BRIDGETTE: Blood in the Streets

by jwright on March 8, 2014 · 0 comments

An e-book by: Jeffery Wright

BRIDGETTE: Blood in the Streets

Introduction:

BRIDGETTE: Blood in the Streets is an edgy story about a quiet, middle-aged Canadian man returning from a hunting trip. Denison Grant finds himself caught in the middle of three black youths settling scores—their guns blazing on busy Crossbar St. in East Toronto. Bullets whiz about Denison’s head, punching holes in his Volvo, but he wants nothing to do with the cops. Because of bad blood long ago, he has to decide how to stand up for his city against the murderers.

The stereotype that the people of Toronto’s black community are reluctant to seek police help when bad things happen is about to be tested. Like others at the scene, Denison is fearful of the gun-toting hoodlums and tells the cops he saw nothing, but in truth, he knows where the three criminals hang out. He drives home, pours himself a scotch and gazes into the mirror. What he sees are random flashbacks of his life in Toronto since joining his father from Jamaica at age 12: his values, his first love—Bridgette—the family he has built, the rise in crime. That’s when he realizes that, although he doesn’t trust the police, he loves his city. He makes his decision late that night not to let the criminals get away, and drives into the night, his hunting rifle still in his bullet-riddled Volvo, to do what’s right.

About the Author

Jeffery Wright is a fearless writer with a keen eye. His articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the Caribbean, United States and Canada, including The Globe and Mail. He has developed and taught creative learning courses to at-risk high school students in Toronto’s East Scarborough priority community of Danzig-Galloway for many years. He studied creative writing at the University of Toronto and Humber School for Writers and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Please download and enjoy your copy at: http://www.amazon.ca/BRIDGETTE-Blood-Streets-Jeffery-Wright-ebook/dp/B00G7S9RC6

COMING: 2014 my first NOVEL 2014!!

After banging my computer for Nine MONTHS, one YEAR, fifteen DAYS,

three HOURS, and eight MINUTES, a funny and insightful three hundred page book fell into my lap.

A caring editor Nightingale cleaned her up to make me the proud creator of my first NOVEL.

STAY TUNED for her name and when you all can take her home to enjoy!

The JoggingPen

Copyright ©

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The great contradiction

by jwright on March 6, 2014 · 0 comments

By: J. Wright. 

Perhaps it is our loss that empirical thinking was not able to strip away the mystery cloaking religion. Exposing her dis-unity to bare-naked reason. On the other hand; maybe, just maybe, our faith is blend in with that hot, red, liquid, inside our veins, and is immune from attacks by that purposeful and irreverent ruler we called logic.

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MY Tribute To Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

by jwright on March 6, 2014 · 0 comments

By: Jeffery Wright

Dec. 8th, 2013

Nelson Mandela

News of your death switches my thoughts to how blessed I am to have lived in your time. You were a leader of high principle, because I understand that leading by principle is self-sacrificing. Gandhi was killed before my time; I had to read about him. Next up, Martin Luther King Jr.; he was assassinated on the edge of my time. I was a boy. I had to watch television to learn of him. Then came you, Nelson Mandela – just in time to inspire me, because my thoughts about the world were mine alone to ruminate inside my cerebrum, never to be aired – until your courage gave me freedom to chant with the crowd. Yes sir, I held my custom-made anti-apartheid sign high above my head that Saturday afternoon – winter of 1983, in Toronto, and I marched. My sign reads: “FREEDOM YES, APARTHEID NO.”

“AMANDLA!” Thundered the crowd. Mr. Mandela, my voice was so strong, you probably heard me all the way in South Africa. My footsteps were as crisp as a soldier on parade, up and down the street for two hours. And knowing you were still locked up for so long, Alton – my friend and I, refused coffee breaks. That Monday at school, I felt ten feet tall. I went to the library and read as much as I could about you and your country, to prepare for my next anti-apartied demonstration. Madiba, your ardour and discipline transcended your prison confinement, and stirred me to put one foot in front of the other and shout against injustice.

It wasn’t only your unbending courage during your 27 years behind bars that made you great. It was your actions after watching you on TV: your gangling frame made those triumphant strides from penitentiary to freedom – into a political landmine of a country, fuse lit, ready to explode. But you disarmed that bomb by injecting massive dosages of high-grade principle into South Africa’s low-grade race-based politics, and quelled flaming fears of those who knew only to hang their adversaries.

For nowhere past, a leader who had had so much taken from him, now holding the reign of power, would not have weeded out his foes like grass. But you did not. No sir, you surprised them all, by doing no such thing. You simply rise above the convention way of vanquishing the enemy. And using forgiveness as your core ideal, you sculpted the best out of those who had wronged you and your people.

