Poinciana Tell Me ta Burn
I wrote Poinciana Tell Me ta Burn in Spring 2019. Hurricane Matthew had left a muck on the island of New Providence. The traditional flooding in Pinewood, and fallen or mangled trees on the streets. On the property of my Village Road apartment, there stood a Poinciana Tree that bloomed every year until the Hurricane hit. For three years, I walked out the door without notice. Until one day, I saw its fiery red petals in full bloom. My landlord said "this is the first time in a while since this tree blossomed."
The poem is my heartstring. The 2016-2019 timescape not only represents the reemergence of the Poinciana in my yard, but represents a period of pain and transformation in my own life.
November 2021, I moved back home after completing my graduate studies in London. I didn't know where my poetic practice would take me next. I knew I wanted to work with film, but hadn't quite gotten that inspiration - until I noticed the fiery petals of the Poinciana gaining traction online. I knew, then, I wanted to make my first short film dedicated to the tree. And so I started to sketch and write the film's storyboard along with styling, shoot locations and art direction.
The first shoot was the most intricate, since I wanted my hair to resemble barren branches like the Poinciana tree. The first look represents that feeling of stunting and emptiness. My mom helped me with styling my hair using pipe cleaners and yarn.
On the second shoot, I wanted a look reminiscent of a Poinciana in bloom. I dyed my hair auburn and wore a green satin dress. The dress was originally my mother's. It was full-length with thick straps.
To make it more contemporary, I had it altered into a cowl neck mini dress. In the video, I am adorned in makeup and gold jewellery with heels. I wanted to imagine what a Poinciana would look like if it were me, vice versa.
So many things went unplanned during filming. Tons of footage did not make it into the final video. Another issue was my natural hair (omg). On the day of the second shoot, I got my hair styled in blowout curls. But due to the humidity in The Bahamas. My curls begin to sweat out into a curly fro during the shoot!
Nonetheless, I honestly had a great time working with SixSeven Multimedia to make this vision into a reality.