He’s extraordinary. He really is. Chill with him for a few and you’ll realize that he’s not your average guy. To put it in his own words, he’s got “a fun-tastic, unusual nature and he’s not afraid to express himself.” He’s a robust seaman, swimming coach and landscaper, who considers himself to be pirate. Yes a pirate! Currently pursuing his lifeguard license, he is an aspiring poet and author, soon to be launching two books. This audacious individual is Jaireh Lawrence.
Lawrence is a 30-year-old resident of Monchy, with an addiction for the seas. A larger-than-life, energetic and optimistic person, he believes in tackling things head on, taking risks and just enjoying life. His enthusiasm for the seas and all things encompassing water was kindled by his father Wellington Lawrence, former relief captain of the recently sunken Brig Unicorn. Like his dad, he chose the life of a seaman, working on the Brig, even as an entertainer (pirate). Still, he has a love for poetry.
STAR: How did you start and develop a love for writing?
JL: When I was in primary school, I was a bit of a shy child so I expressed myself to the girls by writing them love notes. The teachers somehow always seemed to catch me passing them across the class and had me read them out aloud. I was never embarrassed though because the girls loved it! As I got older I started writing letters, songs, poems, short stories; basically anything that came to mind.
I met this tall, slim Rasta guy in town one day selling one poem; and I couldn’t believe that he had the guts to stand in town and sell a well printed copy of one poem. I was really impressed and bought it! Later on I found out that he was Kensley Charlemagne, founder of Pomn Damou Kreations. I got in contact with him, he invited me to his weekly open mic event and introduced me to the Writer’s Forum. Also, at the Castries Library Extravaganza, I performed my poem, ‘The Power of Self Control’, which I won prizes for and NTN played my performance on TV. So the encouragement helped me believe in myself and here I am today with two books.
STAR: What is your definition of poetry and what does it mean to you?
JL: For me, poetry is about self-expression, communication and therapy. Self-expression in that I am able to use it to bring out my inner self. It is a means of communication because the readers can relate to your work, and that in itself provides some sort of therapy.
STAR: Tell us about the two books.
JL:The first book is called Jairehful Thoughts: A book of Jairehful Poems. It’s a mixture of poems which I wrote over the years in my spare time and others I wrote for competitions.
The second book, Jairehful Thoughts Part Two, is a compilation of more recent poems and a few of those that aren’t in part one. Most of the poems in both books are about my personal experiences, but are written in such a way that everyone can relate to them.
Those of part one are written on a different level as those of part two, as they are mainly contemplative, recreational pieces. The majority of those in part two were written competitively and for the book. So I had to sort of change my focus, my style per say. Each of the books contains 20 poems.
STAR: What motivated you to pursue publishing your books?
JL: Persons who read my work kept encouraging me to push myself and write a book. They thought that my work was good and some even volunteered to help. So I finally took them up on their word and got the assistance.
STAR: What has been the most difficult part of this book publishing process?
JL: It would definitely be getting sponsorship. That has been very difficult. The money spent so far has been my own, there are still expenses that I have to cover but I will continue to persevere and see this project through.
STAR: What are your personal favourites from the forty poems being published?
JL: I really like ‘The Scourge of the Caribbean Sea’, which was inspired by my father. It’s mainly about him being captain of the Brig Unicorn and the experiences I shared with him on the ship. I refer to him as a ‘scourge’ because he really is a pirate. Another favorite is ‘Before I Die’.
STAR: Which poems would you recommend HYPE followers read?
JL: Well I can’t speak for everyone but there is a poem that everyone can relate to. There is a poem in here for war-like persons, for those who have given up on the world, and those who just love to laugh and appreciate poetry on the whole.
Jairehful Thoughts: A Book of Jairehful Poems One and Two will be launched on Wednesday August 13th,,2014 at the Monchy Library. The activity starts from 12 noon and runs until 3 pm. Other poets and creative artists will be in attendance so please show your support.