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Welcome to the U.S. Future – It Looks a Lot Like the Ukraine Past – Opinion — Guyanese Online

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Trump’s Shakedown Makes Washington Just Another Racket The impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump has pulled my homeland, Ukraine, into the spotlight, and more Americans are talking about it than ever before. Yet few see it clearly. Some still call it — wrongly — “the Ukraine”, and few seem willing to spell the name of […]

via Welcome to the U.S. Future – It Looks a Lot Like the Ukraine Past – Opinion — Guyanese Online

 

“Silent Warrior” by Indigenous Brazilian Poet Márcia Wayna Kambeba

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Márcia Wayna Kambeba – Indigenous Poet – Belém – Pará – Brazil
Photo Credit: Brazilian Women’s Magazine Seja Extraordinária

 

My Poetry Corner November 2019 features the poem “Silent Warrior” (Silêncio Guerreiro) by Márcia Wayna Kambeba, the artistic name of Márcia Vieira da Silva, an indigenous Brazilian poet, geographer, performer, and activist for indigenous rights. Born in 1979 in the village of Belém do Solimões in the northern Brazilian state of Pará, she is of Omágua Kambeba ethnicity. At eight years, she moved with her family to São Paulo de Olivença—once the largest settlement of the Kambeba people—in Amazonas. Today, she lives in the city of Belém, capital of Pará.

In the opening stanza of the title poem—written in Tupi followed by its translation in Portuguese—of her poetry collection, Ay Kakyri Tama – Eu Moro na Cidade (Ay Kakyri Tama – I Live in the City), she writes:

I live in the city
This city is also our village
We do not erase our ancestral culture
Come white man, let us dance our ritual.

Influenced by her grandmother, a teacher and poet, Márcia Wayna began writing her first poems at twelve years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in geography at the Amazonas State University in Manaus. In 2012, she received her master’s degree at the Amazonas Federal University. For her dissertation, she documented the history of the Omágua Kambeba people from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, examining the relationship between territory, identity, and ethnicity. Her poetry collection, self-published in 2018, is the transformation of her dissertation to inform others about the invisible life of indigenous peoples.

Continue reading

Under the Tamarind Tree: Book Review by Robert A. Vella

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A gripping page-turner that will tug hard on your heartstrings


Robert A. Vella, science fiction author of The Martian Patriarch (2012), has posted a review of my novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, on his blog, The Secular Jurist.

Under the Tamarind Tree by Rosaliene Bacchus is a fictional story centered on a young man in British Guyana from 1950 to the nation’s independence in the late 1960s.  The two-decade long tale of his life is highlighted with haunting memories of his childhood, captivating family intrigue exquisitely unwound by the author, and touching marital troubles all told within the context of a culturally diverse country torn by political and ethnic strife.  It’s a gripping page-turner that will tug hard on your heartstrings.

The story moves along briskly from scene to scene and is delightfully filled with tactile samplings of Guyanese culture particularly its lifestyles, cuisine, and colloquial speech.  Reading it brought the activities, tastes, sounds, and even the climate and geography of the country vividly to my mind.  It was almost like being there.  This quality of the novel cannot be understated and it is the most essential component of the story.

Continue reading at The Secular Jurist WordPress blog

 


Dear Reader, my debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, is available at Rosaliene’s Store on Lulu.com and other book retailers at Amazon, BAM! Book-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, and Indie Bound.

Learn more about Under the Tamarind Tree at Rosaliene’s writer’s website.

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

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Cartoon: We are Destroying Earth
Photo Credit: Union of Concerned Scientists/Justin Bilicki

 

On November 5, 2019 more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries signed a declaration, published in the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, that states “clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.” Though scientists began alerting world leaders forty years ago about global warming, greenhouse gas emissions continue to soar.

In an effort to expand our understanding of the climate emergency, the scientists have prepared several graphics of the vital signs of climate change over the last forty years.

The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle.

