Dancing in the Rain

By John Lyons

This collection was shortlisted for the 2016 CLPE Poetry Award.

John Lyons provides an insight into his Trinidadian childhood in this collection which the judges described as breath of fresh air. He describes the climate, dancing in the warm rain after recognising the signs of a gathering storm in the title poem, contrasting with the cold in England in ‘Monica’s Winter’ and ‘Happy Snowman’. Nature comes to life in the words and the pictures drawn by the poet, whether it’s the happy hummingbird, the marsupial Trini ‘manicou with its pouchy tum’, ‘Tobago land crabs with a mangrove smell’, ‘wild and swift’ ‘nervous and shy agoutis’ or the iguana ‘this big lizard at large’ who ‘is talented with camouflage.’ There are some striking encounters with ghosts and ghouls from Caribbean folklore such as ‘Setting a Trap for Soucouyant’, ‘Looking for Douennes’ and ‘The Climbing Skeleton’, shown in suitable scary fashion shinning up a tree. Sharing food brings out relationships with family and friends, especially between generations, and is where the poet often writes in Creole, saying ‘How ah love de sugarcake/meh Granny does mek’ and ‘At home wid meh sticky-mango-juice face,/meh grandma gimmeh ah good lickin/wid ah tamarind switch.’

To read poems from this collection click here.


John Lyons - Carib Nightfall

Carib Nightfall

John Lyons - Granny's Sugarcake

Granny's Sugarcake

John Lyons - Carnival Jumbie

Carnival Jumbie

John Lyons - Carnival Dance Lesson

Carnival Dance Lesson

John Lyons - Happy Hummingbird Food

Happy Hummingbird Food

John Lyons - Natural Dancing Partners

Natural Dancing Partners

John Lyons - Tadpole Comets

Tadpole Comets

John Lyons - Tell Me Mama

Tell Me Mama

CLiPPA 2016 Shadowing Scheme Winners - Merton Park Primary School

Y5 Merton Park Primary Perform Carnival Dance Lesson by John Lyons