Lost Barbados (Poem)
The Poet's Corner The Caribbean Is One Nation.
I am looking for my country,
O where can my country be?
Where do you have it hidden?
And why am I now forbidden?
I looked up hill and down vale,
Barbados appears a distant tale,
All I can do now is reminisce,
About the country I greatly miss.
“Help me, help me,” is my cry,
“Find my country, I often sigh.”
Give me back my country, fair
Let me express to her my care.
Was last seen in a moral stance,
But now lost in a maze or trance,
This is more than mere diatribe,
So now my country I’ll describe.
Under two hundred square miles,
Coast to coast of friendly smiles,
Listen well as I make the contrast
Barbados present, Barbados past.
The following description is key,
What once was is not what you see,
Once a country close to the church,
Now a people terribly besmirched.
Once noted for pride and industry,
Now borders on the dull and lazy,
Almighty dollar, not so almighty,
Now facing an uncertain economy.
Once praised for its cultural norm,
Being replaced with sex and porn,
While still with churches abound,
That message is often not sound.
Torn down the centre it appears
The blacks have now turn to greys,
Truth not truth, white not white,
Just the greys make an awful sight.
Please find my country in this storm,
Where contrary winds are the norm,
Where its beauty is now demolished
And its morals exchanged for rubbish.
Once quick to make a right decision,
Now hesitant and lacking precision,
Full of words and progressing in talk
But just not willing to walk the walk.
Once having leaders willing to serve,
Now from such mores having swerved
Articulating progress and dynamism,
But full of arrogance and skepticism.
This jewel, this gem that all admired
Has lost its gloss, its shine has expired;
Sold our birthright for a mere shadow,
Now must accept the results that follow.
Crime and greed its foundation rocks,
Honesty and dignity in depleted stocks;
What used to be is such a long way off
That now lesser countries begin to scoff.
But why am I so hard on this country?
It’s because I am familiar with History,
The history of a country I know so well,
The history that I am still proud to tell.
With misty eyes and a heart of pain,
I look back at the Gem again and again
To a time when caring was a way of life,
Friends were friends, not all this strife.
A man’s word was a binding obligation,
He stuck to it as though in subjugation,
It was important to stick to one’s word,
To do otherwise was a thing less heard.
SOS for my Gem; please find it for me,
Not long lost and still in the vicinity;
Don’t treat lightly but with urgency,
Still a chance we can restore its glory.
Barbados is the name of this fair land,
Once identified by its Christian stand;
But lost in a maze of its own making,
Its very foundations are now shaking.
If you’ve seen my Gem let me know,
Much it has done to help me grow,
So great a debt to this country I owe,
I just want to help restore its glow.
Marred in many ways you will agree,
But not indistinguishable you will see,
Once found, Bim will be a Gem again,
To which Bajans can again lay claim.
Then it will be Bim, lost and found,
Bim standing again on solid ground;
A restored Gem that brightly shines,
An example in the darkest of times.
So Barbados, where are you now?
Can you connect with me somehow?
Can you hear me calling your name?
Voice weak, feet blistered and lame?
Through the pain, amidst the gloom,
In anticipation I can find you soon,
If you hear just answer right back,
I just want to help you back on track.
Yearning to rejoice like in sixty-six,
Then we knew how to get out of a fix;
Bearing one another in any weather.
So do join me in this diligent search,
PM, MPs, members of God’s church;
Please help me find Lost Barbados,
Restore this Gem to its former gloss.
Stewart Russell © 2013
Stewart Russell is an educator.