|Island Notes: Island Poems|
|Monday, 25 June 2012 15:09|
It’s ten in the morning, “Good evenin’ she say
not to correct her I just mutter “Good day”
“Precious Jesus wid me did just talk…
may God keep you from de devil fork”
(and she’s not done with homilies by a long chalk)
“Praise God” she say, then continues her walk,
ten paces away she continues her prayer…
“an’ God keep ya alls in His great and good care...”
TO THE MAN WHO STOLE MY WALLET
You sir, may never read this ditty
which for the sake of justice is a pity
I really shouldn’t call you a swine
But it’s the best word I can find
…to rhyme with ‘rhyme’
Lift up your heads to the rising crime rate -
Bahamaland. This cancer now imperils the state!
A cure may be to draw the criminal element
from the shadows to the open by entrapment
Perhaps it’s not a nice thing to conceive
but it’s a better alternative than crime, I believe.
5 W’s and an H
Not erry body know ‘bout dis ryming ting
o’ soun’ advice writ by Rudjer Kipling
Tis a such pity, since it a very clever ditty
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
With apologies to Rudyard Kipling
POST OFFICE BOX F- 4XXX
In most places in the world postmen will deliver mail
even if they have to trudge through rain, mud or hail.
And, if there is a parcel to bring, they will never fail
to dutifully deliver the package as part of their detail.
But in Freeport in sullen comfort, no mailman knocks
instead, all mail is stuffed into a tiny Post Office Box.
Sip sip is the medium for rumours to thrive
and treacherous if reputations are to survive
Muddasick is a common forum for complaint
A moan ‘bout tings that wrong or simply…just ain’t
To survive either opprobrium you will
… need to be a SAINT
Since a rising tide raises all boats
consider well and take careful note
spring and neap or shallow and deep
in one you paddles in t’other you float.
Pork ‘n peas ‘n rice is nice
but only if a real small slice
chicken wings and sticky tings
only stomach trouble brings
Johnny cake make belly ache
all deese tings a bit like mud
and help develop de high blood
besides deese tings makum stout
but he who, day in, day out,
only eat dem burger ‘n fries…
its sad to say…but he jus dies.
Four thousand miles distance from the Bahamas another island could also improve the diet of its citizens:
MALTESE P’s and FAQ’s
The Maltese if you please
eat everything that starts with p’s
pasta, pizza, perzut, pastizzi,
pizzelli (made with common peas)
- but that’s not much from plants or trees !
so it’s no wonder we’re obese
…gastronomic questions please?
(Statistically Maltese children are the most obese in the EU)
THE FAR HORIZON
Looking across the far horizon, toward
the barely visible curve of planet earth
across a sea with giant energy stored
all tell of the world’s magnitude and girth.
Across this same ocean looking north
where dark waters extend to polar climes
mankind through ages has journeyed forth
enduring perilous passage many times
with fog, iceberg and danger never far
all illustrating how brave, yet fragile, we are.
The ghosts of Pine Ridge linger still -
community gone, the railway and the mill.
Some planted vegetation, rubbish, fill,
a ruined church and foundations remain, where
other evidence of human habitation is rare
All providing elusive evidence still today
of a vibrant community long gone away,
a record not so much of a physical location
but more about an historic situation
in the pantheon of this island nation.
Dedicated to the most famous son of Pine Ridge.
The Hon. Hubert Ingraham, former prime minister of The Bahamas.
Lawyers from time immemorial have been the butt of jokes. I turned one of the most common of them into doggerel with a home town twist:
If you think time is always cheap,
just hire an attorney…and weep!
The problem with lawyers: you never know where they stand
sometimes they represent angels – sometimes the damned.
Honesty is the best policy, this makes sense
but insanity is an infinitely better defence…
© Peter Barratt
Island Notes is contributed by Peter Barratt. From time to time, excerpts from his new book, FREEPORT NOTEBOOK, which carries the sub-title: “Pines, Port, Politics, Poems and Prose," are included in this column and come from Barratt’s over 40-years’ experience with the island. He has some very interesting notes on the early history of Freeport but, he admits himself, he should perhaps have taken a correspondence course in poetry writing.
His books are available in Grand Bahama at the Oasis shops, Bahamian Tings and the Garden of the Groves shops. In Nassau his books are available at Media Publications and most bookshops on the island.
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