Sweet Ja­maica!

Jamaica Gleaner - - ARTS & EDUCATION - – Orette C. Burke

The beau­ti­ful scenery and green­ery of the Blue Moun­tains was breath­tak­ing. Sweet Ja­maica! Oh won­drous isle! Your sil­hou­ettes of hills and ocean lul­la­bies From hedges of bougainvil­laea To hi­bis­cus de­light Stretches your splen­dour over grandeurs might Of­ten have I held your golden days Un­der your kalei­do­scope, an in­fin­ity of rays And re­joice in your re­gal, rus­tic rocks Over piers and har­bours where coun­tries dock Silky winds may glide upon an ocean’s scent Over su­gar blades and sober hills where hues of dawn re­lent And how oft have I gasped at a flurry of skies at med­leys of ba­nanas and co­conut pride Sweet Ja­maica Oh Caribbean eye We salute your cities and coun­try­sides The high­ways and by­ways ev­ery cor­ner and turn

Your glis­ten­ing white beaches and gal­leries of fern From yam hills of Trelawny to mel­ons of St. Bess churches and gar­dens on spec­tral soils rest From Rio Grande raft to Dunn’s River Fall Hol­land Bam­boo breeze to Great Rose Hall Away from the ver­dor of Port­land’s dew Lay western cot­tages kissed with blue Sweet Ja­maica such gal­lantry of lands Of misty Blue Moun­tains and pris­tine sands Ev­ery rooster in morn­ing’s glee Ev­ery river that rushes to sea Ev­ery ve­randa, back­yards, lawns Ev­ery av­enue, scheme and farm From grass roots to fields and the smile on your face bread­fruit aroma and scotch bon­net taste From bridges and val­leys of kim pupa lick Ev­ery turn of lime in a ‘lemon­ades’ mix Ex­otic Ja­maica!

How do we for­get Your frills of savour That piques our breath Ac­kee and salt fish, frit­ters, run dung, Fried dumpling, jerk chicken, patty and bun We salute you, Ja­maica! From zinc roofs and mango walks hoisted houses and sor­rel stalks From ev­ery ma­chete held in hand And women by rivers with soaps and pans We salute you Ja­maica Over your moun­tains of moist­ened green All of your vil­lages, of­fices and streams Around Junc­tion Road and down Spur Tree Hill Cro­cheted corn rows, your trucks and mills From a panoply of uni­forms and an ex­ec­u­tive’s tie, splashes of youth where ta­pes­tries lie As flow­ers and hearts bow homage and pride Ja­maica flaunts a flurry that beck­ons in­side .....

GLAD­STONE TAY­LOR/ PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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