Poem of the Day

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I recently discovered an island, that I never knew existed; an island where life exists in all its glory and simplicity; an island where people do live in harmony despite what the world tells us; an island where a village raises a child. I recently saw an island that I was too busy to notice; too busy being a teenager, chasing after futilities, problems that did not exist. I was too busy wanting to be American, hanging out at the hottest clubs and giving the rich money that they did not need. I recently visited an island in which I lived for 19 years, but never appreciated. I remember counting the days for me to leave to come to a land that after 6 years still does not feel like home, a land that for some after 40 years has never felt like home… I recently went to an island and saw a people that live in what some call extreme poverty; a people that wakes up every day, laughs, smiles and is able to dance for 3 days straight despite the hardships. A people where elders often live a whole century and do so being a picture of health. I recently lived in an island where I was taught to respect my elders, taught to work hard, taught to value family and friends; a place where I was taught to treat EVERYONE as an equal, no matter their social status, the color of their skin or their education level. I recently talked to an island that cried out to me because its children had forgotten about her… They left and never once looked back. It hurts her even more they act like they miss her, as if they value her by painting her on their bodies. She sees how they forget the customs and values that she fought hard to inculcate I recently listened to an island that told me how upset she was her children were unable to hold on to their culture, and favored another to hers. She was appalled that some forgot to speak her language, how so many could not whisper a French sonnet, or sing in our beautiful creole I recently was on an island who urged me to bring her children back, to do everything in my power to recruit those who truly missed her and remind them they have a home, they have a heritage that soon may no longer exist… I cannot force you to come back to Haiti, as a matter of fact I would not. I just want you to know that for 13 years, from that faithful night on August 14th, 1791 until we proclaimed our independence on January 1st 1804, our forefathers fought to give us something to be proud of, something to fight for, something to keep alive… Haiti is our country and we have a responsibility to do all we can to keep it alive and take steps every day to bring it back to what it was… LA PERLE DES ANTILLES

By~ Djimitri Celestin