Tianos call it land of mountains

Ayiti

The Santa Maria shipwrecked on coral, the submerged mountain

The Tianos dove and dragged the splintered lumber to build

the first European town,

La Navidad. Another birth in Ayiti

The pewter armor, the reckless white hunger plundered Cristobal Colon

left a legacy of greed

Columbus raked the Carib people with a sword in one fist and a cross in the other.

The scorpion tail of Spain lingers long on your shores.

 

The mountains of men

Toussaint, magnanimous fighter of freedom, ousting the invaders, captured in trickery Dessalines, commander of victory.

Defeated Napoleon at Battle of Vertieres

In 1803 grinding the French hard that they could not

Imagine fighting for the Louisiana territory

Handed over to the hungry Americans for just 4 cents per acre.

Ayiti, Ayiti, your mountains shrouded

Dessalines carved the path.

Setting a shining anger to ignite

The land of mountains now the 1st Black nation,

Ousting its ill-bred captors back to France,

Europe’s blood spilled throughout the land, pale with its fratricide.

The deep dome of sea awash in crossfire.

 

You did not spawn other slave revolts.

Ayiti, you rebirthed, driving a stake among European pirates.

Ayiti, Ayiti

You sprung tall from the Carib people as a palm shoots up

 

Ayiti You planted the dream,

Slavery casts a long shadow on its grandchildren

The ugly remnants woven in our words and moves

Dessalines ripped the white form the 3-bars of color on the French flag –when Napoleon’s men surrendered he tore the flag in 3 pieces and joined the red and blue, proclaiming the 2nd republic among the purloin American soil.

 

You stretched your hands to the sky

The smoke of your scorched island

Vaulted to the heavens.

Hibiscus bloom next to the papaya.

Ayiti, God hears your lamentation.

 

Two hundred years later, the Yankee beast

Twists the dagger of embargo

Steals the freely elected president

More bellicose lies from the NAFTA weasel.

 

The disarray

The poverty

Your daughters without a book, o Ayiti,

Your sons dying from tuberculosis, o Ayiti, Where are the forests, the water, the baby tasting its first mango?

The dust on the throat

 

As the farmer surveys the mountainside

Looking over the jeweled sea

Sparkling in the sun & rife with sharks.

Bleached bones of the slave ancestors on the sand.

Whispering the eternal song

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.

Mes amis de Ayiti, levez les mains.

HAyiti, rise up.