You simply requested your adversaries, without obligation, to sit and listened to their own retail and wholesale atrocities. In deliberate, cold, monotone voices their tongues regurgitated their own unspeakable violence. Some cried as blood-drenched words oozed from their mouths, to set their tortured conscience free. Others sobbed and used napkins to wipe their eyes, as their violent acts tumbled from their lips – as if trapped evil spirits were escaping, making room for peace to come into them. Others fell on the floor and wept as if being exercised from demons. Some were unrepentant.

And I watched all of this on television and my eyes popped wide and jawbone tightened, fists clenched shouting, “Mr. Mandela, what the hell are you doing? Why are you letting those people get away with so much murders and violence?”

Then I shook my head, staring out the window at myself marching against apartheid and whispered, “Just let them confess and then set them free? Is that all..?”

Well Mr. Mandela, you were right. I was woefully and pathetically wrong. But I have learned sir, because you fired not a single shot at those who had unleashed machine guns and tanks upon your people. Instead you invoked a meek and patented greatness that taught me a tough lesson. Because years after digesting your truth and reconciliation commission, someone wronged me and I said, no problem, I’ll just be like you – forgave him the way you had done so easily. It took me many years to do it. That’s when your omnipotent greatness humbled me: the ease and grace at which you used forgiveness to vanquish those who had done you and your people so much injustice. You are simply my hero.

So, Mr. Mandela, sir. You’ve done your job. You are now free. So fly away, soar like an eagle to liberty dreamed of on cold nights while in your tiny cell on Robben Island. Yes, I missed you already, but your legacy is safe. For another like you will not soon pass this way. Therefore, I am thankful to have lived in this time. In your time. And in time to come, on a quiet afternoon, my grandchildren will ask about you. And by God sir, I will tell them with starry eyes; that I had lived in the days of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela; a prince of Africa and lion of peace.

May you rest in peace, sir!

Jeff Wright/Dec. 8th, 2013

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Waiting for the Oracle

by jwright on May 13, 2012 · 0 comments

Somewhere between Ocho Rios and Port Antonio… (a creative peace of Jamaica.)

By J. Wright on May 5, 2010

The afternoon is perfect. Air is fresh, clouds gone. The calm sea mirrors the blue sky. A narrow cobble stone pathway leads me beneath lush greenery. Birds are singing overhead – a thousand melodies, praising their Creator for the freedom granted them at no charge. On my left, seven-hundred feet below, a semi-circular white sand beach shaded by rugged vegetation – a cozy nest where six red roof cottages hide. There’s no one home. My whispering voice is the only sound here. Nature is at rest after a stormy morning. The rain is gone and bright sun from endless indigo sky lights the mountains and brightens a colourfully quilted garden on my right. Flowers are spread across the hillside, meandering along a stream that transforms into a frisky waterfall into the valley to greet the calm sea. Soft wind ruffles thick carpet of orchids, dalais and mauve forget-me-nots. I smile and reflect… (De place pretty, but mi left de damn kamera inna di kar again. Same ting happen a Bluefields yes-today. It looks like the writin’ part of mi brain no want mi fi tek any pictures.)

Indeed these lush majestic mountains elegantly rising from vast turquoise waters, heaping high into the sky were not always at peace. In 1658 during Spain’s second attempt to retake the island from Britain, the bewildered sea, red with blood of warring men lashed and soaked the land as cannons boomed from ships. Musket balls pierced flesh and ripped limbs one from another. Bodies torn to pieces like old rags. Arms and legs washed ashore to their everlasting rest at the base of these mountains, where their tormented souls lingered in doubt, under dark clouds hanging over paradise. Their souls found no rest in the grey monument of steel and brick erected to glorify and soothe their restless spirits. So on the second century’s anniversary of that blood gushing onslaught, the Island’s government hammered a stake through the heart of a venerated conflict, and created a peace park upon parched bones of savage combatants. (So much ugly gravestones. Caan imagine the amount a duppies ‘round here when night com. Night not katching me ‘round here.)

The park is a noble victory that cleansed foul memories from picturesque landscape and set free tortured spirits of long ago dead warriors into gentle trade-winds to find serenity. Harmonious blends of lush and flowering beauty in full bloom replaces shrines of grey, cold brick of testament to the dead. A bright yellow eternal flame shoots at the sky – a peaceful flaming icon reaching out to the firmament. Farther along on my right is a coconut orchard, their stout trunks painted white for decoration. Their greenery curves around the land and then slopes gently to forever kiss the calm water – a forever seamless kiss melting land and sea into a union that cancels goodbye. (You mean the lan a kiss the sea since creation? Mi no know how you si all a dat just by lookin’ at a simple landscape. Mi a com ‘round here fi years and neva hear anything like wah you a diskribe. Mi tell u say a mad weed Jah Mokie give you last night and u was not to smoke it. Did you smoke it? Aright den, how much Red Stripe u drink since mornin’?)

