"Mary has a baby boy" by Pamela Mordecai
Mary has a baby boy
Well next thing you know,
de Roman emperor name Caesar
Augustus send out a instruction
dem must count all-o-we!
Dat time in Syria, one man name
Quirinius was governor.
Dem send orders dat every man jack
must find himself back to de town
where him born to write him name
down into a book. So Joseph
set off from Nazareth town where him live
in Galilee country and go to de city of David
what dem call Bethlehem, for is where
him family come from. Him take me
wid him, no mind me big wid baby,
for him say is him response for de two of we.
We leave Judith and Sarah
wid my ma and pa.
At de self same time when we reach
to Bethlehem, dis baby
decide him coming too.
Joseph ask for a room at de inn
but de place pack up right to de brim,
not one likl corner nor crack leave over.
Me sorry for Joseph! Him look high,
him look low till him find a stable and is dere
me born Jesus, wrap him in warm clothes,
give him a first taste of my breast,
and like how we never have no crib, settle him
in de dumb animal feeding box.
de Book of Mary is an epic poem in Jamaican Creole based on the Biblical story of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The first book of a trilogy, Pamela Mordecai's
de Book of Mary covers Mary's life from her early years, through the arrival of the Archangel Gabriel and the birth of Yeshua, to her death.
A Chorus of male and female voices provides an accompanying commentary. This exciting Canadian-Jamaican retelling, profound and tragic, yet told with humour and gusto, is a major event, continuing Mordecai's project of hybridizing one of the most significant cultural-religious phenomena in world history. The last book of the trilogy, de Man, about the crucifixion of Jesus, was published by Sister Vision Press in 1995 and is now out of print. The poet is currently working on de book of Joseph, second book of the trilogy.
About Pamela Mordecai
Pamela ('Pam') Mordecai’s previous collections of poetry include Journey Poem (1989); de Man, a performance poem (1995); Certifiable (2001); The True Blue of Islands (2005), and Subversive Sonnets(2012). de book of Mary, from which “Jesus Takes Leave of Mary and Goes into the Desert” comes, will appear in fall, 2015. In 2006 she published Pink Icing, a collection of short stories; her first novel, Red Jacket, appeared in February, 2015. She has edited and co-edited ground-breaking anthologies of Caribbean writing including Jamaica Woman (1980, 1985, with Mervyn Morris); From Our Yard: Jamaican Poetry since Independence (1987); Her True-True Name: An Anthology of Women's Writing from the Caribbean (1989, with Betty Wilson) and Calling Cards: New Poetry from Caribbean/ Canadian Women(2005). Her play, El Numero Uno had its world premiere at the Loraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in Toronto in 2010. In spring 2014, she was a fellow at the prestigious Yaddo artists' community in upstate New York yaddo.org. Pam and her family immigrated to Canada in 1994. She lives with her husband, Martin, in Kitchener, Ontario.