blackmail press 21
Janet L. Harvey

crossed cultures - special issue
Janet L. Harvey was born in Jamaica West Indies, and immigrated to Canada 1989.  Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the United states and Canada  in  ‘Feminine magazine’,  “the spirit of humanity” “Silver”,”Stella showcase journal”.and “Word Dance”. She was also the “Global contest winner” in Poetry Canada.

You are new to me. Virginal. Fresh like dew on a morning bulb.
Yet I greeted you with the embrace of an old friend
one I had known for many years.

And I yearn for such a warm embrace, to taste the familiarity of the past.
There’s nothing different about our union, nothing at all.
Except for your origin, and history (not different, just geographically),
everything remains the same. The same old chocolate glaze.

We hide from the tanning of the sun — to no avail. We burn.
You and me. Unknown to others assassinated in one breath.
Cranbury wine in our gushing eminent (the red seas).
You lavish me with such grace.

I taste the venom of the enemy. You tried to cleanse
your mouth, to permanently swallow your own vengeance,
but the soul of shackled memories resides here, new friend.
Now you and I must hold each other and merge our tears

Because you’ve known me before, in the cold, dark path of our ancestors,
our blood travels same boat, on the same waters of mental tribulation.
Will we be homey lovers, or passing strangers?
Will we retrace unknown roads to wherever?

And the world illuminates its darkness with your smile.
I peep into your heart. It is transparent. I see the anger boiling there, celestially.
Our most distant melodies have the same allure.

I gaze in your eyes and see every thing I am, and what I was.
You need me, and I need you. There’s no one else to cry for, we know.
We walk the narrow lane of twirling passion, chasing hyenas.
To the lions, we surrender; we enjoy the ravages of pain

Until you are not so new to me; until you are in me.
You are as colourless as me. And your tears: African dust
Sparkle like African diamonds, on a white man’s neck.
And I yearn for such warm embrace- taste familiarity of the past.

My Sad Song

Jamaica when the time is right
I will hum you a sad song
Sad as the lamentation of a old banjo

I will come home bearing gifts
Of my dead brothers, I thought was bullet
    Proof and battered resistance.

We have to wear a special mask for 
The cops in Toronto
Because if the camera is not rolling
We have no contest,
I will hum you a sad, sad song

And let the rain wash my tears
A clean soul  take, underground
But time slip onward, no more
I sing yes to the shine eye of the moon

That sees it all, here all the fortune
Went to the richer, than me, who make
Them rich
I will hum you a tune, to release
A spirit trap, in loom of destiny

I want to come home and hum you
A freedom verse of my soul free

Featured Artist Fiona Holding