The trees, plants and flowers were born on the same day – their height is the same. Equality is quality’s grand chest-thumping achievement. Branches are hugging one another, uniting to create a dense fuzzy canopé. A shelter for poets and writers to protect their mind’s faint but insightful candles from unhealthy diets of faddish fib – gale force, unleashed to wash away pensive discourse. (Yu know, I have to stop watching CNN and start reading books again when I get back to Canada. Dat TV station a mek mi lazy… feedin’ mi di same junk-food news over and over…)

A warm gentle breeze grows out of the silent waters; climbs the hillside. The wind tickles my face and invites me to mingle, but I prefer to watch the spirited wind-choreographed leaves and branches in delicate tango, in celebration of a truce between sea and land. However, like a symphony of our lives, nature’s rhythm and tempo are unpredictable. (Would be nice fi have a girl wid me fi tango wid inna dis bush right now, fallin’ down dis hillside into the sea to kool off.)

In 1988 a vengeful hurricane stormed out of the raging waters – weapons drawn. Razor blade sharp wind-soldiers sliced deep and with fury; slashing and uprooting all that was good and honourable, replacing all around with mayhem. It took many years to mend, but all evidence is gone now – tranquility lives once more. A soft light glows from forgivers of life’s rage – the world’s annoyance trampled under their feet.  Once in a while though, the earth belches fire and ash upon itself to reform by sliding left and right, shifting up, down and sideways. Sometimes the land swells into mountains or steeped into valleys. Once in a while the land heaves its indigestion into the sea and boils it, but it’s the land that often forgives the sea’s stormy outbursts with ease and without grudge. (You live a Kanada; tell mi ‘bout forgiveness when hurricane Gilbert wash weh your house and all a your fowl dem. And kill your one pinckney and everything else you own. I have no forgiveness fi dat damn evil hurricane Gilbert.)

Green painted benches are scattered on neatly trimmed grass under swaying palm trees, but I sit on grass – deep in placid splendor. Wait a minute; I have lost count of how many bottles of Red Stripe beer I had emptied since morning. The one in my hand is down to half. There’s only nine left in the car. I am running low… (The red stripe beer inna di kar hot like tea. The la-ast one mi drink down a White River almost burn off piece a mi top lip. I have to buy a koola and some ice when mi reech Port Maria later dis evenin’.)

I gaze at the bluish-green mountain’s craggy skyline towering above infinite blue waters. Benevolent rivers flow from mountains to feed the sea, but here, the mountains sip from the edge of the sea to stay fresh. Same as once towering parents, one day, will drink from their caring children – fling quickly your bread upon waters for it to be there in a time of need. (I never understand this ting fully, because when I drop piece a bread in a my tea, it soaked, gets saggy and sinks to the bottom of the cup.)

A bright-yellow male Jamaican Oriole above my head sings a loud reggae-style bragging chirp to its mate. She answers quickly with a soft agreeable tune and fly to him. To tend to his need. “What a dutiful and obedient bird?,” I thought. The two birds acted as if they knew more than the bees – for a short while. Then they fluffed up their bodies, shook their tail feathers and began to sing cheerfully together. I listen to the bird’s harmonious blend – for awhile. My cell phone blurts out, “I don’t wanna wait in vain…” A Bob Marley tune. My heart drums – fast. “Hello,” I answered. “It’s the Oracle.” Yvonne confirms, “the kar’s flying through Runaway Bay. Be there in twenty minutes.” I am waiting for her and have many questions and much to tell before zipping off to Port Antonio. Will be nightfall before I get there… (If she no show up in twenty minutes, as she promised, mi ago leave. Almost one hour since mi reech here and she a com and caan reech yet. When she get here mi gwoin’ ask har, how com’s she live inna Jamaica and don’t know dat when the Jamaican male Oriole call, the female drop everything and fly to him.)

  1. Comment.  February 2, 2011 at 2:43 pm. Your article was so vividly written, it was as if I were there. God Bless your mind and your hands for writing to inspire…J

Jeffery Wright is a graduate of Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

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Fixing Chasm with Education

January 16, 2012

First published in Trinidad and Tobago Guardian Published: 5 Sep 2010 A little encouragement to back to school students: “His way paved, boots too smooth, no friction in his steps; he slipped, stumbled, fell did not get there.” Chasm: That gaping hole and gulf between, and reason to strive; that great motivator to close up [...]

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