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Cryssa C

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Haiti in my Heart
by Cryssa C

Monday, September 22, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Cryssa C
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           >> View all 143

  Haiti in my Heart

 

I call myself a diaspora.

for Haiti is in my heart.

I think my heart is half-Haitian

because Haiti’s my heart’s second home.

 

 

             Haiti

My eyes take in the view:

Poverty in all her glory…

         Burning tires and refuse,

            Piled trash along the roads,

                Garbage rivers running

                    through the sewage bordered streets…

 

            But it’s not these sights that register;

            my heart is blind to this…

 

My ears hear…

            Gunshots,

                Stories of violent clashes

                     and governmental coups,

                           The cries of needy children,

                                          rah-rahs & voodoo

 

            But these sounds don’t penetrate;

            my heart is deaf to this…

 

I breathe in…

Acrid odors assault my nose--

            The stench of putrid sewage

               Fetid fish

                    and car exhaust

 

            But these scents don’t permeate;

            my heart can’t smell these things…

 

There are tastes my tongue won’t savor--

            Rancid Meat,

                Diesel fumes,

                    The bitter taste of Bile

 

            But I don’t discern these flavors;

            my heart can’t taste these things…

 

My hand reaches out

and I touch…

        Dirt, Grit, and Grime

        As I feel palpable humidity

             and sweat--

                    Trickling d

                                      o

                                        w

                                           n,

                                        Creating muddy tracks

                                         that end in sticky pools on my skin.

 

            But these textures make no impression;

            my heart can’t feel these things…

 

 

These things can’t touch and grasp

the Haiti in my heart!

 

Instead….

My heart sees… Beauty…

            Lush Vegetation and trees,

                 on Mountains

                        with Flowers

                                by the Sea

 

            The sun’s blazing orb

                        casting light upon a darkened world.

            reflecting the vivid colors of Haiti

                        intense yellows, orange, blues, red, pink…

 

            Streets dotted with the bright and shimmering colors

            of women wearing taffetas, silks and satins—

            And craftsmen creating works of art-

                        Of paintings, and sculptures, and wood carvings           

                                    -all reflecting the colors of Haiti

 

            And… Children...

            Being loved by their mothers

            or playing near streets

            Children … in starched uniforms

            (the colors of Haiti)

            Walking to and from school...

                        Smiling....

                                    Laughing....

 

            Stately heads

                        balancing

                 buckets and bowls…                                                          

                 filled with water,

                 lined with wares—

                 Bananas, candy,                             

                 stacks of cloth ...

                 precariously perched                                                                       

                 on proudly tilted heads

 

     And the tap-taps

            -Haiti’s lively, decorated buses

             that fill the streets

             with their presence…

             

and with sounds...

 

            of honking.

            Horns tooting   

                        -greetings

                        -warnings

                        -permission…

 

My heart also hears… Music…

            The music of street merchants

            selling their wares

                        -“Pee-stoch” 

                        -“D’lo,”

                        and bartering

                        in rapid fire Creole--

            Snorts, Laughs, Loud Guffaws….

                          And Children

                                    -singing

 

My heart hears happiness…

 

I smell… Industry

            -diesel fumes

            -welding vapors

            -a country trying to change

    and wafting through the air

    I catch the scent of cooking…

            -road side stands of chicken,

            rice and beans,

            -cabri

I salivate and my mouth waters

            -for onions

            -spaghetti

            -cabri

            -Chadeque

            -and lemonade to die for…      

Flavors all rolled together

creating in me

a tantalizing mélange of harmony…

            MMMMMM!

        I’ve tasted heaven!

 

When my veritable feast is done,

I sit back, relax,

and feel…       

            -a cool ocean breeze

            bringing

            Pouring rain--

            dumping as if from a 10,000 gallon tank-

            Washing away…everything…

            Cleansing…

 

I sense an indomitable spirit

            -Their pride

            -Their joy

 

I reach out

and touch…

            A hand

                A child

                    A friend

 

I reach out and feel… Loved

 

            Haiti

 

My heart drinks in the sights and sounds.

I breathe deeply--

close my eyes,

and smile….

