Saturday, January 30, 2010

Haiti, Poor, Haiti

I am working on a chapbook of poems about Haiti begun before the earthquake.  See this poem published in the Post Gazette.     
Saturday Poem (for Haiti) / Piet Boit
Saturday, January 30, 2010

In Haiti the trees hold on to dust,
drink it in with roots
snake across an earth of stone
searching for a foot hold. The people of Haiti
with bruised and calloused feet
eat the dust in wafers of sun dried mud
sold in the market to stave off hunger.
This Flame tree smothered
by parasites, silver sprays
of cactus that live on stagnant air
in the crook of her boughs
splayed skyward in supplication.
This tree a playground for
Chameleons clad in camouflage
(like government soldiers)
circle the trunk and stand off
throats puffed out, hypnotic
posturing for sex and power
in the suffocating stillness.
They are startled by a sudden
rasping of the soul,
splintered choking like
the hacking of tuberculosis.
A scream slashes the silence,
the earth shudders
and this fallen Flamboyant
leaves a hole in the universe
where blood-red petals ruffled
and rimmed with orange sunlight
float through the space
and dust is all that is left
where there are no trees
for the coffin builder.

-- Karen Lynn Williams

Many have asked how to help.  I am suggesting that you make a donation to Hospital Albert Schweitzer.  Go to, read the blog and make a donation.  The hospital has been functioning through the disaster with surgeons working around the clock.  They have too many patients and not enough supplies.  Your donations will be well used and are much needed.

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