Within my subconsciousness
I see a land
Beyond the shimmering dark clouds;
An image that I once knew.
And I keep asking:
Is this the Dominica that I once knew?
The Dominica that opened her shores
And allowed herself to be swarmed
By buccaneering Europeans?

Is this the Dominica
That once accepted African slaves
And their white massas
Within her dense foliage;
Who fought and chased the Caribs
Deep within the confines
Of the threatening jungles?

Is this the Dominica
That felt her heart
Shake, ache and bleed
From the plight of the negres marons
Forever running and hiding
From the guns of their white owners?
The island that saw the seeds of revolution
Fall, and spring up again
Grow stronger, spread their branches
Then wither only to rise once again
Nourished and watered by the blood of
Mabouya, Jaco, Philip and Bala?

In my agony
In my pain,
I ask:
Is this the Dominica
Where crystal clear water
Churned on through the night
Playing soft music
To the night insects?
Where the raindrops soothe the burning flesh
When the overloaded clouds
Collapse over the towering peaks
Of Trois Pitons, Micotrin and Daiblotin?

Is this the Dominica
Where drenched heads played,
Scampered, giggled in the rain?
Where children ran along
Playing hoopseway.
Singing, dancing, jumping
Loving Lawan?

Is this the Dominica
Where the sound of the drum
Once meant war, vengeance
And the rich lavway went piercing
Through the dark night
Disturbing our forefathers
Resting peacefully in their graves?

Is this the Dominica
Stripped naked
By the forces of nature;
Floods, hurricanes?
Is this the Dominica
Stripped bare, unclothed,
By the hands of dishonest politicians
And their circle of opportunistic lackeys?

Is this the Dominica
That I once knew
With a God-fearing people?
A proud people?
A caring people?
A people who cared for their country
Who fought for their country?

Is this the Dominica
That I see
Disappearing slowly in the distance?
Is this the Dominica
That I once knew?
To You Land I pay allegiance
On this day
When the pages of memory
Are unfolded unceasingly
Unto the sons and daughers
Born and bred on this fruitful soil

Mnay years long past
By Columbus
You were discovered.
Now I give you allegiance
Honoring and praising you
Dear Land of my birth.

I'll sing out my heart to you
Your dear beloved name
I'll uphold on this nation's day
When  we all think of you
Land so fair and young.

Yet I won't sit
And let injustice, hatred,
Greed and theft
Smear your beautiful name.
I won't sit and let
Men look down upon you

I won't let other islanders
Shun your image.
I won't let my fellow Dominicans
Abuse your beauty,
Your charm;
For I am A Dominican.

I will go to the shows
On that day
When you're praised and honored
When your children will show
Their national culture
In songs and drama
Dear Land of Rivers.

But Land I'll tramp you so hard
I'll forget that you are there
With a glass
And a woman
And a rum
Jump up time all day long
Yet Land I pay you allegiance
For I Am A Dominican
No don't! Please don't
My very soul cries out.
From within my bomb I feel you shake, rumble
With deceit, hatred and treason.

No, please don't
As the cry from inside the ghetto
Vibrates within my eardrums
The cry of a people rising in unison.

No please don't!
As you climb winding paths
Or trod along pot-holed lanes;
Crevices of my retarded development.

Please don't! As the claws of poverty
Tighten around my frail body
Lying midst this Caribbean archipelago,
Submerged in the Sea of Underdevelopment

No! Don't! Please don't As the sound of the drum
Vibrates within the heart
Of a people living in the faith of the distant past
Shaking in fear of the unknown future.

No! I scream.
In the dark forests of my imagination I cry out
As the misty hills tower over a new-born child in the
An innocent lamb to the slaughter.

Let me live to hear the rhythn of the African drum
Once again. to quench my burning bosom.
Let me live to be green again
And to smell the fragrance of the balisier.

Let me live
To feel the rain coming down in torrents
As tributaries rush down the hills and through the
Of Belles, Layou, Laudat and Gleau Gommier.

Don't! No, don't destroy me!
Allow me to become stronger.
Allow me to grow. Don't neglect me.
In my fragility, hold back thy hand and believe.

Let me live to see the copper haze of the setting sun,
To hear the shrill notes of the Sifleur Montagne.
Let me live to hold you within the contours of my
And to smile with hope. Let Me Live!
Jumpin', singin', movin', rollin',
On de ground.
Sweatin', shoutin', screamin',
Drunk on de road.
Their bellies got too much load
Jumpin' on de land.
Woman on one hand
Bottle of Belfast Rum in de other.
Dey can hardly stand.
Dey jumpin', dey whinin'.
Is Mas.

De sun settin'
De rum flowin'.
Monday gone,
Tuesday almos' gone.
De roadmarch refrain
Soundin' again an' again.
Solomon woule si nous mort
Nous mort anne sala.
Is mas dem playin'.
Dey rubbin'.
Dey cussin'
Dey partyin'.

De steelband soundin' loud.
Sweet calypso music in de Dominica heat
As dey move an' groove to de beat.
Whinin', chippin' down de street.
De lapeau cabwit soundin',
De crowd shoutin',
De dust risin' in de air
An' de drum soundin' louder.
Is Mas.

Doh hang your heart
Chicken bounce, chicken bounce
What you tryin'?
De music stop.
De time comin' closer by de hour.
Now dey begin troddin' home.
Some alone,
Some hug up dey man or dey woman,
Some don't know which way to go.
And de music slowly gone quiet.

Dey chip slowly. Tired legs.
Mas soon done.
As dey approach de final moments,
De chants of de night
Emit from tired, hoarse and drunken voices.
Come go home annous allez
Annous allez ah calle mama nous
Dey shout again and again
As de jump up come to an end
An' all pan pack up.
No more chippin' an' whinin'
An' rubbin' an'sweatin'.
Bal la fini. Toutes bitain fini.
But is mas.
Is Mas
Is This The Dominica?
To You Land I Pay Allegiance
Let Me Live
Mesye Kwik! Kwak!
A View of the Roseau Bayfront along Dame
Eugenia Charles Blvd