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The Trees of D'abadie

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Rancho Caballero was the name of my late uncle and aunt's stud farm located in D'abadie (pronounced Dab-a-dee) in Trinidad & Tobago. The land was sold to the government for public housing about five years ago or so. They made assurances that only sick trees would be removed but in their wisdom (or greed or ignorance) have now cleared them all. Trees that have stood for generations. What a surprise!

Note: pan is what locals refer to as steelband.

         Gordon and Dorothy are my late uncle and aunt.


  In time's decreasing gain
far from the din of Port of Spain
  a beauty does still remain...
till in my malaise a vision I saw
an oasis gone to return nevermore
  up the Main Eastern Corridor.

  Now in woodland D'abadie
in a land of horse and kings I see
  a ravage in a foregone glory.
Hitherto as a child and as a man
its rich memories my lifetime span
  to long before its end began.

  Where yon the stable gate
a man and his thoughts ruminate
  on his own mortal estate!
Verily I had hoped in years past
that a land of field and vista so vast
  might live on and me outlast.

  In late porch light shimmer
as the big sky grew dim and dimmer
  belfry trees would glimmer.
But now the trees make no sound
for none on this land can be found
  but the felled on the ground.

  I remember picking fruit
and standing on a big gnarly root
  as an iguana up did shoot;
when back on sunrise trail I'd see
horse and rider 'neath a samaan tree
  in shiny bridle rein and saddlery.

  I miss on the wind's blow
the rising pan and beating calypso
  echo over Rancho Caballero.
Where afar sets a western red sky
and roosts in the night to you and I 
  sung a tropic island lullaby.

  Where stood a mare or cow
in the shade of a silk cotton bough
  dozers now dig and plough.
It's hard to watch and truly sad
to watch disappear things we had
  once upon a time in Trinidad.

  There is a price and a cost
alas at all the trees cut and tossed
  and to this land forever lost!
But still yet remains in D'abadie
the fruits of Gordon and Dorothy
  in the roots of a Family Tree!


            January 2018

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 12/7/2019 3:22:00 AM
Such a sad story but beautifully told. I came from the blogs to read your work. The loss of a tree always leaves a hollow feeling so the leveling of these tree must have been remarkably sad and painful. Governments I have found are full of greedy, grasping men who are in there for their own gain. I will long remember this poem as a living metaphor of their deception. Great to read you this morning, Keith. Take heart. SuZ
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Date: 4/17/2018 7:05:00 PM
How I wish I could have seen it Keith. Trees are very special to me ...I can't really explain it. This was sad and wonderful.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 4/18/2018 7:15:00 AM
Thank you my dear. I love them too. So many people can't see the wood for the trees!
Date: 4/10/2018 3:49:00 AM
I write down words from other wordsmiths - steal them if you will. Keith, this beautiful poem gave me 29 and a half words. The half is because I'm changing one of them in the middle. I don't use any of these words regularly, so I am AMAZED. It's a language I have never spoken or written, and it's POETRY. WOW! NICE!
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 4/10/2018 7:48:00 AM
Hi there Caren. Always loved words and language. It's what we do! Take care.
Date: 4/8/2018 10:56:00 PM
"standing on a big gnarly root" ? hmmm. Nice one, Keith.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 4/10/2018 7:43:00 AM
Becca Teagan...you are naughty...but nice!
Date: 3/25/2018 10:13:00 PM
Wow, this one made be put my coffee aside, away from the keyboard Got me thinking about the family I have, till the coffee got cold Thanks Kieth
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 4/10/2018 7:42:00 AM
Better put the kettle back on, mate. Nothing should distract you from that. Take care and happy writing!
Date: 3/25/2018 8:56:00 PM
Interesting and imaginative! So nice to something spun on the topic of mortality.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 4/10/2018 7:40:00 AM
Thanks Suz. Glad you stopped by.
Date: 2/5/2018 12:14:00 AM
Sad to have all the trees clears. Yet it's true, the family roots will always remain. These poems you write about your family are really awesome, Keith, something your family will treasure for generations.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 2/5/2018 12:35:00 AM
Very few of my family would even know or care that I write. Thanks for stopping by, Becs.
Date: 1/31/2018 10:14:00 PM
This is really beautiful, yet sad to see the tall legends felled. You have a real talent for telling a story that had me transfixed.
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 2/5/2018 12:32:00 AM
Thank you, Connie. Nothing lasts forever I guess.
Date: 1/29/2018 6:31:00 AM
A sad poem but a great tribute in a sense to your uncle and aunt.. Never trust he govt..
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/29/2018 7:17:00 AM
I'm glad they're not alive to see it. Cheers Silent One.
Date: 1/29/2018 5:21:00 AM
You've just put your history in a poem...Fine style Keith...I enjoyed your writing
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Keith Trestrail
Date: 1/29/2018 6:14:00 AM
Cheers Arturo. Happy writing!