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Nasaria Suckoo Chollette’s “Just Long Celia”

December 3, 2012
Did I tell you Nasaria was chosen to represent the Cayman Islands at this year’s Olympics in London?
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, poets from the 205 Olympic nations competed to be part of the UK’s largest ever poetry festival, Poetry Parnassus.  This event was part of the Cultural Olympiad.  And Nasaria was there!
Here’s her poem “Just Long Celia” and  art work “Long Celia.”  Enjoy!

Long Celia Acrylic and Paper on Canvas

Nasaria Suckoo Chollette’s “Long Celia” – Acrylic and Paper on Canvas

Just Long Celia

By Nasaria Suckoo Chollette


It was long Celia they called me

Not Ntozake

Or Mamma Zulu

Or even Nanny


Just Long Celia


Just Long Celia longing for freedom

Just Long Celia hoping for home

Just Long Celia free


Unna hear dem drums?


Naseberry sweet dem words was

Just like to bite in

And let dem run sticky down my chin


free      free      free

Unna hear dem drums?


Dis my Sunday offering

Dis my boxin day dinner

Dis my candle wood


It’s in the wind that’s fidlin’ through the wattle where the daub has worn away

It’s runnin’ mad like ants across the table where heavy cake has just been cut

It’s spillin’ out of hushed lips like drunken men pouring another cup of sea grape wine


Start a revolution…

Take a puff and pass it around


Unna hear dem drums?


You can’t kraal my spirit but for a little time

I feel the light you cannot see

And I will swim back home to lay my clutch

Where I began to be

And iron wood don’t sink


Unna hear dem drums?


Sarah, you gyapseedin duppy

You a blackgyardin tell-tale dead woman

You lie

And 12 white ghosts are fighting over my pickins in fifty lashes


I a woman

I a free woman

I a naked woman

I a torn an tattered woman


Buy you still cyan’t break open my cockspur thorny shell

And ‘memba what happen when ya rub a “nicka” wrong.


Wake up its morning


You still tied to that dock

One knot away from

Walking on water


You still taking lashes from

That raging monster

Whose rib you took


You still fighting the refection

You see in your basin

That is me


Wake up!


Lick dem drums Julia,

Lick dem drums

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