The Woman with the Straight Back

woman standing tall


I am the woman with the straight back,

Straighten after years of bending, yielding,

Fragmenting my spirit, folding myself

As I carried the burdens,

The baggage, the rubbish that comes

From begging love to others,

From being unaware that I am my sole source,

For I am the wine and I am the cup, and when

It over flows, I tender love all around, enough

For me and the universe, so immense is the

Fountain within. So, I have learned to feed myself

The love I never received, and in so doing

I have created a new path for my feet to walk in,

A different song for my voice to sing,

And tall and limbered I stand,

Ready to fully be who I truly I am:

The woman with the straight back.

A bit cracked, somewhat smashed,

Weathered, bruised, but unbroken.




Thursday Afternoon



And she was gone.

A good-bye kiss, a last hold

Of hands, eyes veiled by a

Dewy mantle of old tears,

Ready to fall as rain.


Ungiven. The hurt too much,

To deep, too like a knife

Ripping her heart,

Shards falling with the promises

Once offered, the second chances

Bestowed, the betrayal, once more.

And love shrank back to a seed

And then to dust and the day came

When she refused to listen anymore.

No more lies, no explanations, no

Siren songs. Gone is the

Wide-eye girl who trusted,

Who believed, who breathed in

Love every morning, as she woke

By his side, when he was hers,

When he was tender and true,

As when they first met,

When their eyes reflected each

Other at the small art’s café,

Where she entered to escape the rain

On a Thursday afternoon.






Ubuntu means humanity;

I am because we are.

This African philosophy says

That to be human is to be part:

Of something bigger, something better,

Something that gives meaning to how we

We walk and live together,

Come together, to grow and heal,

And be the zeal which begets

Community, fellowship and camaraderie;

An embrace of different ideals,

And views and beliefs, interwoven

Like braided ribbons, creating rainbows

For you and me, for my song needs

Your ear, your print asks for my eyes,

My mind wants to tango with

The dancer of your mind.

And bridges are there to be crossed.

And fingers are there to intertwine.

And by myself I’m only part human,

For to fully be, flourish and expand,

I need the challenge, inspiration and warmth

Of my fellow human kind.

So Ubuntu means humanity.

I am because we are.

And in community we hold

Each other, in the sanctuaries

Of our hearts.


Sometimes I Dream

woman in bed crying


Sometimes I dream of your hands,

Climbing the peaks of my arms, gliding,

Softly, a subtle caress

Awakening every inch of my skin,

With its promise of love -of

Bodies interlocking, souls

Merging in a melting pot

Of kisses, sweat and hugs,

You and I, one. You and I

Branding each other with

The heat of our touch, our desperate,

Hungry touch, wanting so much more.

And then the chill of the night

Awakens me, my hand empty,

My lips dried, the void of your

Body holding your shape

At the back of my mind. And I wipe

Away the tear and close my eyes,

To dream you back, back to me, next to me,

Like we were before the fights.

You, by my side. At last.


Holding On



I ache for your words, you touch,

A sign that says I’m your love,

Your dream, the reason why you get up,

Take a stand and face the world.

If things are supposed to be such,

They are not.

And I should go, I know.

But I am not that strong.

I’m just a whisper

In your storm, a drop

In your sea, and I wish

I could walk away

From the coldness of your being.

And then on those days

You become the sun,

Bathing me in your warmth

And all the pain melts away

By a single act of love.

And then you are gone.

Here, yet so far, that

You would be closer were you a star.

But you are my moon peeking through the night,

Barely visible, completely unreachable, but there,

Almost there, for this heart, surviving

Out of the dew of love left from the

Last time you acknowledge me as

Part of your life.

And I wish I could go.

But what’s a drop without the ocean?

A whisper without the storm?

Your pale face shines in your night of cold.

And against all odds, my crazy, weak heart, holds on.



woman-walking-awayK. Barratt


And so it happens that we are all walkers:

Runners, joggers, skippers;

Trail blazers, some of us.

Path finders.

And that is the answer of the ages.

Of the “who am I” and “what am I doing here.”

We are machete wielders, creating

The path unique to ourselves,

To our laughter and our tears.

We are charterers of the unknown

Jungles that our lives are, similar

To many, yet different in every sense.

We do not travel the road less travelled:

We create the way.

We build the bridge, draw the maps,

Write the memoirs that the

Next generation will forget or

Misunderstand, because I am not

You, nor you I, and my yellow

Brick road is  blondish, buttery white,

Whilst yours is coppery gold.

