Thursday, December 28, 2017

I Sit Beside the Waterfront: Two Caribbean Poems

I Sit Beside the Waterfront

I sit beside the Waterfront -
And gaze far out to sea -
And watch the ships coming sailing in -
To Charlotte Amalie.

The Dannebrog that once flew here -
Is no more to be seen -
The sugar mills are silent now -
Since Nineteen Seventeen.

Where buccaneers and pirates roamed -
And Blackbeard’s Castle stood -
The old red fort sits all alone -
Its cannons stilled for good.

When Dannebrog at last came down -
King Christian said farewell -
And though the people wept and cried –
Their hearts were troubled still.

A hundred years have come and gone -
Since Denmark sailed away -
But still the memory lingers on -
Each year on Transfer Day.

When twilight comes I must confess -
There’s sadness in the dark -
For on lonely nights when stars appear -
These hills cry for Denmark!

The Balisier's Lament

A gentleman bird in fine attire-

With a frock coat of the finest green-
Fell in love with Lady Balisier-
A love both rare and unforeseen-

He asked her for a glass of wine-

But she had naught to offer-

Instead she had the finest dew-

Which she was glad to proffer-

The bird embraced her with his wings-

And kissed her with his beak-

While the other birds mocked and scorned-

His Lady Balisier began to weep-

I beg you, sir, do not take wing-

said his guileless lady friend-

For though this is a strange affair-

Your love is a godsend!

Though you are feather and I am bloom-

Your lips I do adore-

But when at last you bid farewell-

I’ll see you nevermore-

The bird gave his Lady one last kiss-

Her dew was almost gone-

Then fluttered his wings and away he flew
Into the shimmering dawn.

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