About Island Arrhythmia

This poem was written in response to the people suffering from the disastrous conditions left by the earthquake,  and  inspired by the poignant  heart of Marie-France's compelling image,  Empathie pour Haïti

  As the title suggests, this poem personifies the spiritual pulse, the emotional rhythm of the island's heart. The beat of human and natural life is irregular, it skips moments of joy and erratically pounds with sadness, anger and  tones of defiance. The pulse of Haiti is referred to as the slave beat, the  girl  who stands amidst the gutted landscape and glares at the horizon. It is not a skyline of promise but one of uncertainty and confusion. She turns and her dark hair slaps the air like a braided whip. She is desperate and wonders why only fog unravels from heaven and not a gift of gauze or bandages to bind her nation's bleeding wounds. And this becomes the figurative way of expressing the people's frustration with lack of medical supplies and with the government officials who have blindfolded their motivation with silence, even apathy.

  In the last stanza, we, as the  bystanders, can feel the fracture of this country's heart and all the families who have lost their children or loved ones.  Somehow, we might always hear those mortal fingers ticking against time, trapped eternally beneath the rubble and desperately etching their presence in the land and our souls.  

© 2011, Wendy Howe. E-mail.