Best Belizean Poems
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by Chand, Karan
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The Best Belizean Poems
In the beginning it was the Yucatec, the Mopan and Kekchi as well
Who came from the steppes of Asia where nomads dwell
They fished and farmed milpas, in paradise; away from hell
Some building great civilizations that, for many reasons, eventually fell
Then came the Spaniards whose ambivalence; mixed feelings
Caused them to waver in subsequent dealings
Killed some natives, driven off by others
In the end did not settle; wasn’t worth the bother
Displaced by the British, rowdy pirates turn woodcutters
Who made laws and build infrastructure down to the gutters
Cut logwood, then mahogany for powerful and wealthy folks
Then, to satisfy greed, sought others to enslave in yokes
Africans from Jamaica and Bermuda transshipped
Then as chattel they were frequently whipped
Stolen from Africa, becoming the major labor force
Dehumanized and tortured for centuries without remorse
Mestizos fleeing oppressors in the Yucatan
The War of Castes brought them from beyond
Working as chicleros and cane cutters
As a way of providing ‘ bread and butter’
Garinagu deported from St. Vincent as a form of punishment
Many dying in their odyssey , their massive predicament
Survive , resiliently, on the rebound
A proud people, with culture and learning very sound
Mennonites coming to enjoy religious freedom and peace
Avoiding persecution for a life of ease
Providing furniture, low cost poultry and eggs
Reducing the cadre of many that beg
From India and China they were duped and brought
As indentured servants who were hastily sought
Later as merchants and shopkeepers they came
Voluntarily this time, which is not nearly the same
Backpackers and excursionists everywhere
In a world where they’re free to choose elsewhere
Not part of the earlier diaspora
But manifestations of a new plethora
Copyright © Karan Chand | Year Posted 2014
While flying to Belize
I sat with ease
Knowing I held keys
To enjoy the land of my birth
But while flying to Belize
I said, jeez!
I'm the only black face
On this huge Delta flight
Yet, I choose to be pleased
Instead of being pissed
For such sight, my ancestors missed
When here and there they were dismissed
From such God given rights...
To sit, to stand wherever they choose
Instead, they suffered abuse
As if darkness gave no birth to light
But what fresh insight...
Belizean poets also hold keys
to unlock what's right
And that, my friend, holds might.
Copyright © Iris Elizabeth Sankey-Lewis | Year Posted 2014
if i were a pelican
i'd soar in the sky.
i'd feel like a queen
and watch the day goes by.
i'll go on adventures
and make new friends.
i'd sit by the sunset and watch how it ends.
i'd catch fishes and swim in the sea.
i'd give jokes to the dolphins and they'll giggle with me.
i'd be the greatest pelican that ever lived.
and for those who envy "WELL I NUH GIVE"
the last part of the poem was written in creole my belizean language
Copyright © xena latchman | Year Posted 2012