CARNIVAL IS A RITUAL
They came from all over just as they did last year and for so many years before to this meeting place, to indulge in this Ritual that is Carnival. Their behavior was trance-like, as though possessed they gathered at Ports of departure, each one determined that nothing could stop them from worshiping their God, King Carnival. Their transit to the venues of worship was tense with anticipation as they were moved by the memory of last year's Ritual. Their arrival was met by fellow worshipers, greetings were exchanged, commitments made. The God must be served with more splendor and glory than was last year.
Food of the God was offered nightly at places called Calypso Tents;
The food:- the Music, the Rhythm, Calypso;
Food of the God:- The songs that bellowed from the hilltops, from ritualistic nooks and crannies called Pan Yards;
Food of the God:- The Fetes, the Panorama, exciting, captivating,
Food of the God:- Stimulating, appetizing, preparing for the Feasts of Feasts, God King Carnival.
Jourvert is the offering a million worshipers make;
Ah! the God is pleased because this offering is bigger and better than last year's.
God King Carnival opens his arms and embraces his subjects, "Let the Ritual Begin!"
Carnival is alive!
Oh! Oh! A! A! Mama Yo! It's Carnival!
Tambu Bamboo, It's Carnival!
Jab Malasie, It's Carnival!
A million hearts in majestic unison, Oh God Carnival!
A million faces in transfigurated countenances of ecstasy, Don't Stop the Carnival!
And so for forty-four hours two sister islands in the sun pulsate, vibrate;
Rhythmic voices chanting; Rhythmic bodies swaying, gyrating;
Shango drums, Steel Drums bellowing;
The children, the fathers and the mothers, jumping, shouting;
Color, every color mixing, blending;
Tempo hot, Laughter loud, so much love, so much loving;
Somebody shout:- PLAY MAS!!!
The eyes of night smile with romance.
The sound of music in the moonlight,
Sometimes soothing, sometimes exciting.
Vows made, some betrayed.
God King Carnival reigns.
The bowels of King Carnival is filled and so sleep calls, but the Ritual must be drained to the very end.
It's Las' Lap!
New acquaintances tightly embrace,
Music is softer, voices whisper,
Tired feet scuffle, over each other they stumble,
A guitar pan strums,
A lone tenor responds,
A base pan dies,
Sleep has taken its life,
A lover whispers "Oh God I'm tired",
Collapses, energy expired.
And there is the sound of silence,
As God King Carnival sleeps.
THE RITUAL IS OVER.
Winston Andrews (a.k.a. Boots)