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Last night, I lay on the grass staring
Into the Ebony darkness of the night sky
Sparkling with a million stars,
Spread across the universe of space and time.
As the moon ascended, its silvery beams
Lit up the encircling hills and the placid bay below
To the delight of the chirping crickets and Coqui Frogs,
Which serenaded me with a cacophonous Symphony.
And I thought, “Life is Good!”
I awoke this morning, to a crowing cockerel
Announcing the dawn of another sun-filled day.
The dogs barked, the birds sang and the spice-laden breezes
Rustled the fronds of the coconut palms.
In the garden, the bees buzzed from aromatic bloom to bloom,
Competing with kaleidoscope of butterflies for the nectar within
And I thought, “Life is good.”
On the streets, a gaggle of giggling schoolgirls
With the freshly starched uniforms, trooped by, with smiles a mile wide.
They chorused, “Good Morning. Good Morning. Good Morning, Sir.”
On the banks of the babbling brook,
Two young boys who had cut school,
Were busy trying to entice the Jens and Cacadoes
Onto their bent needle hooks.
Out on the bay, the fishermen were
Busy encircling their silvery catch,
With their seine nets, cork and lead.
A car pulled up depositing a tourist lady
From one of the floating hotels docked in the port
Pausing to capture the artesian fisher-folk at work.
Their muscles glistering in the tropical heat
Her driver stepped into the bushes
And returned, handing her a fruit
He had plucked from a nearby tree.
“Is it Organic?” She asked, smiling at him
“Is there any other kind?” He smiled back
“To be honest, it’s a Julie, a Julie mango.”
As they departed, she sniffed the breeze and asked,
“What is that smell? It’s everywhere.”
“It’s air, fresh air,” he grinned as they drove off.
“You are living in Paradise, young man,” she said.
After, I paused By a soccer match in the pasture,
and then, for some drinks with friends at the shop.
Out back, balancing on three large firestones
A ten gallon pot was bubbling with Oil-down,
Breadfruit, pig-tail, coconut milk, callaloo, fig,
Even saltfish for the Rastas who nuh eat pork,
All in harmonic unison, combining to concoct,
The gastronomic fusion which would explode
In the watery mouths, waiting within for the pot to come down.
They feasted, oblivious to the Mai Bones, which had
Flown like Icarus too close to the intoxicating steam,
And was now floating in the grease, adding extra protein to the meal.
It was just another glorious day in Paradise.
Fueled by the combined energy of Stag, Clarke’s Court and Rivers
I made my way home, as darkness once again fell
I opened my front door, and Wham!!
A crescendo of excitement and bedlam, almost blew me outside.
The beaming faces of my family were a mash up of smiles, laughter and tears
“The letter from the Embassy came!” They bellowed in unison,
“You’re going to America for a better life.”
“A better life, A better life,” the echoes remain till today,
I am leaving Paradise for a better life, Somewhere
They say there are stars there too, on Broadway, the great white way.
If I could afford the theatre tickets, my family there never could.
Nevertheless, it became time to the brain-drain train – North
Up, up through the layers of civilization and human development
Leaving the Third World, for the Second, the Second for the First.
Next and final stop, Trump Central Station
Please have your Visas and Green-cards ready for checking.
My heart sank, my belly boiled, there was a thump
Before the crash , the train had derailed, and with it. my dreams.
I sat staring at the wreckage, contemplating
The life that I had left and the life I had fled to .
Across the way, on the other platform,
Thousands were boarding the southbound train
Thousands who had tired of “The Better Life”
Now on their way down to a New life, in Paradise…
Inspired by recent posts on this forum
Very Nice! The "Better Life" will always be the place we call home!
Sadly, we had to leave Paradise just to come back in our senior years to enjoy it.
The delima of the immigrant continues; we left to find money to buy the free things we once had.
An evening stroll along the sidewalk, leading from the Ole Stall down to Cutbut Peters Park reminded me of that and made me questioned, why?
A wonderful piece of writing.
Thank you fellahs. This was not planned, but something which sprung organically from deep seated feelings triggered by a discussion between Tony and Peter. Glad you liked it.
Downstreet, did you write the words of "Nah Leaving" for Denise Plummer?
Having written A PLACE CALLED GOUYAVE, I sometimes find myself questioning the wisdom of migration, but oh well.
I'm so very glad that there is someone like you in Gouyave with such tremendous insights in our local way of life. Keep on going with those kind of posts.