Paradise Lost/Requiem for Bequia 2013

(For those of us who remember)

Mount Pleasant tanks were

unencumbered  then.

Tola’s donkey cart

brought Christmas up the hill.

Estelle baked fresh loaves of bread

in an oil drum by Mrs. Taylor’s.

The Friendship Rose

was a real sailing ferry,

and Sam McDowell painted her

into posterity.

 

There were few roads  then,

most places were hard to find,

like Hope and Ravine.

Outsiders built simple homes

that did not alter the fragile balance

between us and them.

 

Now the price of land has

driven that balance away.

It’s the wild, wild west out there,

build where, how, and when you like!

Diesel trucks screech wildly around corners

carrying  loads of concrete, cement blocks, stones

that spill randomly onto the roads.

They blow their horns

from one end of the seven mile island to the other

to catch the one oclock ferry.

They belch out poisonous fumes

which give the local kids asthma.

There’s an epidemic of it here.

 

Cars overrun the small, narrow roads

Mashing up de concrete.

Piles of foreign garbage

flood the small, finite, landfill.

 

And I believe the people’s paradise

 is close to being lost,

the one I knew,  gone forever.

The precious Bequia way of life,

fragile, irreplaceable

and to be envied,

now perhaps a mere reflection

in the rear-view mirror of time.

4 thoughts on “Paradise Lost/Requiem for Bequia 2013

  1. A lovely elegy to precious innocence lost. Makes me think of youthful days when we all believed in the black and whiteness of right and wrong.

  2. Reminds me of the saying we had when we first moved to Bequia – Why would we want to change what brought us here in the first place? Unfortunately, the island has changed, as your poem so eloquently explains.

    • Thanks so much Susan. I do feel that in particular unregulated change is always a bad thing…then the richest and the strongest win out. California sets an example here of what is needed strong local governmental rules around building and water rights. So important to protect the common good! Hope to see you one day on Bequia and look forward to your next book!

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