(The following is an extract from Steinberg Henry’s upcoming novel “Calypso Drift: An Archive Of Sorts”
While Tarina Simon in song was calling on the Bishop of Roseau to declare his strength for resolution and bonding, he was present at another level. In my 2005 writings, I did not envision him in that role. I saw the churches, denominations, sects, meditators, Kalinagos, Muslims and Rastafarians/Dreads of the Order Of Nyahbinghi circled in prayer and meditation to protect a nation-state. Then I caught internetted extracts from a major environment conference. Waitukubuli Ecological Foundation and a group of conferees had gathered at the foot of The Holy Mountain – Morne Trois Pitons, that place I love. Ha-ha.
The Bishop of Roseau was there and spoke. “It is not unusual to see fast-food boxes, plastic cups, food containers and scraps of paper in public places, as well as mattresses, old cars in gulleys, all of which can breed disease and contaminate drinking water. Discarded tyres, stoves, refrigerators, galvanize sheets also found in gulleys pose a potential danger for increasing air-borne diseases during the rainy season.” This is a Black Bishop in 2006, warning about dengue; sounding more like the island’s Chief Environmental Health Officer than a Doctor of the Sanctuary. He was spirited at the foot of Morne Trois Pitons, Dominica’s designated Holy Mountain possibly to warn about days of rains and a dengue outbreak in 2011! Athie Martin was there too listening. What return, what nascences rising, what thankfulness!
Truly, Dominica’s Catholic Church – remembering Edward Alexander in 1994 – is no longer a mission church. It is time for justice – fast-food chains and transnational corporations show no mercy and their junk-food no healthy vital signs. Even while franchises are owned and managed by nationals, few know the detailed terms regarding global changes in branding and taste requirements, neither may a national be able to determine additives recommended by corporate. A church, any denomination or sect, within reach of this Sun, should not permit its congregation, its flock to be poisoned by genetically modified food. Health correlates strongly with spiritual wellbeing. Adventists teach and practice that. Calypso, continue to propogate that!
The Rastafari/Dread representative who spoke at the foot of the Holy Mountain, wanted energies directed. Adamah, sister to Dominican Independent Environmental Services Professional, Marie-Jose Edwards, told the gathering “Let us re-direct our energies at preserving our ecosystem. In other words, if we see it right to do justice to the ecosystem, then our spiritual nature will dictate that we have short-changed our fellow-brothers and sisters; in the process, causing us to short-change our rivers and trees.” She hoped that the up-coming generation would enjoy what she enjoyed as a child. Then she opened up the universal chakra of Rastafari/Dread. She said, “in the meantime, to establish the universal love on Earth, making way for the great promise of Christ, Muhammad, Krishna, Buddha, Haile Selassie The First and so many other pure Africans who were sustained by the ecosystem, we need a healthy Mother Earth. Such a task should include the eradication of incest, murder, genocide, prostitution, homosexuality and immorality.” It’s worth tons of reflection when she refers to the above spiritual leaders as pure Africans, or maybe I’m over zealous. Google ‘Fu Hsi’s Wooly Hair’.
Adamah continued. “What are we to do about our drying rivers, when agriculture, the sacred task of feeding ourselves is dying. We see more diseases: genocide on the African continent. We see the corporate world det in their ways to maintain the tradition of their forefathers who plundered Africa, The Americas, Hawaii, The Caribbean, Asia and now in Arabia. We see the trend now. Like the prophets, Rastafari warned of the wrath of man who has judged himself unworthy of Jah Almighty. We see rampant corruption and poverty, destruction of the ozone layer having devastating effects on Earth. Let us pray for divine intervention to keep our purity — necessary to preserve our rivers, our ecosystem and our spirituality.”
The name Africa never emerged in any 2006 Calypsos. Who knows. It must’ve been coursing too closely through performers veins.
Finally, the sister from The Order Of Nyahbinghi, The fire Judgment Hall Of Rastafari, told the eco-gathering, “we must harness our energies from now to preserve the ancient of days in our mountains and flowing rivers. We ask in the name of His Majesty Haile Selassie The First, to overstand the connotation of word, sound, power and change the name of the mountains that are named after the evil one. Bring forward the name of Dominica to Waitukubuli so we won’t sound like dummies under the devil. Morne Diablotin, Morne Au Diable – these are names that we as Rastafari want, ask our leaders to consider and change. So the word, sound and power of Waitukubuli will relate to the Creator and not to the devil.” This event at the foot of the Mountain, took place at the beginning of the Lenten season, two days after the 2006 Carnival.
n Steinberg Henry’s two other works are “As She Returns” (2009) and “An Unassuming Love: Black Memory, A Traveloguer & Cricket” (2011). The second is available at Choices Bookstore, Roseau, Dominica –