Tianos call it land of mountains
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.