The 15 charts in Figure 1 depict the changes in global human activities from 1979 to the present:

01. Human population
02. Total fertility rate
03. Ruminant livestock (cattle)
04. Per capita meat production
05. World GDP (Gross Domestic Product)
06. Global tree cover loss
07. Brazilian Amazon Forest loss
08. Energy consumption (oil, coal, gas, solar/wind)
09. Air transport (by number of passengers)
10. Total institutional fossil fuel assets divested
11. CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions
12. Per capita CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions
13. Greenhouse gas emissions covered by carbon pricing
14. Carbon price
15. Fossil fuel subsidies

The 14 charts in Figure 2 depict the climatic response time series for the same period, 1979 to the present:

01. Carbon dioxide in atmosphere
02. Methane in atmosphere
03. Nitrous oxide in atmosphere
04. Surface temperature change
05. Minimum Arctic sea ice
06. Greenland ice mass change
07. Antarctica ice mass change
08. Glacial thickness change
09. Ocean heat content change
10. Ocean acidity
11. Sea level change
12. Area burned in the United States
13. Extreme weather/climate/hydro events
14. Annual losses due to weather/climate/hydro events Continue reading

Lessons from Nature: Adapting to Change

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Section of my succulent garden

 

The succulent plants in my garden brighten my life. During humanity’s mad dash towards the abyss, their quiet dynamic presence calm my troubled mind. Under California’s scorching sunshine that set dry brush ablaze, my succulent plants have found a way to survive the extreme heat. Some change color; others become more compact in form.

“Flap Jack” or Paddle Plant – Parent plant under heat stress

“Flap Jack” or Paddle Plant – Area of little direct sunlight
Grown from cuttings from parent plant

 

Given their amazing ability to propagate from cuttings, I’ve planted succulents in several garden plots of our apartment complex. I marvel at their adaptation to different soil quality and amount of sunlight.

Aeonium “Mint Saucer” – Area with full sunlight

Aeonium “Mint Saucer” – Little sunlight during early morning

 

The adverse effects of our climate and ecological crises will intensify in the years ahead. It’s already happening here in California. People who have lost their homes in areas ravaged by wildfires must now question the viability of staying and rebuilding. This is also the case for areas facing prolonged drought and frequent flooding.

My birthplace in Georgetown, Guyana, is also under threat. The Guyanese Online Blog recently posted a video (duration 2:04 minutes) demonstrating the gravity of the situation.

Source: Guyanese Online Blog

 

A time is coming—perhaps, sooner than we envisage—when people everywhere across our country and planet will be on the move. Pulling up our roots and resettling in different lands is nothing new for our species. But the climate and ecological changes already underway will demand much more of us.

Like the succulents, will our species adapt to surviving on less water, on less food? How will we adapt to living on a hotter planet?

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Thought for Today: There is nothing weak about being honorable.

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Excerpt from Former President Barack Obama’s Eulogy honoring Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland:

[T]here is nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There is nothing weak about looking out for others. There is nothing weak about being honorable. You are not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect…

“The cost of doing nothing isn’t nothing,” [Elijah] would say, and folks would remember why they entered into public service. “Our children are the living messengers we send to a future we will never see,” he would say, and he would remind all of us that our time is too short not to fight for what’s good and what is true and what is best in America.

Two hundred years to 300 years from now, [Elijah] would say, people will look back at this moment and they will ask the question “What did you do?” And hearing him, we would be reminded that it falls upon each of us to give voice to the voiceless, and comfort to the sick, and opportunity to those not born to it, and to preserve and nurture our democracy.

~ Read the complete text of Barack Obama’s Eulogy for Elijah Cummings, published in The Atlantic, October 25, 2019.

News Update ~ Under the Tamarind Tree: A Novel

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Readers who use the Apple iPhone or iPad can now buy the iBook version of Under the Tamarind Tree: A Novel by Rosaliene Bacchus.

 

Other News

I’ve recently received the following e-mail from a friend in Los Angeles who has been a great supporter of my work.

Under the Tamarind Tree
From: Eileen Xxxxxx (e-mail address)
To: rosalienebacchus
Date: Friday, October 18, 2019, 6:37 PM PDT

Hi Rose,
Based on your short story collection, I am really looking forward to reading your first novel!!!
Thanks for being the great writer that you are. I love your work!!
Wishing you the very best.
Eileen

Eileen is a retired public school teacher and private tutor.

 


Dear Reader, my debut novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, is now available at Rosaliene’s Store on Lulu.com and other book retailers at Amazon, BAM! Book-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, and Indie Bound.

Learn more about Under the Tamarind Tree at Rosaliene’s writer’s website.

Get over it, America!

