More than fifty years ago, a young singer songwriter burst on to the exciting and boundary breaking music scene in Brazil, a country grappling with the legacy of cruelty, colonization, migration, and above all, enslavement. Burgeoning movements for racial and regional equality, along with student and feminist movements, workers, and small peasantry, found themselves clamouring for both more and just representation in Brazilian social, economic and … Continue reading Who’s Your Troubadour? Fifty Years of Chico Buarque
I’ve not been able to watch the fall of the British Monarchy and the Republican Revolution as televised by Oprah. Just not happening! Every time I think of the British royal family, I am reminded of Sue Townsend’s classic, The Queen and I, a masterpiece of Republican humour. As you’ve guessed, I haven’t succumbed yet to the Crown! Instead, I returned to the influences of … Continue reading A Little Somethin’ for Megan Markle?
Today marks the shortest daylight in our hemisphere, and the arrival of winter’s official season. But as of tomorrow, the days will lengthen again imperceptibly, and for those of us who need the light, like morning glories or sunflowers, hope will gradually be born anew. Indigenous and pagan peoples celebrated and celebrate the energies and magic of this day when the darkness must be propitiated … Continue reading Solstice 2020
No much up to writing lately, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words. 5 Septembers ago, the equinox gave me the gift of a new face. I was afflicted with a virus called Bell’s Palsy. It changed my life. We are all judged on first appearances. I used to be excruciatingly self-conscious after my face became paralysed. Even today, eating in front … Continue reading Post-Equinoctial Saudade
Key Words, Nicolas Guillen, Cuba (Translated Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020) Make of your lifea bell that resonatesor a furrow— in which flowersthe luminous tree of the idea.Raise your voice over the voice without nameof all others, and make visiblethe man, along with the poet. Fill your spirit with flame,see the peaking of the summit,and if the knotty support of your walking stickdiscovers some obstacle to your … Continue reading Poetry for the Peeps!
Many people have started to ask me why I have not put anything on this blog in more than a month. Since I started this project a year and half ago, I have tried to respond to issues that have moved me deeply, created a moral restlessness, and an artistic response. I believe that art– visual, poetry, story-telling, music– has a great and necessary role … Continue reading Love in the Time of Coronavirus
Throughout the last year, since I started this blog, I’ve been delving into the weighty topics of racism, profits before people, the colonization of indigenous peoples, destruction of the environment, and the like. But sometimes I need to refresh and recharge. Music is a key part of getting through being isolated, as the coronavirus rages on, while politicians and businessmen and doctors are at opposite … Continue reading Jazz Cats! Music to Explore and Enjoy!
I’ve been having a hard time with this solo-self-isolation. All members of my family are thousands of miles away, experiencing their own lockdowns. Music, books, cleaning, and cooking are losing their charms after the 2 weeks I’ve been doing this! And I fear there will be weeks more. As a person with disabilities that make life unpredictable at the best of times, getting sicker and … Continue reading The Soloist
The other day, a friend asked me if I had been writing. The truth of the matter is, being solitary sometimes makes me unable to concentrate. I think it’s ironic, that I have not watched Netflix once, since the start of official self isolation for elders and those with pre-existing conditions. Part of this has also to do with a psychological reaction— it seems wrong … Continue reading COVID19 Kills Postmodernism!
If Bob Marley were alive today, it is likely that he would be assassinated again, by the U.S. government and its agents. His 75th birthday would be tomorrow, February 6th, although he perished at the age of 36, a man in the prime of his music, lyrics, and creativity. It is fitting he was born in February, a free spirited Aquarius and in the month … Continue reading Hey, Bobby Marley!
I was first introduced to the world of Chileans in exile, in the late 1970s, as adults and children fleeing political repression, torture, kidnapping, political rape and murder, arrived in Canada. In fact, Chile had not been know for mass migration until the political banishment of left and progressive sectors under the Generals. Chile’s self-image, shaped by the Spanish conquistadores and their later allies and competitors, … Continue reading Chile: Forbidden to Forget…
I am a strong supporter of the movement throughout the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean to stop celebrating Columbus Day. Critics of the pro-Colombus status quo signal to the cruelty and harshness of Spanish empire-building and by extension, European and British colonization efforts in the Americas. Genocide of indigenous persons, the wholesale buying and selling of afro-descended peoples through chattel slavery, the wilful … Continue reading Indigenous Uprising on Columbus Day
Today’s piece is sharing some poems which have been part of our English poetry canon for centuries and decades. Some I had to study in school, and thus happily rediscovered in adulthood. My mother suggested me a beautiful poem by John Keats, Ode to Autumn. I share it below. A beautiful cadence of the English language and evocative images. Here it is Ode To Autumn, … Continue reading Autumn
These haiku are inspired by music from the 1940s onward. I used to love listening to “latin jazz” and afro-cuban jazz. Years ago, when I had a radio spot, finding music to share was a delight, especially since it was long before the Internet! Chano Pozo revolutionized American jazz at a time when it was increasingly open to global influences, while at the same time, … Continue reading Skintalker!
The day brings so much more news about ICE, the U.S.Border Patrol, family separation, the dependency of multi-billion dollar corporations on undocumented labour and racism. The buying of citizenship (U.S.A) and the ban on migrants who receive social assistance from becoming citizens (Germany). And in the midst of these conditions, people still love and live, full of dreams, hopes, relationships, and humanity. I happened to … Continue reading Deportee