Poet & writer
I was born in Bamboo, St. Ann, on the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica. With the warm climate, abundance of places for frolic and fun, five sisters and an unending supply of tropical fruits, game birds and river fish, I completed my early education and, with the help of a scholarship, Engineering College, without even knowing that my family was poor.
After Mechanical Engineering and Life Insurance careers, I moved to Canada, where I spent two decades with a transit company. Becoming awakened to the fact that a job was not going to bring financial security, my search started for other areas of endeavor.
I wanted time along with financial freedom and determined that network marketing, called the “Business of the 21st Century” by Robert Kiyosaki, offered the best scope for these. This was also the perfect vehicle to make a difference in other people’s lives as I could build, mentor, coach and help a team of like-minded people use their time and energy to better advantage than they could with their jobs; all this from their homes. I was also able to spend more time on my passion…writing. My work could always be published so that it could be shared with the world. The collection of poems I had been storing over the years was augmented by prolific writing in 2011 and 2012.
Was a lot of your poetry inspired by childhood days and stories of friends?
LC: Some were, but I would not say a lot. “Beds” certainly isn't one such poem. Others, like “Memories of You,” “Mr. Wind” and “Twinkle Twinkle” (although this one has a present day context), were inspired by my childhood days. Yes!
Tell us about your poem called “Day to Day.”
LC: “Day to Day” came upon me as I drove my car along one of North America’s busiest highways, the 401. I saw the rat race that was reflective of the booming economy of the times; everyone trying to get the edge in traffic, some with their coffee in hand while driving; telling me that they did not even have the time to take breakfast at home. I thought then of the stock market, the baby boomers and their stock market involvement as the news kept telling of drug use and abuse, of the economy…some saying there is a gloomy time just around the corner…all the things on which the populace was focused, the busy schedules and, at the time, baseball. I actually wrote it then, not on paper but in my mind…I kept it till I was in front of the computer an hour or so later.
You have said that you do not follow the rules of classic conventional poetry when writing. Is there a reason for this?
LC: Certainly, Simone. I believe that my writing should be understood by all who can read English. Too many times I read a piece and although I understood eventually, it took me many passes before I did. Sometimes I hear people say, “I would read poetry if I could just understand what the poet is trying to say”—I could surely empathize. I decide to just write so all could understand what were my thoughts.
Does Modern Poetry carry a theme?
LC: I never thought it did. My aim was to put together a good cross-section of the writings that I had. So I culled and when I had enough that would represent a good complement…some of love and romance, some from my observations of things, people and places, to name a few…I just set about publishing them. This was after I was encouraged to finally do so.
When people read your poetry what are some of the things you hope they will take from it?
LC: First of all, I hope that the poetry elicit some emotion, whether it is that they like them, or hate them or feel happy or sad or that it is silly or that a poem relates to their situation. Other than that I certainly hope the emotion each poem strikes will be such that they feel compelled to share the piece with a friend, colleague or relative, and remember that this is the first book and that others will follow. I would like to build a loyal readership with whom I could have dialogue and feedback. I can think of “Vicarious Love” which has been read by maybe four or five people and there was always a reaction of disbelief when they read the last line. One even suggested what I should put instead. I gladly keep what I have so that the emotion will flow from the other readers. The poem, “I Love You,” can surely answer the question, “How do you tell someone, “I love you?” It is one of my favorites.
Why did you choose the pen name, Lloyd Constantine?
LC: I expect this question quite a bit. I had hoped that I would just be Lloyd Constantine. Period! Anyway, Lloyd is my middle name and I chose Constantine in memory of my father—that is his middle name. He had an profound impact on my life; an impact that, although I did not get to know him very well or as well as I would have hoped…he died when I was yet a young man…he left with me some truths that I remember very, very often, because these are truths about the world, about people, about life then that are always relevant. Also I had planned to do a novel first…this is still in the works…. and I will use my given name, not a pen name.
What authors/poets have inspired you?
LC: I always remember “The Song of a Blue Mountain Stream” by Reginald M. Murray. I remember and like it so much because, as I child hearing it read and recited by my siblings, I found it so touching that Murray depicted the formation of a stream running down the hills of the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. It, the stream that is, started as a trickle and with the linking up of others became larger and larger until it gushed and meandered to a roaring and thunderous river. So very realistic…and told as a story; something like this:
“I trickle, I flow to the hills below,
And dales that lie there-under.
From babblings low
I louder grow,
I shout, I roar, I thunder.”
My poems are stories impinging on the mind to, hopefully, evoke emotions.