Adventure Story Poems
by Jim Nasium

The Ganja Fence

Perhaps a story about living way back in the bush land of Jamaica in the1970's will bring a smile to your face... comments, and/or critiques are welcome. I offer you a short story based on more truth than you'd think...

After a few weeks of very hard work, building my new home, the job was finally finished. I was so happy that I had decided to design and then build a big porch around three sides of my home, so that I could always be sitting on the shady side, and at the same time use the back of the home, the south side, as my garden area. Already the fruit trees and vegetables that I had planted were all starting to grow; it seems everything grows so very fast here.

During the few weeks that I worked on my own new home I saw him watching me. From time to time while I was busy building he'd sit on the other side of the dirt road, under the shade of a tree watching me. I tried not to pay much attention to him and just went about the business of building myself a home here, way back in the bush land of Jamaica's West side where no American man has ever built before. I thought he may have been a cop, yet wasn't sure because he never said anything to me or came closer than the big tree on the corner of the path in front of my land. I watched him out'a the corner of my eye as he sat there; sometimes he'd roll up and then burn one spleff and just sit there smoking it, watching me slowly working on my home, all alone, day after day.

This is that house/home then and now; click here

I will never forget the first time he came to talk to me. The next day after the house was finished, I saw him walking towards me slowly as I sat on my front porch, his long dread locks hanging down around his shoulders, his red eyes gleaming in the warm, friendly Jamaican sunshine. He introduced him self as Rasta Besford Dixon, a Holy Man and local merchant, and he went on to explain to me that he was the one man, in the small town of Negril, that could, and would get me anything that I wanted... "any ting at'll mon", he said

I invited him to sit on the porch of my humble home with me, and offered him some of my iced Lime and Ganja Tea. He was very happy to see that I had ice for the tea, and eagerly poured us both a tall glass of the magical drink. I took my glass from him and we both took a large drink and smiled at each other as we wiped off the juice from our mouths.

He reached deep into the inside of his shirt, and pulled out a brown bag that was packed to the top with fresh sticky reddish gold ganja buds. He offer me one'a the larger ones and so I took it, rolled myself a fatty, and sat back smoking and listened to him tell his tales of days gone by, back in the red ground district of West Moorland, just behind my house a few miles or so back in the Negril bush land.

In many of the stories that the Rasta had told me that afternoon, there was mention of an underground complex, and fields of ganja a growing for miles in every direction out in the bush, just a few miles away, behind my home. When I asked him if his stories were true, he asked me if I would like to go with him for a walk, back into the red ground bush where his stories all took place, to see for myself that his stories were in fact all true.

What could I say, sure I wanted to go! We made plans to meet the next day, at sunup, to explore the land of my new friends stories.

The sun was just coming up over the eastern range of the Blue Mountains when he was knocking on my front door. When I opened the door the first thing he asked me was why I didn't meet him on the porch, like we had agreed; so I told him I over slept. I brushed the bugs out'a my hair, washed my face from a bucket of water that I had in the main room, looked up at him, and said "lets go!"

We started heading west through the bush that was out in back of my home... With the warm sun on our backs it seemed as if we had walked for hours when finally he turned to look at me and said, "lets stop here for a cool down mon" We sat there on the ground, and he reached behind him near a big rock and pulled a gallon sized paint can out from behind the rock. he open the can and to my surprise it was loaded with ganja bud. We twisted up a fatty, poked on it for awhile, then we ate a few oranges that he had with him. After we rested for awhile we headed west again, walking through some of the most beautiful jungle bush that I have ever seen anywhere...

I had no fear walking out in the tall grass... I knew that there were no snakes at all anywhere but in the zoo, on the island of Jamaica, because long ago the sugar cane farmers brought the mongoose to Jamaica, to kill, and eat all'a the serpents, so the cane workers would be safe out in the fields all day, cutting cane. To this day the mongoose is still there, and ready to kill, then eat any snake that it might find... so stepping on some dangerous jungle snake was the least of my worries but I started to think just for a moment, that maybe this new friend was in fact gonna set me up to be robbed by some rude boys or maybe even to get busted by the local law or something like that... after all I didn't really know this man.

