All is ruin, so much about this once bustling Bermuda extinct
or on the brink, so many cavernous carcasses of churches,
car cadavers, corpses of boats strewn about the water’s edge
or blown into unlikely places, unclaimed. And what is the gain
in claiming vessels long fallen into disuse due to lack of fuel?
Generators growl after dark from time to time, the odd rusted
vehicle crawls across potholed root-wracked roads past schools
with their large shattered windows like unpupiled eyes, empty sockets.
The very few old, among our very few, constantly chant how all
has changed. But some old ways and ancient customs remain;
building and flying long faded tissue paper kites that hum
into the largely silent days and black and noiseless nights,
praying and preying, getting drunk and high, when folk can,
to escape resorting to that escape from which there is no
escape back home, for life, so tenuous now, feels so precious
and sanity is our only luxury. Every meal is a sacrament,
each new day a gift from Universe or other chosen deity.
Alan C. Smith is a Bermudian writer and has been published in the Caribbean Writer, tongues of the ocean, WildRiver Review and by A3 Press.