So, here we are, another General Election is upon us. The scene is set.
“for what else is there but books, books and the sea, verandahs and the pages of the sea to write of the wind and the memory of wind whipped hair in the sun, the colour of fire.” – Derek Walcott.
Modern man has miraculous powers. He flies to the moon and soars beyond the sun.
The best words for Christmas are from T.S. Eliot’s marvelous poem, “The journey of the Magi.”
Another year has nearly passed away. This seems astonishing to me.
By what values should we strive to live in order to achieve a community in which differences are accommodated, a community where there is diversity of discourse but a recognition of the common good regardless of politics, religion, race and personal beliefs?
Life at 86 is as full of adventure and interest as it ever was but the adventures and interests are now sedentary.
Some years ago the London Times, on an exceptionally dull day for news, carried a story which it headlined “Small earthquake in Chile: no damage, no injuries.”
It is extremely important that you pay attention to what today’s column says if you wish to live a longer, healthier, more alert and happier life.
I cannot believe that the powers that be intend to persist in their policy of drastically reducing a share of publicly owned advertisements to Stabroek News – as the Editor-in-Chief states and the statistics show is happening.
The younger generation never experienced, and older people tend to forget, how very limited and how very stifled the media was in the last period of President Burnham’s rule.
A day is dulled and dimmed if it passes and I do not pick up a book of poems in my library, browse in some anthology, find a new poem in the latest issue of Poetry Review or The New Yorker or some other magazine or at least glance at some old favourite lines from Hopkins, Walcott, Yeats, Carter or a score of other supreme masters of the art and craft of making poems.
As the political situation grows more fraught with intolerance I invoke the name of Voltaire.
One way or the other, if any nation is to do well, beneath and beyond the rhetoric and the fruitless slogans, the real work has to be done by ordinary people who do not indulge in the rhetoric and who do not shout the slogans.
In these sad, dislocated times let us dwell a while on what is permanently important in the nation.
Nothing is more dangerous than the over-mighty State. A State that gathers all powers to itself drains initiative away from where it does most good – at the local level, at the level of the small group, the family, the individual.
In a recent discussion with friends on great tennis players the strange case of Bjorn Borg came up.
The original Treaty of Chaguaramas which established CARICOM in 1973 carefully provided no machinery for exercising central powers of implementation.
Not very long ago, looking into the future, it would have been easy to prophesy for 2020 drug-related crime spreading an indelible stain over more and more of the world, trouble in Kashmir, unrelenting warfare between Israel and Palestine and then, nearer home, CARICOM still struggling to achieve the most elementary kinds of unity and, actually at home, Guyana riven to the soul by race division.
Thirty years ago, I wrote a poem in honour of the Brazilian labour leader and environmentalist Chico Mendes, who was assassinated because of his campaign to preserve the Amazonian rainforest.