YARROW at YULETIDE – by Waltie Ainsworth


(see the definition of YARROW at the end of this article)

By Ewalt ‘Waltie’ Ainsworth                   12 17 2011

Talk fuh sun and talk fuh rain, Christmas time is much more than  the feast, the conkie, the souse, the float,  the cake, the pepperpot, the garlic pork, the shine rice, the guava cheese and oil down.  It is also a time to sit together, compare notes, plant a seed,  rearrange your thoughts, take stock and take care of each other;  love your neighbor as you love yourself.  It is pointless putting it off till next year Christmas.  Now is the time.

The new currency is diversity and plurality and to  reach out to your neighbor in spite of how difficult it may seem, brings a certain calm, a certain grace rather than the constant bark and yarrow that we think is normal and acceptable in the 592 republic.  The barrel come, share the contents.  Take what is yours and free up what is not yours.  And you will not have to yarrow anytime soon; not now, not later.   

Christmas is also a time to set aside something for the less fortunate, the incarcerated, the unemployed, the underemployed and the migrant.  Do not for one moment entertain the thought that in North America, everything is honky-dory and they have and you have not.  Overseas is the cradle for ‘yarrow’ especially at yuletide.

I remember as a boy growing up on the East Coast, Sadhu, Mahase, Lutchman, Castro and Lilman among others, used to give you the most credit at Christmas because they know in the new year,  their customers will redouble and re-intensify their efforts to pay them off within the first quarter.  There used to be no yarrow and fret and story over your bills.  These days, with all the technology and social media, families are in disarray.  Yarrow and patwa fuh breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Husbands are judging wives; wives are judging husbands and the children, poor children in the middle, are pushed to drugs, sex, shoplifting, sodomising each other, same sex relationships,  smoking weed and displaying  non-functional and dysfunctional behaviors.

The anger levels are high and in sanctuary communities like Newark, Baltimore, Miami, Brooklyn, Toronto, Bronx and Queens where our people tend to congregate, yarrow is available in all the ethnic stores.

I remember as a young boy, this particular family, did not have much and a few short days before Christmas, how it rained.  And so Christmas morning shortly after 4.00 am, one of the male members of the family who was my age, came knocking for us to go to sea, piliking.  We set out with our catamarans and while heading out, we bumped into a much older guy, Jenkins, who was a mentor and friend.  He advised us not to go so early and to kill time. We went with him behind what is now called Belfield House, former residence of deceased Forbes Burnham.  This entire area used to be a coconut walk and there was a lake and yarrows used to spawn there.

The real truth of the matter, Jenkins had a girlfriend over at his house and before dayclean, he shipped her out and was on his way to shower in the lake and he was afraid to go behind the coconut walk by himself.  Jenkins was also a Cuban trained activist of the PPP and did not want to get into a yarrow with Burnham that Christmas morning.  He used us as a buffer.

When we got to the lake, it was dark, dark, dark.  Normally, there are logs of coconut trunk to demarcate the lake and by it rained most of that week, the banks of the lake overflowed covering the perimeters.  Jenkins proceeded to  sit on what he presumed was a log, to shower and recount his adventures and misadventures, the morning after the night before.  My friend, me too, noticed as he was talking and boasting of ejaculating 22 times in a 24 hour cycle, we saw the log-like perch starting to move.  Jenkins was actually sitting on an Alligator.  As he tried to scramble to his feet, the alligator took off.  In less than 60 seconds, it achieved and exceeded 60 miles per hour.  We tried to give chase but once it got on Belfield road it disappeared.

We aborted all plans to go fishing neither in Belfield or to sea that Christmas morning.  All was well until late into that evening.  The same alligator appeared on Belfield road, just where we thought we had seen it disappear.  Actually, it was able to conceal itself under a huge bundle of  stripped pointer broom branches left by the roadside, just outside Adam Gillis’ club and restaurant.  Adam innocently, to keep away mosquitoes and clear the area of debris, poured diesel-oil and lit a match.

Up to today, almost 45 years after, I have a vivid living picture of the alligator with a bundle of burning green coconut broom peelings, galloping like a horse, up and down Belfield road with police and soldier in hot pursuit.

For weeks, almost two months, nobody used Belfield road after that Charismas day saga.

A policeman named Mac Watt shot and killed the alligator.  A forensic examination was done and the results revealed that the branches dried on to the skin of the alligator like cake and even though he tried to shake it off while running and galloping, that was not enough.  The scales-like skin of the alligator, also produced a fuel-like something.  The dragging of the leaves beside and behind the crock also incentivized it to run faster and faster, clearing the way and bringing out the security forces from, Belfield.

This incident also prompted the Comrade Leader to fill up the lake.  He yarrowed and lamented over the harrowing experience and even though he liked gators and wild life, he hated to be the custodian or causation of yuletide yarrows.

Ewalt ‘Waltie’ Ainsworth –  E-mail: jenewalt@aol.com

What is YARROW?       Dec 21, 2011  – 1.20 PM EST

Since its publication, I have been having many calls asking me to define  the word “yarrow”. I will try here to explain what the word means:

YARROW is about a loud outburst that affects the spirit, the soul.  It is a row, a confrontation by an offending party who needs to make amends, change ways or sin, or a disease may befall you.  It is also an ongoing quarrel that will call for a mediator to come in before murder or other violence is committed.  It is like a fret, a something that causes you to lament, feel emotional distress about

Rural Indians and Afro Guyanese know these things, as there are ongoing quarrels that occur in rural communities.

Also yarrow is a fish that looks like a snake and when it rains and you are walking on a dam in the country, one may be encountered on the road and cause people to run because of the features like a snake.  It is also a sweet fish but you need that inner strength to want to eat it as a bush fish.  This fish seems to be almost extinct now in the villages,  as paved roads  and development has redefined canals et al.
This is the best I can do in terms of explaining.  Gracias


-Post #969

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