Islands of Influence

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A Poetry Mixtape Edited by Brandon Wint

The Poems

Today doves flew from my head

and my hair grew

the longing is gone from my body


“I saw my land in the morning

and O but she was fair”

- M.G. Smith, “Jamaica” (1938)




Come see my land


I saw a perfect tree today

From my cabin bed on a Via Rail train 

Through the North of Ontario

I saw a perfect tree today

It was tall and thin and scraggly...



Winter has landed; my boot bucks on a stone

surrounded by snow; I swear, I murmur

Oracabessa. “The rock” is what I call home,


I was nine and I stood at the top of the street for no reason except to make the descent of the gentle incline toward my house where I lived with everyone and everything in the world, my sisters...

somewhere a little girl is reading aloud

in the middle of a dirt road. she smiles

at the sound of her own voice escaping

the spine of a book. she feeds on her hunger...

for Alton Sterling, Andrew Loku, Philando Castile, et al.


I wanna live, son. But which son are you?

   There where the rivers are made

of moonshine...

My sister is crying and crying

her tears grow to salt stormy showers

to rain and to rapids and rivers

they run to the sea to the sea.


My sister...

people arrived from portugal. people arrived from africa. people arrived from

india. people arrived from england. people arrived from china. people

predated arrival. people...

Stepping off the plane in Whitehorse

the last thing I expect to feel

is home

not quite alone

but close enough

here in this great black north.


The Playlist

We are currently adding to the Mixtape playlists, so check back soon and often! Send us your recitation of one the poems in this Mixtape, and we may add it to the Playlist!

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