It's Your Turn
Terrence "D-Merge" Davis Poet, actor, visionary On March 6, 1973 when Terrence "D-Merge" Davis was born it might not have been apparent that he would become a poet, actor and in his own right, a visionary. This vision was to later come into play with the formation of two performance arts companies, South Florida Poetry Fiesta and Verbal Arts Productions. Davis grew up in Bedward Pastures, August Town where drama was everyday life and everyday life was drama. Davis remembers fondly, some unforgettable characters of his youth who in some way have contributed to his love of drama, so his stint at Gordon Town All-Age School in an Easter play which earned him a piece of the teacher's sandwich, also served as his first encounter and involvement with the arts. In 1985 while attending Mona Secondary (now Mona High School), Davis experimented with poetry. His poetic ability was discovered by his social studies teacher, Mr. Glen Owen, who gave the class an assignment to write about sugar cane. Davis' assignment was well received, however, the poem was destroyed during the September 1988 Gilbert hurricane. His second poetic piece was written about a week after hurricane Gilbert, another assignment from Mr. Owen. In order to maintain his average in this subject, Davis wrote about life in the ghetto. For this poem, he was the second runner up in his class and Mr. Owen recommended that he enter the Festival competition. Six weeks later, his teacher encouraged him to perform 'Life in the Ghetto' for the Heroes' Day celebration in front of the entire school and it is from this that his love for poetry was born. Today you won't see Terrence Davis on his poems; this poet calls himself 'D-Merge'. D-Merge also had a taste of acting by playing major roles in the plays "Madness in Extremity" while attending Mona High School and "Revolution at Lunch Time" at the Jamaica School of Drama. In that same year, he wrote a skit for a church rally entitled "Bwoy go look wok". D-Merge is also the founder of a youth club in Bedward Pastures (now Bedward Gardens), Jamaica and wrote the motto for the youth club "Together with God, we must gain". One of his controversial pieces, "A We Same One A Mash Up Di Country", was featured on the Night Doctor radio program in Jamaica. Both 'Bwoy go look wok' and 'Life in the Ghetto' were read on the Night Doctor program in 1991. 'Yu nuh victory is at hand', 'School Life at Waste' and 'Dem a Slaughterer' are some of the poems he wrote while living in Jamaica. Since migrating to the United States in 1994, D-Merge penned "It's not easy being at the end of the stream", a reflection of the life of an immigrant especially in the U.S., "Words', 'Non-thinking public', 'Moment of Life', 'It's Your Turn', and 'Victory is at hand'. While there has been no major achievement on the poetic front, 'D-Merge' presses on with his vision in mind. D-Merge has been conveying his thoughts on important issues in society and his life to words, hence after the declaration of war on Iraq, his poem 'Son of a Bush' was written. Disillusioned about the path that youths were taking on his return to Jamaica, Davis saw the need to reach out and provide an outlet for them and a means to assist them with well-needed equipment, which will foster learning. He said he was disappointed that more young people began courting a life of crime and violence and from what he deduced it was from a lack of education. As a businessman (Davis owns and operates an electrical company) Davis saw the need to "create an engine that could generate funds to assist in the elementary education in order to change things. "It is through poetry that I learned many things and I know that through South Florida Poetry Fiesta (a non-profit organization) we can solidify the community and generate funds we need to achieve our goals." His South Florida Poetry Fiesta had three successful events, and though they had artistic success, the financial success was elusive. He said the collective effort from the community was lacking and the support anticipated from corporate Caribbean Community fell below expectation. However, Davis who has no intention of giving up on this dream, decided to form a for-profit company, Verbal Arts Productions a production company for the performing arts which will serve as a means of generating funds to continue the mission of South Florida Poetry Fiesta. The premiere production for VAP is the exciting dramedy Mus Laugh: God Nah Tun I'm Back. The production which started with a simple vision from D-Merge with stalwart collaboration of Marcia "Mama J" Jackson, 18 pages of dialogue was formed and blossomed into a full script, with the expertise of Dayne McDonald, who played the unforgettable "Maas Joe" in the popular Unda Mi Nose series and has over 45 plays under is belt. Davis who plays "Kevin" in this exciting production will also share the stage with Dalton "Sasquash" Burke, famed as the first Jamaican to win first place at the Showtime at the Apollo. "Together with God we must gain.''