Poems: Keep On Keepin' On

By Josaphat-Robert Large , 5 September 2006

Text I

In the morning’s mirror

The day proceeds step by baby step

    When the dust of the sun smudges the horizon

In the heart of all people in Haiti

Hope lifts anchor

On the open-market’s web

Our spirit yearning for bits of inspiration

We’re resolving our misery’s quandary

And all flowers that have sadly lost their fragrance

Are returning to the nests of their buds

Many minutes slide down

Onto a dawn that stands broken-down

                      In the focal point of the sky

A big clock’s dancing in folkloric rhythm

To force the dew to flow into leaves

Children are fooling around with the wind

Unwrapping the rope of hopes

                                      In the air

They are flying toward the moon

                                     With their kites

And what we take for beautiful trust

                      In our consciousness

Are the drawings of the garden we’d want to

Sketch into life

When the morning’s mirror

Pitches out its fragment of shadows

Oh, say!

Will the land lift its head again

Oh! With elegance

Will the sunflower finally rise?

Text  III

Where did that death come from?

Circling the border of existence

Whence did that mourning emerge

That weeds out life in the garden of the future

The street develops a sorrow

                                            This long!

All houses are painted the colour of distress

Desolation spreads over all the walls

Alongside all the sidings of farmhouses

It hacks up the cornfields of our heart

Sorrow’s a pair of scissors shearing our hopes

Cutting our spirit into tiny pieces

Birds high up trace a curve ’round the sun

Windmills are turning the wheels of the sea

Chicken-nests flourish on city’s pillars

Thatched houses seem like bones on mountaintops

Where people act like toy soldiers at


Their faces bathed in a mist of sadness

Wind balancing on their heads

Women are mountaineering toward

                                            The moon

Keeping perfect symmetry between

Their waists and

                                    The road

They are throwing themselves in front

                                        Of their existence

Throwing their beliefs in the direction of

                                            The stars

Oh, friends,

Looting bedbugs are plucking our patience

Plundering our lovely cherry garden of light

Oh, friends,

Poverty hangs itself on our country’s luggage rack

Desolation is rolling across all mountains and over all plains

Trying to slow down the wheel of our resistance

Text  XXIX

A hurricane slaps at the stars

And a downpour of lightning strikes the universe

People in the corridor of their existence

Start yelling for help!

Children break into a run

Birds dash at high speed toward

             The centre of a falling star

The wind lifts my town high up

                And dashes it to the ground

Houses break into tiny pieces

The church crumbles and spreads over the waterfront

                   Streets tumble into ravines


The wind has killed God the Father

Everyone on their knees

Let's telephone the Virgin Mary

Hello, Jesus, Hello, Mary!

Where does this fire of wind come from?

That is burning our souls

Wind turning hope upside down

Murdering our common sense

Strangling our patience

Throwing our lives

                        Into the abyss


There's a pile-up of wind on top of Central America

Where trucks are lying wheels in the air

A pile-up of tornadoes embracing the earth

Throwing stars around God's spiritual houses


A shard of a bottle tears the face of St. George

Werewolves bite the butt of a butler

Dust mixed with rock stones the moon


The wind's blowing on our hearts

The rain's scattering the sorrow inside us

All the fires are dying in the stars

Life has surrendered to the attack of the rain

And the hurricane is coming back

With its pile-up of abysmal


Poems taken from Keep On Keepin' On, by Josaphat-Robert Large, translated from Haitian Creole by Jack Hirschman with the participation of Boadiba: iUniverse Incorporated, March 2006