by Jamal Ali
In the comfort of my living room on a January morning,
I sat close to the fireplace relishing the cozy feeling that penetrated
the depths of my soul. Glued to the TV screen while sipping
hot coffee, I quivered when I heard the words of the weatherman, “In
Calgary, it is -36 degrees Celsius with the wind chill.
That is cold, cold, folks. Make sure you bundle up.”
Cabin fever devoured me while walking in circles from the living room
to the kitchen. The intense desire for the outdoors tore through my flesh.
Dressed in layers, a refreshing walk in winter’s realm liberated my
psyche. Like a pack of Arctic wolves, the howling sounds
of the wind were wonderfully haunting. I swayed rapidly
like a tall evergreen in the wind gusts. The longing for springtime and its
harbinger, the red-breasted robin, engulfed me. The phantasmal world
of song enveloped me, as the hungry ear was tuned in to the robins’
cheery carol. Thoughts of my tropical birthplace, La Isla de la Trinidad,
visited me. On this isle of childhood yore, miniature helicopters
fascinated me. From nectar to nectar, hovering in the tropical air as
they feed. I would revel in the music of the humming sound made by
their rapidly beating wings. Building sand castles on scenic Maracas
Beach has left its imprint on me through the passing of time. Old Man
Winter gazed at me coldly, as I reflected on the disappearance of those
tropical moments with downcast eyes. Thinking about the fireplace with
affection, I walked quickly to my bungalow.
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©Kirk Ramdath and
Originally from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamal Ali
immigrated to Calgary, Alberta, Canada together with his parents and
siblings in 1967. His prize winning poem, “Nighttime Encounter with a
Coyote,” appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of Wax Poetry and Art
Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 2. Jamal’s writings have appeared in various
publications. He likes listening to the jazz music of Diana Krall and
enjoys hiking with friends in beautiful Kananaskis Country.