in its history when it should be bubbling with life, oozing confidence and full of energy befitting a nation that has had a good run, whatever obstacles it may have encountered after it became an independent nation on August 31, 1962. Continue reading T&T at 59: Jean or Dinah?→
Tobago is a small island of 116 square miles. However, the geographical location of Tobago is very strategic. It helps in configuring and generating significantly the total maritime area that is now attributed to T&T resulting from the conclusion of maritime boundaries in 1990, 2006 and 2010.
If you want to know how the United States wound up with “government by stupid” one need only look no farther than some of the recent propaganda put out by members of Congress, senior military officers and a certain former president. President George W. Bush, who started the whole sequence of events that have culminated in the disaster that is Afghanistan, is not yet in prison, but one can always hope. Continue reading The Evil That Men Do Lives After Them→
EL TUCUCHE can be made the symbol of our greatest achievements—it is graced with the sovereignty that represents our transcendent power over Douendom where we are still held in disarray and ignorance. Above all, is Aripo, symbolically, the Eye am that Eye am, the one God in whose house there are many mansions, and to which many are the paths!
—LeRoy Clarke, Parables of Our Joyless Days
In the 1950s a modern phase of T&T’s artistic development revealed itself in the paintings of M. P. Alladin, Geoffrey and Boscoe Holder, Leo Basso, Alfred Codallo, and Carlisle Chang. In “Painting in Trinidad and Tobago,” Pat Bishop declared: “These painters were not merely taking the brave step of painting in black face but were also prepared to participate in the modification or destruction of traditional image making.” Continue reading The Passing of the Pointer Man→
If there was anything shocking about what happened in Afghanistan last weekend, it was the millions of people who were surprised by the speed at which the Afghan regime collapsed, the military imploded and the Taliban swiftly moved in to declare itself the new government.
BBC journalists referencing Saigon way back on May 1, 1975, when the last Americans who were evacuated from a war that never should have been, reversed on board the aircraft, kicking away desperate Vietnamese who had worked for the US, and who wanted to escape before General Giap’s army took control of the country. “Experts” spoke of the colossal waste of US resources in pursuing yet another ‘mission impossible’ in a country and among a people who will never be tamed, not by Western standards anyway. Continue reading Surprise us, Mullahs→
KABUL—The Afghan government outpost in Imam Sahib, a district of northern Kunduz province, held out for two months after being surrounded by the Taliban. At first, elite commando units would come once a week on a resupply run. Then, these runs became more scarce, as did the supplies.
“In the last days, there was no food, no water and no weapons,” said trooper Taj Mohammad, 38. Fleeing in one armored personnel carrier and one Ford Ranger, the remaining men finally made a run to the relative safety of the provincial capital, which collapsed weeks later. They left behind another 11 APCs to the Taliban. Continue reading How the Taliban Overran the Afghan Army→
Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) was a United States Marine Corps major general, the highest rank authorized at that time, and at the time of his death the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. Butler later became an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences. He also exposed an alleged plan to overthrow the U.S. government. Continue reading WAR IS A RACKET→
“I maintain that art at its best reveals to us the fullness of what it means to be human.”
—Ben Okri, The Theatre Diaries
No creative personality writes, paints or sculpts outside of his/her time and place. Necessarily a product of his history and his geography, s/he always tries to cast a light on the perils that confront his people. In so doing, s/he reflects on the truths and failings of humanity as well. LeRoy Clarke, our master-blaster, resided in that elevated region of greatness. He took on the persona “The Eye” to illuminate the perils that confronted his nation. In the words of our Orisha devotees, he was a Seer (he would have said Obeah) man, who strove assiduously to illumine the darkness that enveloped his people. Continue reading The Passing of the Pointer Man→