Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

Promised Land

no we were not worthy of this land i swear on my life and on yours were we to beg forgiveness on our knees seventy seven times seventeen times from our lady of perpetual mercy history would not absolve us nor she we bleat like goats tethered to this land where men can be bought […]


death seeps into my dreams water sweet poison changing color draining its dark stench bowel green rice water grey as the empty sky as corpses i travel over no requiem no libera me domine corpses soaked and dissolved in water grey rice water bowel green seeping bleeding drenching flooding into this island of ceaseless wonders […]


“Over a thousand and one nights, Scheherazade told the King stories and he fell in love with her.” Ah!  Whether Arabian or Haitian, women are magicians weaving stories of old to delight the young, the young at heart and everyone else.  A festival of Haitian culture that included such storytelling took place on Saturday, October 16th […]

The burden of power

Alone on the parapet of a fortress, stumbling between sky and void, a sovereign howls his rage against the world. “The burden is heavy!” he bemoans in a display of self-pity and pathos. This is not a monarch in a Shakespearean tragedy, and though we’re at the Citadelle Laferrière, this is not King Henry.  It […]


behind mountains more mountains behind sorrows more sorrows and hunger rain or shine the wind howls and rain comes again and again falls dark and blind morning same as evening every year the same and all the months the same since i saw the light there is no god no god to watch over me […]

Welcome to Haïti

I’m home. This landscape is mine: the fruit merchants, the colored vans, the dust. The heat is mine; the late sun. I’m home.

‘The Thing’

There are things human eyes should not see, human ears should not hear. You do not witness certain things even second hand, even a month later with impunity. After visiting the downtown area, I felt feverish and laid down sick, two days after my return home. There was little left of the Port-au-Prince I knew, but rubble and broken buildings, still a few corpses in the streets, whole areas where Godzilla seems to have walked indiscriminately. Monster. Thing, which destroyed my city leaving the ghosts of more than two hundred thousand hidden among the smoke, the debris, the steel dust and sand.


say this is only a dream and afterwards morning say  i will emerge from this shadowy darkness obstinately I grab the day in my teeth taking steps back  growling but life pulls it away tearing it to shreds blindfolded in my dream i summon up names of streets places that witnessed my life and  youth port au prince streets […]

haïti, holy republic of all attempts…

This bilingual piece, adapted from the play “Dialogue with my Double” and various poems by Carmelle St.Gérard Lopez is a patchwork of activist literature – where for an hour and a half, there is intense communication between the audience and the stage. Punctuated by songs composed and interpreted by Maryse Coulanges, the text explores the […]

when god is too busy

God is too busy to rescue drowning children, too busy to stop the flow of blood, too busy to notice the suffering of Haiti, so Gina Athena Ulysse prays to other gods. From behind the curtain, before her entrance on the La Mama stage, she sings a Vodou song. Ezili, save us as we are […]


(For Djenane) they take our girls our women carry them off to darkness we wait heavy-hearted by the telephone until the knot in our throat dissolves each instant an hour each hour a lifetime as we wait for Persephone to be brought back home michele voltaire marcelin

the promise

children die do not talk to me about prayer or paradise talk is cheap children die and my anger supercedes my grief remember it was a november morning like any other when the plaster the bricks the mortar came crashing down children die under the rubble of the promise women cry the air is as […]

Darwin, Lincoln and…Haiti?

“That there is suffering, no one will dispute it, but according to my judgment, happiness will decidedly prevail.” Darwin(according to Beaty) “Four score and seven years ago, my heart began to break, and for a while, I did not know what it meant to be free.” Lincoln(according to Beaty) Was there a relationship between Lincoln […]

where the water lives

i call on no savior from the forgetful heart of the earth what could i save that the wind took from my hand this is where the water lives in the silence and the lies you can see it rise you can smell it rise you can feel it rise time threatened rain threatened and […]

life is split at the seams

no one knows the exact number of the dead not even the storm herself though her course is charted and images circle the earth of wind and rain that hurl and whirl swallowing everything in their path (they laid there like dolls one next to the other they laid there as if they had been […]


  le bruit court sous la pluie et en un quart d’orange la terre fait le tour de la rumeur   le bruit court que le vent a soufflé tellement fort que le cyclone larme à l’œil a crié sur la ville un chant de cygne signe d’aile cynique de fin du monde le bruit […]

The Other Side of the Water

The Other Side of the Water – Lòt Bò Dlo – a Jeremy Robbins and Magali Damas film, follows the journey of DJARARA (a Brooklyn Rara band) through a labyrinth of vodou temples, underground economies, and violent politics from Haiti to New York City. Exploring the personal stories behind the music, this documentary-in-progress shows how […]


Le Maestro Michèle Voltaire Marcelin et Issa El Saieh ~ 1990 Un peu plus de trois ans que le Maestro est parti. Un peu plus de trois ans que je ne vais plus à l’Avenue du Chili. Ce passage désiré et obligé me manque. Et me manque aussi son affection à la fois nonchalante et […]

Compère Jacques Soleil

” Pour moi, tout est toujours neuf sur la planète; tout m’étonne, tout m’affecte ou me ravit. Chaque jour, j’ai l’impression de naître dans un univers inédit, et il me suffirait d’apprendre à ouvrir les yeux avec une conception moniste du monde pour arriver à envisager et saisir à la fois l’arbre et la forêt.” […]

Master of light

Gesner Armand, Master of light ~and the light within can be seen through the eyes~ Yesterday was June 11th. It would have been Gesner Armand’s 72nd birthday. One of Haiti’s finest impressionists, he was born in Croix-des-Bouquets. And if the place is not pretty, the name is, which evokes colorful bunches of flowers and suits […]


Peyi pikan peyi mizè Peyi bèl fanm bèl malè Peyi fè pam peyi kouray Peyi koupe tèt boule kay Peyi tout voum se do sansib pa jwe Peyi bay kou bliye pote mak sonje Peyi voye wòch kache men Peyi jou va jou vyen Peyi jan chache jan twouve Peyi lwi jan boje Peyi bat […]

In Memoriam

Kareem (à droite, en maillot gris et rouge) A la mémoire de Kareem Gaspard, lâchement assassiné à 16 ans, vendredi soir à Port-au-Prince.   Ce texte m’est parvenu sans signature. Je ne sais qui l’a écrit. Mais je sais qu’au milieu des larmes, il devait être partagé. Que l’auteur me pardonne de le reproduire ici […]

The written word

  To read is to marvel, to explore and meander through the universe of numerous alphabets, emotions, thoughts and intellect of writers: this eclectic group of people who immortalize what they think, believe, understand, and dream through a composition of words… To celebrate Haitian literature, the Association of Haitian Professionals regrouped 30 Haitian authors at […]

Mon pays que voici

Ô mon Pays si triste est la saison qu’il est venu le temps de se parler par signes Je continue ma lente marche de poète un bruit de chaîne dans l’oreille et sur les lèvres un goût de sel et de soleil et je remonte lentement le lit de ton Histoire J’ai vu tes enfants […]