About an hour or so later we were there. Although he hadn't said anything to me yet, I knew we were there when all I could see in front of me were miles of ganja plants growing wild out in the hot Jamaican sun. I followed him to a cashew tree, that was near some breadfruit and grapefruit trees and he told me to sit down. I sat for awhile just taking in the beauty that surrounded me and then he turned, took a few steps away from me, knelt down, and started to scrape some dirt away from what look liked some kind'a wooden trap door... yes, it was a trap door. With in a few minutes he had all the dirt removed and the door open, and he invited me to go into the underground chamber with him. I climbed down the old wooden ladder, and as soon as he light the kerosene lamp in the underground chamber I was able to see ganja trees hanging upside down from the walls and the ceiling everywhere and that this was an underground room of ganja!

The Rasta grabbed a plant and said, "lets go back up mon", and so we did. Once we got back to the surface, we sat down under the cashew tree and broke up a few buds from the now dried plant, and smoked the magical herb.

Rasta Dixon and some bud

I was just sitting there, spacing out and munching on some raw cashews and a grapefruit, slow poking my spleff, when all of a sudden I saw it... I could not believe my eyes but I was looking at a ganja plant, that was so big, at first I thought it was a tree. I stood up and walked over to the giant plant, and from what I could tell this ganja tree as about 60 feet tall, or maybe even taller! I asked Rasta if he ever took any of the buds from this tree to smoke, and he answered, "who can reach them, mon"? He pointed out that the reason that I thought it was a tree in the first place was because all of the lower branches had been cut off and smoked long ago, and the trunk of the ganja tree was now so very tree like in appearance and girth... I told him that I was gonna go into the city, when I got back to the small town, and buy me a big ladder, maybe two of them, and that I would hire boys to carry the ladders out here, the next day, and that since no one else wanted to bother climbing to the top of this tree to collect the treasures that are hidden there, that I would! He laughed at me and said "dats cool mon, dat be a good ting"

That night as I watched the sun set over the western tip of the beach below my mountain side home, I managed to spread the word that I'd need some help in the morning, and by morning's light there were a large group of boys, willing to carry the ladders for me... I told them that I had to catch a car or bus into the city, and buy the ladder first, and so we made plans to meet, at sun up the next morning...

Once the bus finally did get into town, I paid my fare and I took it into Montego Bay, where I was able to buy the ladders I needed, and rent me a driver and truck to carry them home for me... The boys were all very excited when they saw the truck pull up in front of my home late that same afternoon, and they all rushed over to help us unload the ladders, and to confirm the fact that they would all meet me at sun up in front of my new home. Once the ladders were safely chained to the side porch, we all said our good nights and I went to bed...

I can remember falling asleep to the sound of rain falling on the tin roof of my small wooded two roomed house, and I was so tired that not even the sound of the lightening kept me from drifting off into dream land.

The morning came way too soon for me, and before I knew it I had a large group of boys, waiting out side of my home for me, chit chatting. I picked the boys I wanted to use and then they loaded the ladder section's that I had just bought the day before on to their shoulders. I could tell that they were all very happy about this chance to work for me carrying the ladders deep into the bush, to make some money!

The tall grass was very wet from the rain that fell over night, and there was broken tree branches and limbs everywhere... One of the boys asked me if I had seen any of the storm that we had last night, and asked if my home had suffered any damage like many of the other wooden homes had nearby. "What storm" I said, "tell me, just how much damage was done, did it rain all night" I asked. I didn't see any damage when I woke, but then again I really didn't have any time to look, so I figured to myself, that my home was one that was spared. "No, not at all, no damage was done to my home,". I said, As we walked deeper into the bush I could see more and more lightening damage, and I saw one tree that was split right in half, right down the middle! "Wow, we must'a had a really bad storm", I said and the boys all giggled and started whispering as we walked on to the treasure I had found.

When I got to the spot, where I had seen the 60 foot ganja tree just two days ago, I could not believe my eyes... Rasta Dixon took one look and dropped to his knees and started to laugh and cry and praise Jah all at the same time. His reaction seemed strange to me but yet he seemed so happy crying that I just let him go and made my way over to the tree. I for one was happy to see that lightening had struck and fell the ganja tree, and that it was laying down on the ground, all of it's majestic branches dropping and dying... I was in a very strange state of mind as I stood there, frozen, trying hard to understand what I was looking at and what had happened: this tree was now mine; all mine...

