POEM: Dominica Sublime

Dominica is a special place, with nature all around

Where waterfalls are plentiful, so soothing is their sound

Massive trees with buttress roots tower up to the sky

Before spreading out their canopy to shade us from on high

 

The forest that surrounds us is every shade of green

With blossoms adding colour, this is an artist’s dream

Zel-mouche on the forest floor, heliconia leaves reach up

Sweet nectar from their splendid flowers, the hummingbirds will sup

 

Parrots fly above us, they flit from tree to tree

Whilst foraging for forest fruit, squawking noisily

Agouties scour the forest floor, rummaging for food

Whilst manicou sleep in the trees, at night’s when they come good

 

Bromeliads and orchids decorate the trees

Collecting moisture from the air, you can feel the forest breathe

A stick insect you may observe, if your eyes are keen

Or mullet swimming happily in a nearby stream

 

Tree lizards are a common sight, they call them Zandoli

When males stick out their orange bib, that is a sight to see

Abolos are larger, the ground is their domain

They like to chase each other, the speed they move’s insane

 

Green and grey iguanas, look from a bygone time

Prehistoric in appearance, on our crops they like to dine

Whist geckos cream with rounded toes, patrol our walls at night

Their dark eyes sharp, a moth they spot, then quickly pounce and bite

 

Gliding through the undergrowth the grass snake wends its way

Looking for a cricket or a bug on which to prey

Boas are enormous and in many trigger fear

But in fact they are quite harmless, that’s the reality

 

Herons stalk the rivers, seeking crabs on which to dine.

Whilst titiwi the shallows climb, thousands in a line

The cackling that you may hear, a kingfisher is there

Or that distant note so haunting, from the lonely solitaire

 

As the day begins to warm, the frigate birds appear

Rising on the thermals, circling far and near

Pelicans glide just offshore, where abound young fish

Then suddenly they plunge and splash to catch a tasty dish

 

Butterflies are all around, to watch them is such fun

Their wings spread out like solar cells, harvesting the sun

When perched upon a pretty flower, feeding looks quite hard

To reach that tasty nectar, their tongues curl out so far

 

Sunsets are a wondrous sight, there are no two alike

Descending o’er the ocean, taking with it our daylight

When the skyline has no clouds, we look for the green flash

A golden yellow shrinking spot, turns green, then quick, it’s past

 

The sky begins to darken, the birds all go to roost

To be replaced by flying mice, which also have a use

Those radar ears of bats detect the sound of tiny wings

They hoover up mosquitoes, devour those pesky things

 

With air so clear the evening sky becomes a glorious sight

A million stars are there to see, twinkling so bright

The constellations can be seen, bright is Orion’s belt

A shooting star, that streak of light, a meteorite doth melt

 

A spot of light is moving fast, it is a satellite

And when the moon is overhead, it’s almost like daylight

Flashing lights of green and red, a plane is on its way

Bringing tourists from afar, to enjoy a sunny stay

 

When sun and earth and moon align, there is a shadow cast

The moon blocks out the sunshine, light dims until its past

Or when the shadow of the earth is cast upon the moon

In full, its colour changes, just like a red balloon

 

The moon above the ocean sends a thousand shards of light

Reflecting on a rippled sea, the waves they dance so bright

Then there’s the nighttime chorus, cicadas on the trees

The crickets chirp and when it rains, the tweet of frogs sounds sweet

 

As the night time ebbs away, the cooing doves begin

Distant roosters start to crow, the birds all start to sing

The day begins, the sky is clear, the air it feels so fresh,

It’s time for breakfast, local juice, bananas, pawpaw flesh

 

Volcanos are our backbone; their peaks reach up so high

So many in one tiny spot, earth’s moving plates are why

Telltale signs are all around, hot springs we so adore

Tiny bubbles like champagne, rise from the ocean floor

 

Clouds of steam are swirling from the churning boiling lake

Though getting there is quite a hike, it’s an effort all should make

The scenery is splendid, up slopes, ahead we forge

Once back we soak our tired limbs, in the Titou Gorge

 

At Chaudier the water’s deep, you can high dive from the side

Or enter from the stream above, on nature’s water slide

A Malfin circles in the sky, scouting from above

Its telescopic eyes seek out a lizard or a dove

 

The long and winding roads traverse our steep topography

And from above, that forest cloak makes them so hard to see

At last we reach a mountain pass, we stop our eyes to feast

The Caribbean Sea lies west, the Atlantic to the east

 

