(A tribute to Hurricane Irma)

I was not here on that dreadful day

when Irma came and had her way.

So why should I explain her rage,

that made a permanent mark on the 2017 page.

Perhaps the trauma would have blurred my view,

and the words I am sharing would not sound new.

Though my body was not here to share,

my spirit and emotions suffered the same despair.

Irma revealed truth we have to face,

if we are to rise from this current space.

Healer says you must first confess

before you can be cured from your distress.

So permit me to say, if I may,

that Irma was a blessing, to help us on our way.

She revealed truths about this place,

created by 25 years of economic grace.

One hundred years of progress, lived in 25,

too much too fast and many did not thrive.

The soul is lost and looking for sacred ground,

wandering in places where salvation cannot be found.

Along came Irma, a saviour in disguise.

It is only by God’s grace that we remained alive.

But purpose overcame fear; many embraced and kissed death;

body bags were waiting for them to take their final breath.

If we examine the soul and admit the truth,

Irma spoke loudly to the old and the youth.

Take stock of what you did, she say,

from the last 25 to this very day.

The next 25 can be a beginning or an end:

It all depends on how you answer the following ten.

Write down your answers, each recording his own,

no right or wrong, the answers are personal, to you alone.

Let’s have a national dialogue of how we have done,

agreeing to disagree, but arriving at a position of one.

It is not your position, but whether it is your truth,

healing can only begin when you get to the root.

So here are the questions, answer all ten,

the answers will determine the future of your children.

Give them your best, to withstand the test,

to make their journey a success, when you are at rest.

Your land that ancestors toiled and bought,

Did you protect it, respect it and honour its worth?

Your culture that makes you unique, special and strong,

Have you uplifted its value, traditions to make it last long?

Your character of common sense, self-reliance and pride,

Have you celebrated its virtues, its architects during the ride?

Your values of village and the community of brothers,

Have you demanded it from neighbours, guests and promoted it to others?

Your elders’ wisdom and knowledge from generations past,

Did you package and pass on for the youth foundation class?

Your worship, your faith, your sanctuary of strength and hope,

Is it a one-day ritual or a fountain of love, a daily way to cope?

Your youth, the children and the future generation,

Have you equipped their minds and morals to carry on the nation?

Your politics and the way you run your governance affair,

Do they reflect who you are and do they value what you share?

Your standard of living and your material wealth,

Have you exchanged them for your physical, emotional and spiritual health?

Your family tribe, the foundation upon which the nation stands,

Have you fortified, glorified, sanctified them for life’s demands?

So get to thinking and writing with some paper and a pen,

have some dialogue and debate with a colleague or a friend.

The answers you give must be truthful and from the heart,

With a plan of action and commitment to make a new start.

Each of us is the nation, we have it within,

we left the Federation and took Positive Action to win.

We have Lavity, who showed us how to be great,

to follow a vision, and build a nation that we create.

So thank Irma for this chance to start anew.

It is only after death that something new grew.

So let us rise together, from this day we must begin,

and our height will be limited only by the God within.