And so, like the Spanish poet

Said, dear walker, there is no road.

The road is rendered by your feet when

You start your walk.

And that is life. And who you are.

A walker of dreams on a space called land.






Just for today  I will get up again,

Dust my knees once more.

I will forgive myself for

Breaking my essence like

A stamped-on shell,

Cracked to the core.

And for today I will clear my eyes.

I will believe in fairies and talking stars;

That I can make it; that I can fly.

That mercy is there for me,

Born from the depths of my heart,

Where I am loved, purely, as I am.

And just for today, I will shine,

Shamelessly, joyfully, in

The night sky of my life.

And I’ll have dreams, high and might,

Where all possibilities already are,

And I need to prove nothing,

No excuses to validate my existence,

For I am worthy, today,

I deserve all and every good thing,

Today, I will love myself, today,

I will cherish every quirkiness of my soul

And rise, up, to a place of light

Deep within. And I will no anger, nor worry.

I will trust, bloom, flourish.

Just for today I will embrace myself.

Every day of all the days

Where there is a today, I

Will adore who I am.

That’s my commitment from now on.

Just for today.

When it comes to myself.

I will love, love and love.

And then rise.






I rise,

From my knees, from my bondage,

I rise,

Tall and mighty,

I rise,

Like the lark in the morning,

The nightingale at night,

Singing my song,

I rise.

Poor, lonely, even ugly,

I rise,

Oppressed, broken, destroyed,

I rise

And become the sun and the stars

And every flower that ever bloomed,

Bloomed first in my heart,

For I held on to my dreams when

The darkness kicked and bit me, I

Held them tight.

And now I rise.

To a new day that has my name,

My face, my still timid smile.

My day.

And on this day I give out my hand

To you my sister, and tell you,

Let’s rise.

Tall and high.



Valles de Aragua


I like the colour green,

The fresh, bright green of the

Hills I grew up in,

A spring green, the green of baby

Lambs jumping in the meadows,

The green of dreams, impossible,

As the sea green edging the blue

Ocean before the land claims

The space -the natural

Homes of mermaids, some

Would say, or playground,

Where they would sit and sing

Dressed in green algae and

Silvery-green fish tails -but I digress.

I like the colour green,

Coconut green as the hills

I grew up in.

They are black and red today, those hills.

Black by fire, red by death.

No ancient house stands to tell

My story and games; the garlands

I made for the Spring festival; the

Green ones I weaved to crown

My hair, as I pretended to be the

Sea green princess sitting by

The greenish pond.

It is brown, now, the pond.

No one jumps into it anymore.

My house had a green door,

Emerald green, decorated with studs.

They broke it. They burned down the house.

They broke us.

And left dark colours in their wake.

And for a time that felt like years,

We just lingered by, phantoms over the wrecked land.

And then the green came back.

Timid, shyly, unsure if we had enough soul in

Us to welcome it; to work with it; to make it grow.

and expand. The top of the hills is tar and scarlet still,

But the foot is covered in apple green, and rice green,

And lettuce green and avocado green and life green,

And the houses are being erected again, rebuilt, and

In our new home the door is green,

Like a jewel on a queen, outlined with studs,

And we are afraid no more.

Protected by the fresh promise of green,

Of these hills. in which I grew up.



Caribbean Nights

mother daughter brushing hair


My mother used to hum when she

Brushed my hair, even sing sometimes.

On balmy Caribbean nights she

Would do it on the white wooden veranda,

The echoing sea serenading us with a lullaby

Of singing mermaids and dancing starfish.

She was calm on those nights, my mother.

Her face would relax to a beautiful smoothness

And I would see the girl she had once been.

She could love me fully at times like this.

Just as I was.

She would forget about rules and the “have tos”

That chained her during the day, and turned

Her into a nagging loom of dos and don’ts.

The wind was salty and fresh and soft,

On those Caribbean nights.

She would sit on a rocking chair, I on the floor,

And she would brush gently the nest of my hair,

Turning each wiry string into spun silk.

She would talk about days past, about games,

Her first kiss. She would be silent at times,

The only sounds being the wind, the sea, her hum,

The drumming of my heart at peace, wishing

Sunrise would never come and the night,

To be endless, my contentment to last forever.

She is gone now, my mother.

Our love affair was a rollercoaster of

Bitter sweet feelings and demands.

But I have those nights, in our big

White house, resembling a hen dowsing

By the sea, to remind me, that with

All her shadows and mine, she loved me,

The best way she knew how.

And I loved her right back.