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Take King’s House for example
Such a bastion of form, of structure, of obeisance
With its tight clipped lawns and imposing white front
Smell the sweat of the black labourers confused with roses and duranta
Set back from the regular folk in the bustling city
The Scottish spy novelist states that no road in Jamaica could have a finer ending
Now imagine the quiet disruption of creeping ivy
The way it strangles old brick memories
Claws out cracks and spreads them apart like ice in the tarmac
Imagine the slow quaking of bamboo as its rhizomes pierce the foundations
Growing as fast as fresh cut coils, it dwarfs the roof in shade
Picture the fruit-laden grounds left to absorb the seeds which were always theirs
Picture bush, and shrub, claiming territory they had long since lost
Laying siege to status and blood
As wild and unruly as unslicked hair
Dream of fauna recalling their homes, scenting rotting window frames and nesting in oak chesterdraws
Dream of the birdsong which drowns out the tongues of farrin duppy
A finer ending still.

Luke Elliott is a British-Jamaican actor and writer from Birmingham. He co-wrote and performed in Buried History (The Play House) in 2017. His children’s picture book Lines, Lines, Lines! (Formy Books) was published in 2021. He has written theatre reviews for Media Diversified, and The Understudy. His short story Don’t Go Under the Coconut Tree was published be PREE Lit earlier this year. His short play The Right One debuted at The Lowry as part of OutStageUs. He is currently preparing for an R&D of his new play The Hivvy.



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