Tag Archives: Magic

The M(N)STRY: Words of Wisdom from “The Jumbies”


baptiste_jumbies_jkt_pbk_rgb_hr_2mbRecently I’ve been reading Tracey Baptiste’s YA book, The Jumbies, which is a supernatural fantasy book that takes place on the island of Trinidad. I won’t give away what the book is about; instead I suggest for you to go read it, but I will tell you that one of my favorite characters is the witch because she is truth teller. Here is a poignant passage I resonated with and that I believe is relevant for now:

“Everybody thinks they need magic. Everybody wants answers. Get rid of this boil. Help me find money. She doesn’t love me anymore. Why won’t my cane stalks grow tall as my neighbors? Everybody wants a fast, easy solution. Maybe if you took care of you’re skin, you wouldn’t have gotten the boil in the first place. Maybe if you worked harder you would make more money. Maybe that person isn’t the right one for you. Maybe if you found a better way to farm, your crop would come up better. But nobody wants to hear those things. They want a bottle. Instant success! Something to drink, or sprinkle, or spill on the ground. They want magic from nothing. Magic doesn’t come from nothing. It comes from somewhere. And it isn’t so extraordinary. It’s just work. It’s just using your head and your heart.”

In many ways, the indoctrination of an instant gratification culture obsessed with instant power, wealth and fame is part of the blame to how we got to this point. Let us learn, as Baptiste teaches us in The Jumbies, that to create true change and to fight back, we must trust our true instincts, understand our connection to the earth and that doing real magic takes work.

 

 

 

 

 

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Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth: Poem in Process – “A Mad Man with a Box”


Last week, I received some inspiration to write a new poem. I was watching an episode of Mysteries at the Museum and saw I segment on Henry “Box” Brown, the enslaved man who mailed himself to freedom. For some reason, the story stayed on my mind. The next morning when I watched a Doctor Who video on io9, I had an idea for a poem about Brown, taking elements from Doctor Who and elements from Brown’s life, including his “autobiography,” Narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown, Written by Himself. Brown himself led an interesting life after freedom, becoming a magician, mesmerist and was interested in animal/human magnetism and “electrobiology.” My poem builds from the idea of Brown’s escape, as Britt Rusert said, as a kind of “fugitive science.” Below is the beginning of my poem and the setting is Brown on a stage:

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