Laura Bee, a Farmer to Farmer natural beekeeping trainer from Oregon, is here for a month with Les Crowder, one of our return trainers. She took time off from holding workshops to go on our weekly shopping trip to Coronation Market, in downtown Kingston. When she got back to our farm, full of energy from her experience, she wrote this poem:
Coronation Market: mountains of roots and cinnamon bark, bags of pale chicken feet,
I bought balls of chocolate and branches of cinnamon leaf, honey in rum bottles, molasses too. Nutmegs with red mace lace (two spices in one) and baggie of allspice, big cotton apron like the “fat & Sexy” market ladies wear.
Sliding along walls of stalls:Spiky fruits and red otaheite, hillocks of ginger root, cases of green coconuts (drank a whole one and ate the jelly- expert one cut with a cutlass, slurped it up go back for another two cuts=one to get the jelly, and a tiny one to make the digger spoon) Ackee a glowing sumptous pile, High mounds of plantain green to yellow, banana banana banana-lady has a bunch on her head no hands gliding through and around the hollering, darting, milling rest of us and me
one of two whites in the whole place and it was huge,
going back for more grabbing bammy and cauliflower, loading the car and coming back for 2 huge sugar bags of watermelon, hire the guy with no shoes hauling a monstous cart with piece of cut tire to ride as a brake. Restroom costs a quarter, smells like bleach, learn to pee standing and fill your bucket at the sink to flush- they all taught me by yelling patois but with big smiles and made it fun “have a bless-ed day, jesus bless” then country gospel on the market stereo and lady smiles at me in the eyes and sings along and makes me want to sing too.
Love how laughing buckles a woman, watching random hands linking across crowded rows, the horizontal stripes and bulging backends of ladies bent in half in day glo pink shorts (glamour DO in Jamaica!) and oranges and lots of chinese tshirts and sewing kits and Kaat buys knives from Africa.
Rows tempt me to go down them where other clashing color poetry leads me like a tricky river, into the depths where eventually shadows fall beyond the palm brush broom stand and red stripe bar shanty, into the dust and mystery of the part of Jamaica that I will never see…