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Oh, to be in Trinidad

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Pic of Greyfriars Church in Port of Spain.

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
where the hot scented currents flow;
  from East Dry River to Nariva
chaconia and silk cotton tree grow.
  Where reaching palms whisper
across island reef and coconut lagoon,
  and the forests of Papa Bois
flower with lotus lilies in bloom

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
in the time of the house of Trestrail,
  and be again that child before
the Voyage of Six leaving did sail.
  Where by antiquity starlight
Amerindians crossed its riverbends,
  and tall masted clipper ships
sailed the spice seas to its far ends

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
when equatorial rains have passed;
  and gaze Big Wet to Big Dry
burning canefield and wildgrass.
  Lowland baptism of blossom
resurrect from Toco to Mayaro Bay,
  and in reacquainted seasons
waves of consciousness slip away

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
where tales of bacchanal abound;
  how old chimes with new
yet uprising does a trumpet sound.
  And ghosts of the revolution
fan the flames in the hot raging sun;
  where dat voodoo spirit rise
the Obeah Man when day is done

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
for crab and callaloo on Sunday...
  let the Boca gulf gates lull
and stars over Tobago my fears allay.
  Dream and moonstruck gaze
till Monos windsong wakes no more;
  listen and you too shall hear
rapping upon her hideaway shore

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
in Caroni for the scarlet ibis flown;
  hummingbird's backward dance,
beauty I'm richer for having known.
  And in days of future years
tread again the hot Maracas sands,
  or horse trails of Blue Range
and Rancho Caballero grasslands

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
when the Oval's at its raucous best,
  and the lions of Queen's Park
bay for Christians in noble contest.
  Where the air sweet with rum
lures with doubles and curry pot,
  and the drums and soca play
till all yuh feelin' hot! hot! hot!

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
playin' Mas' with cart and barrow;
  when masquerade and fete
jump loudest to Kitch and Sparrow.
  Calypsonian tents jammin',
limbo flame sparks the night flare,
  and steelpan Carnival streets 
jumpin' from Icacos to Saint Clair

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
among the blood of African slave,
  and not be destined, alas,
to lifeless fill a cold foreign grave!
  Lo, where indentured cargo
in waves landed upon South Quay...
  I pray the bells of Greyfriars
do gently toll in absence for me

  Oh, to be in Trinidad
when the great Savannah dawns;
  hot roti and roasted corn
in early light over its tracks and lawns.
  Land of my nativity begun
from hills to blue Caribbean Sea;
  I miss that golden age ended
and lament what must be must be


           August 1995

Copyright © | Year Posted 2014

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Date: 5/19/2017 7:48:00 PM
wow, did you grow up there. or is this just imaginings? I would love to visit there!! very nicely described.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 5/19/2017 8:04:00 PM
Hello dear Andrea. I was born and lived there till I was almost 8. Alas, it is no longer the place it once was but it's nice to look back fondly. I haven't been home in 31 years so I visit in memory only. Thanks for dropping by. Keep well.