I stood there frozen and felt a if I had been split in two, you see half of me was so happy that now I could just walk over to the half dead tree laying there on the ground, and just snip the bud, that was growing on the very tippy top of the tree, in fact IF I wanted to I could snip all the hundreds of these giant buds! The other half of me was so very sad that the tree had been struck by lightening, and that it was dying, as it lay there on the red ground. I was in this confused emotional state and it was this total confusion that finally allowed me to unfreeze and move again.. I looked over at Rasta Dixon and he was now dancing around in a circle and singing at the top of his voice "Oh praise Jah, Jah, let Jah be praise" and reciting scripture "Glory be to the Father and to the maker of creation As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be World without end" [Jah Rastafari: Eternal God Selassie I (131)]

I walked over to the ganja tree on the ground at my feet, and with one mighty swipe of my machete' I cut the top of the tree off, and claimed that giant bud as mine! The bud had to weigh about 5 pounds! I tell you that it was so sticky it was pulling my T Shirt on to it and it was hard to pull my shirt away. The bud smelled so sweet that bees started to gather around my head, each just waiting for their turn to suck resin and pollen from the bud as I held it in my had. I could tell that the bees only wanted to suck pollen and get high and that they had no interest in me or stinging me at all so I wasn't worried. That's just the way things are out there in the bush. you become one with everything... Knowing that I was one with everything, I wondered to myself exactly why The Powers That Be gave this tree to me as a gift and why had Jah struck this tree down with His lightening just for my pleasure...

The sound of many more bees that had gathering at the now fell tree snapped me out of my daydream, and as I looked over at my friend Rasta Dixon, and he just stood there and looked at me holding this five pound giant sticky sweet ganja bud in my hands and said "Jim moon, dies is what I remember you by mon, and from dis day on dis is da picture dat'll be in me head, yea mon, when me tink about ya mon dis is what me see in me head from dis day on..."

I asked him what ever would we do now, that the tree had been struck by lightening, and just laying there dying, slowly, out in the hot Jamaican sun. Dixon walked over to me and he said "don't fret mon, Jah Jah take dat tree now and do it good" I had no idea what he was talking about and really didn't care. I was so amazed at the hundreds of two, three and four pound bud's, all over the ground, just waiting for me to get around to cutting them, that nothing Rasta Dixon said made any sense to me at all...
Chech and Chong, eat your heart's out!

I carefully cut, and then dragged about 50 or 60 of these giant ganja buds down into the underground bunker, and hung each one upside down from the roof beams. I was totally exhausted but I felt that I did the right thing because now they would be able to dry slowly, and they would certainty be safe till I was ready for one or two of them.

some bud some budsome bud

I grabbed the biggest bud, the one from the very tippy top of the giant tree, wrapped it in a string bag, and threw the bag over my shoulder and started walking home. The time passed quickly out there in the fields and after all the sun was now setting over the fields of gunja that were waving in the breeze. I headed out towards the east and Dixon followed my lead and when he caught up with me I said "hey Dixon, ya think maybe Jah gave me that bush cause he know how bad I wanted it" The Rasta looked at me with much wisdom in his bloodshot eyes and said "Jim mon, stranger tings hap'in mon" I smiled at him and asked, "know where I can sell some ladders...

It took me over a week to smoke that one bud so I had no reason at all to go back to "the spot" during that week, but the following week I decided to go back to the spot, and grab me another of my giant buds. I asked Rasta Dixon if he wanted to come with me, and he said ok...

When we finally got back out to "the spot" in the beautiful red ground bush where the tree just days ago lay dying, we were amazed to see that each and every branch of the tree was no doing very well and was now standing straight up sucking strength and life from the hot Jamaican sun. In the past 8 days or so the tree had turned into a Ganja Fence! A sixty foot long ganja fence that to me, was the most amazing thing I have ever seen...

rasta dixon and friens smoking

The Rastafarian movement is threatened by the emergence of crack as the drug of choice among Rastafarian youth, on Kingston's streets and elsewhere in Jamaica. If nothing else, this moral decline over which the older generations of Rastas are so disturbed illustrates precisely how they themselves view the use of the herb, a religious sacrament, in comparison with other illegal drugs.

©1997 Jim Nasium

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