Selected Poems

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Reading Time: 4 minutes
TRIPTYCH
I see these ancestors of ours

The merchants, the adventurers, the youngest sons of squires, Leaving the city and the shires and the  seaports,

Eager to establish a temporary home and make a fortune. In the new lands beyond the West; pawning perhaps The old familiar acres or the assured competence;

Sturdy, realist, eager to wring wealth from these Barbados, And to build, trade, colonize, pay homage to their King,

And worship according to the doctrines of the Church of England.

see these ancestors ot ours

Torn from the hills and dales of their Motherland, Weeping, .hoping in the mercy of time to return

To farm and holding, shuttle and loom, to return

In snow or rain or shine to bumble homes, their own; Cursing the day they were deceived by rebel standards, Or betrayed for their country’s honour; yearmg

The unknown land, the fever and the hurricane,

The swamp and jungle all the travellers’ tales;

Only hoping, hoping for the miracle that would never be.

see them these ancestors of ours:

Children of the tribe, ignorant of their doom, innocent as Cattle; bartered for, captured, beaten, penned;

Cattle of the slave ship, less than cattle;

Sold in the market place, yoked to servitude;

Cattle, bruised and broken, but strong enough to plough and breed; And, promised white man’s heaven where they sing,

Fill lamps with oil nor wait the bridegroom’s coming:

Raise chorused voices in the hymn ot praise.