Oh, all that is dear to me

When day by day

Each path this pilgrim crossed

Yielded naught but vast unending vistas

Of a blasted wound torn deep

By that unspeakable explosive cataclysm

Of titanic primeval fury

That raged across your gentle mien

I saw your Star of David shattered!

Our works flung far into the timeless seas

Of some ancient destiny cloaked in doom

...And heart in hand

I wept my anguish to a wind

That only days gone by

Had kissed my eyes and whispered...welcome home...

Like one insane I plunged into the foam

At ocean's edge where hours fled

Gulls played, and children too

Had lifted pink-encrusted conch to lips

To sound a man's return

For those who braved your seas for food;

...And I remembered it all:

Anglais, Tros Pitons, Micotrin

And misty mornings on the bouldered Boeri shores

Where you and I alone would watch

The ancient ritual of dawn unfold

Your peaks where sweet-voiced silence

Yielded naught but clear sweet draughts of self

And echoes blessed the souflier's haunted song;

The honeyed mistfresh wines

From sparkling brooks that hymned your virgin soils

And gleefully kissed our toes-

How often did I yield my back against your trees

And hallowed thus within the bosom of your joy

Would give myself to you...

Oh, 'NICA, oh, my love!

That eve when we beheld a shattered face,

When heart then failed to melt?


Stripped of hope nor solace left,

Your poets took themselves to task

And those whose vision plunged

To where illusion cannot come to pass

Saw seeping waves of bliss

Engulf their treasure land;

A sacred fragrance graced the air

And in that timeless moment of your dawn,

The darkness fell

And slowly crumbled under the morning sun...

By Anthony Toulon