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The Picture of Dorian Gray – Painting by Ivan Albright – 1943
Based on the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1891)
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

 

Get over it, America! I’m doing nothing wrong. It’s all legitimate. It’s what privileged families and corporations have been doing for generations. Because we can. Money can buy anything and anyone. 

Get over it, America! For generations, our corporations have expanded across the world, exploiting, and amassing wealth so that you can live the American Dream. 

Get over it, America! I’m the only one who can save America from its enemies. I’m the chosen one. I’m a stable genius. I know what’s best for America. Don’t believe the fake news: It’s a witch hunt.  

 

Instead of draining the swamp in Washington DC, as promised, our president has forced us into the swamp with him. He exposes the foul depths of the soul of our nation—much like The Picture of Dorian Gray—in which we the body politic are co-conspirators by our complicity, negligence, or silence. Hate disfigures our countenance. Cruelty shrivels our heart. Greed drags us down to the deep.

There’s no getting over the onslaught we now face daily. But we can say, “enough.” We can seek the light of reason, truth, and justice.    

“A Simple Man” – Poem by Caribbean Poet Ian McDonald

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Front Cover: People of Guyana by Ian McDonald and Peter Jailall
Photo Credit: MiddleRoad Publishers/Canada

 

My Poetry Corner October 2019 features the poem “A Simple Man” by Ian McDonald from the joint poetry collection, People of Guyana, by Ian McDonald and Peter Jailall. Born in the Caribbean island of Trinidad in 1933, Ian McDonald is a poet, novelist, dramatist, and non-fiction writer. After moving to then British Guiana in 1955, he made his home there. Today, he lives partly in his adopted homeland and partly in Canada.

Born into a white family of power and privilege, the young Ian fell in love with literature and writing as a schoolboy. In 1955, after graduating from Cambridge University in England with a Bachelor’s Honors Degree in History, he began working with Bookers Ltd., then owners of the British Guiana sugar estates. When the company was nationalized in 1976, McDonald remained as the Administrative Director of the newly formed Guyana Sugar Corporation until his retirement in 1999.

On one of those days while working with Guyana’s sugar estates, McDonald visited Betty, a former sugarcane laborer, “an old woman in a run-down logie room,” to get details for her resettlement. In his heart-wrenching poem, “Betty,” the poet captures her long life of deprivation, forgotten by society.

she said her life was nothing to her
she said all women’s lives were as nothing
no one had been pleased when she was born
she was sure of that boys were princes 

Once married, she had been abandoned by her husband for another woman, eventually ending up “with old women in this place.” Betty didn’t want to move. They were the only people she knew. Continue reading

More Praise for UNDER THE TAMARIND TREE: A NOVEL

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French Canadian blogger Sha’Tara, blogging at Burning Woman, has posted the following review of my novel Under the Tamarind Tree on my blog: 

I finished reading “Under the Tamarind Tree” last night, or should I say early this morning. I was halfway through when I began reading last night and past midnight there were still a hundred pages to go so I shut down and got ready for bed but I couldn’t let go of the story, got up, booted up and read until I got to the end. Must have been about 2:00 AM.
What a story! So well told. One doesn’t need to be back-grounded in Guyana history to read your novel, the history tells itself throughout. The characters are believable and constant. What a movie your story would make.
Your novel is a “can’t put it down” writing. I’ve read thousands of novels over the years as time constraints forced me to learn speed reading and I can tell you that “Under the Tamarind Tree” ranks up there with the best of them if not actually at the very top. I’m amazed, honestly. I know I shouldn’t be but this took me like a whirlwind. Only one thing disappointed me: it ended way too soon.
Thank you for opening a window of life on another part of the planet I know so little about.
Posted on October 9, 2019

 

I have also received the following e-mail from Amanda Khan, a Guyanese American, who received a copy of my novel as a gift.

Wonderful Book!

Amanda Khan <e-mail address>
Thu 10/10/2019 3:13 PM 

Hi Rosaliene Bacchus! I enjoyed your book “Under the Tamarind Tree” very much. I loved the simplicity of the story. It brought back so much memories to me. I couldn’t put the book down. I love Richard lol A man that loved his wife unconditionally, he was determined to accomplish his dreams no matter what. He acknowledged when he was wrong yet he kept pressing on towards his goals. The humor in this book is outrageous! I love it. Well done Rosaliene Bacchus!  

Amanda

 

I appreciate all the wonderful and positive responses about my debut novel. My protagonist Richard Cheong would be very pleased 🙂