Gael Jno-Baptiste

My isle, you stand tall as the empress of the Caribbean,
Your great beauty, though threatened by your young children,
Continues to attract so many into your wild web of greenery,
Which reminds us of your peaceful past and present victory.

There was once a time, a time called long ago, but not so long ago,
When the elders would sing their rhapsody in your moonlight,
While your children contented listened with great amazement,
To the stories of silly “Compain Zamba” and naughty “Compain Lapin,”

Where are the days of “Merry go round the roses“, and” Aunty Anna“
When children were afraid of the “ladiabless” and the “soucouyan”?
When they bathed in your cool and serene rivers in birthday suit,
While the mothers washed, listening to the next village gossip.

What has happened sweet Dominica to all these pleasures?
Internet children who no longer know their history,
Play Station addicts, who are confined in an airless room,
While television becomes the tutor and IPod the guardian.

As a dreadful result of this modern time technology,
Children, teenagers and youth go out of their place.
Before, people could be corrected both big and young,
And if they were wrong they’d laugh and move on.

No longer, Dominica, can your elders correct your youth,
Or push them to give a helping hand around the house.
They no longer pick juicy mangoes and hunt birds in bush,
For they are too busy listening to B.E.T or chatting on Facebook.

My island so lush and beautiful, a little piece of Heaven on Earth,
A ticket of tranquility to those who tread through your forest,
A little of your past still adorns the architecture of your dwellings,
Though the present tries to erase it with its SUV and H.D T.V.

But let’s not forget, that our present will one day be someone’s past,
So please save “our long ago,” what made our Isle great and special,
Like our Jing ping, the conch shell of a fisherman and our Wob Dwiyet,
Let’s save our Dominica where the past and present intertwine!

Gael Jn0-Bapstiste is 12 years old. This poem was the winner in a poetry competition organised by the Association of Dominicans at UVI