And in between a landscape, of colour bathed in sun

Our cameras click, we take our snack, the tour has just begun

As we pass through farmland, the workers can be seen

Tending crops of pineapple, bananas or dasheen

 

Saturday is market day, with fruit and veg piled high

Round vendor’s stalls the public throng, their groceries to buy

Sundays is when friends meet up, on a west coast beach

Or a picnic by the river, there’s always one in easy reach

 

The fishermen bring in their catch, into a conch they blow

That fish is ready to be sold, it lets the locals know

We see a ferry moving fast, a white tail in its wake

To Guadeloupe or Martinique, its a trip we like to make

 

And in the ocean waters, whales and dolphin play

A giant turtle comes ashore, in the sand its eggs to lay

Snorkeling is also fun, the western sea is calm

It’s like another world down there, the water’s clear and warm

 

The western world we left behind, strangers rarely say hello

Here it’s different, greetings flow, almost everywhere you go

Your car might have a problem; you stop to see what’s wrong

Those passing often offer help, its fixed before too long

 

In abundance talent flows, in music and the arts

When Michele sings it always lifts our spirits and our hearts

Forest scenes are reproduced, on canvas for our walls

In harmony a choir sings, rejuvenates our souls

 

Carnival is always fun for young and old alike

Steel pans ring out our favourite songs, the music comes alive

The costumes are amazing, queen contestants lead the way

We gaze up at stilt walkers, it’s a colourful array

 

When Creole time arrives each year, there’s lots to see and do

Fashion shows, Ms Wob Dwiyet, all in madras costume

On Creole Day we all dress up, and go to work that way

Then three nights of live music, go on until next day

 

Jazz ‘n Creole at Cabrits is a summertime event

Outdoors in the afternoon, the music’s heaven sent

Cannons line the ramparts, at this historic fort

Where in the past the French and English, many battles fought

 

Sometimes our lives are threatened by the actions of mankind

A hurricane approaches, safe shelter we must find

When it hits the rivers roar, bridges wash away

Roofs blow off and buildings flood, it’s a course we have to stay

 

Once the weather eases, we assess the aftermath

The damage that we must repair, in the wake of nature’s wrath

Restoring can be costly, we all must toil and sweat

We try to help each other, whilst descending into debt

 

A year has passed the roads are patched, our power lines restored

The buildings we repaired are now much stronger than before

Despite the climate turmoil that the future holds in store

This paradise is still our home, we couldn’t wish for more

 

But then the unexpected, a deadly virus strikes

The outside world is falling sick, we’ve never known the likes

Western leaders in a tizz, chasing round like dizzy flies

Unprepared and ill equipped, the blame game now applies

 

Here we had some common sense, our ports were quickly closed

Strict testing on arrival, and quarantine for most

Our neighbours acted likewise, but soon became blasé

Allowing back the cruise ships, now they’re in a bad way

 

As I write we flourish still, though patience is the key

The vaccine roll-out’s going well, so soon we should feel free

To throw away our facemasks and once again shake hands

To get a hug from grandma and not avoid our friends

 

Our leaders they have acted well, its safety first we know

Our health is more important, than tourists in Roseau

For all those wishing from outside, to share our paradise

A week in isolation first, they know that is the price

 

The time has flown since we moved here, two dozen years ago

The garden trees we planted, it’s been fun to watch them grow

So as I write I can reflect, our lives are surely blessed

Dominica has a special charm, in nature we’re caressed

 

This planet that we live on, right now is under threat

Beyond our shores eternal growth is the trend we must forget

Our species has to change its ways for our children to survive

The future’s plan we must construct for our planet to revive

 

A billion years of nature’s way made possible mankind

Diversity’s the key to life, a solution we must find

To overcome the power, that greed and wealth now wield

Requires a total reset, some comforts we must yield

 

A distant Empire’s in decline, crumbling at the core

Balance needs to be returned, between the rich and poor

A monster of financial might, relies on distant wars

This can only be undone, with democracy restored

 

We watch this pantomime play out, as the years roll by

From our semi isolation, upon the nature isle

We live our life in harmony, that’s why I pen this rhyme

Dominica, Eden’s best, is paradise sublime

 

Poem take from following website with author’s permission: https://www.dominica.nu/DominicaSublime.html

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