This diaspora’s home!

for Haiti’s in my heart…

 

 

 

 


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Reviewed by JMS Bell 3/7/2010
THE LOVE THAT YOU HAVE FOR HAITI...JESUS PLACED IT THERE... FOR NO ONE COULD DRAW SUCH A PICTURE OF THINGS NOT NOW SEEN UNLESS THEY 'SEE' BY FAITH...THINGS TO BE. I KNOW THAT IN SPITE OF THE DEVASTATION, EVEN NOW...YOU ARE STILL 'SEEING' THE BEAUTY OF HAITI BECAUSE YOURS IS NOT A LOVE BASED ON JUST THE PHYSICAL THINGS BUT ON SPIRITUAL THINGS, WHICH IS REAL AND HAS NOT BEEN TOUCHED...IN YOUR HEART. A TIMELY, EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE AND INSPIRING WORK THAT 'SHINES' A STRONG LIGHT OF HOPE ONTO A 'RECOVERING' NATION. WELL DONE AND ENJOYED.
GOD BLESS YOU. LOVE, JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
Reviewed by John Domino 2/2/2010
A trip to vivid Haitian life in poetic fashion. Bravo!
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 1/24/2010
I have never been to Haiti, but I have to places like her. You capture the diaspora with such clarity and honesty, just as I viewed Bangladesh. At a time like this, your words comfort and inspire.

Ron
Reviewed by Jacqueline Hallenbeck 1/13/2010
Beautiful!
Reviewed by lili dauphin 4/28/2009
That is so beautiful. Reading your beautiful poetry have stirred in me many childhood memories. Your husband is right. Not only are you an old soul, you are also a good soul. Is it possible that you may have been an Haitian in your last life? Just kidding.
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 10/23/2008
Thank you for sharing your deep feelings about Haiti, Cryssa. Love and best wishes to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Jerry Engler 10/21/2008
You achieve such sensuous contrast here that takes us to the depths of your longings for Haiti, Cryssa. I have to say an amen to Kate's review. You may in all seriousness be in line for the title, "Mother Haiti," like a catholic expression of spiritual height....jerry
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 10/20/2008
I have never read such a touching account of a feeling of pride and belonging. Truly, you ARE diaspora, Cryssa, and we sense your feeling of displacement when you are away. Yet it floods your senses with love - and true to love, you see only the good, not the unenviable. Surely such identification is a gift of God. No wonder you are mother to it's people. It is so marvellous when we find our passion in life and clearly, Haiti and it's people, especially children, is yours. May you be blessed in whatever is yours to do and be to fulfill your longing. Just beautiful. This lives. xx
Reviewed by Elizabeth Price 10/11/2008
You find the beauty in the debris. You have a big heart pointed in the right direction. Liz
Reviewed by Kathy Armijo 9/23/2008
It goes without saying "Haiti is, indeed, in your heart!" After reading this, I clearly understand why you feel this way. You have instilled a desire to go to Haiti and see it as you do.

God bless you. Kathy
Reviewed by Linda Law 9/23/2008
I too believe that there is some Haiti in your soul for certain!!! Perhaps another life? Anyway... this was beautifully and SKILLFULLY written. It sprang the vision of Haiti as you see it into my minds eye... this is writing at its best. lindalaw
Reviewed by Charlie 9/23/2008
A beautiful poem, Cryss. I felt like I was there. I think the colors were effective in bringing brightness into the poem. And in the words, one can feel your strong hope for Haiti, and also a lonely kind of sadness and longing. Haiti sprang from nothing into something beautiful. Perhaps it will do so again. I'm excited and ready to help. --Charlie
Reviewed by Bonnie May 9/23/2008
What a terrific joy you brought to such a sad beginning. You certainly are special and your eyes are truly from God. To see beauty among the sadness is a true gift. Love, Bonnie
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 9/23/2008
Some might say you are looking through rose colored glass, but if the do they haven't understood the poem . . . Maybe some day Haiti will be what is in your heart, but Georg has the key to its future . . .
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 9/23/2008
Very nice indeed...enjoyed be well and safe always..Hugssss
Reviewed by Tony Jenkins 9/23/2008
I was there, I could hear, feel and smell.

Fantastic.

Tony
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/23/2008
You take us to Haiti in vivid, striking imagery; she will rise again!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :)

Give your children (((HUGS))) and XXXXX's from me, 'kay??
Reviewed by George Carroll 9/23/2008
What once was and hopes to be again. Sad
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 9/23/2008
Cryssa, you have written this so very effectively. Although we are able to see the poverty and the chaos, you let us see what Haiti holds for you in your heart.
Reviewed by Georg Mateos 9/23/2008
Haiti's problems are the same som Dafur, Somalia, Zimbawe, and a few other forgotten lands that have nothing to offer to the Mighty 8 for natural resources, just people, and Haitian people are cheaper than bauxite in the Caribean.
But, the legacy of Papa Doc, Baby Doc and Ton-Tons are buried deep in the conscience of of its people. Only the education of a few generations of children can reverse the Haiti situation, no militar intervention, no massive help...educate the children so the future of Haiti can be different, prosperous and poverty diminished.

Georg
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