Featuring cherita!

January 19, 2018

Poetry Friday--Haiti

Last week I was incensed, and embarrassed, by the racist remarks of someone who holds a position of leadership in our country. I wanted to climb on the roof to yell an apology to the people of Haiti and those in the 54 nations of Africa. And, also, to the world at large, which before November 2016, may have believed the United States to be a beacon of freedom, justice, kindness, and, a place of refuge.

Many librarians and writers on Facebook, feeling as I did, reacted by posting lists of books about Haiti and other nations, diversity, immigration, etc. One book I saw mentioned a number of times is a slim book of poetry titled Haiti my country: Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren, illustrated by Rogé, with translations by Solange Messier.

The poems paint a picture of a country that no way resembles the vile description so glibly spoken by the POTUS.

Here is one:
Everyone is fine in this rustic setting
Where we can lie out in the shade of the coconut trees
Savouring the pleasures of the golden fruit on the mango trees
Away from politics

From the azure sky scattered with small white clouds
Arises the morning sun
There, where no evil exists
We live peacefully

That's where we find genuine life
Where we breathe in clean air
Where cabins surrounded by beautiful greenery
Embellish the multicoloured flowers

Ricardo Jocelyn

Beautifully rendered illustrations of the fifteen young writers, and their teacher, accompany the poems.

My copy of Haiti my country will find its way to a nearby classroom where a number of Haitian-American students attend 4th grade, but it will not be enough to atone for the sins of MY COUNTRY. For that I am sorry.

Here's a little therapeutic poem from me:


1. something without use or value; rubbish; trash.
2. nonsense.
3. obsolete: deceit, fraud.

1. Trumpery
--this wall
he wants us to build.

2. Trumpery
--this OTHER-ness
he tries to make us fear.

3. Trumpery
--this empty man
full of delusions.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Take A Journey through the Pages to find Kay hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.


  1. Here, here! And amen! What a lovely poem with coconut trees and clean air. My mind is full of multicoloured flowers now. I will not let any idle trumpery grind that down. Thanks for this post.

    1. I would love some flowers right now. It's been gray and white here this week.

  2. I have ordered this book, Diane, saw it on some of those lists, glad to know more about it from you and how sweet it is. I sometimes feel speechless after some of these outrageous occurrences at the "top" It's been more than a year, and are there words left? Your words in your poem feel right to me, and the back of it is anger and fatigue too. Thanks!

    1. I find it amazing how the various definitions are right on the money! And especially the obsolete one, which leads me to hope the man himself soon becomes obsolete.

  3. I have loved seeing this cover art splashed all over Facebook. :-) Thank you! Ruth in Haiti

    1. It's a quiet, gentle book, and the cover reflects it well.

  4. Perspective. Some people value power and prestige, other value peace and pleasure. I often think that those who live more simply find a greater joy in living - and Ricardo Jocelyn's poem captures that.

    Your definition poem is cleverly done - though I doubt it alleviates much of your frustration and angst.

    1. You're right about it not alleviating my angst, but it was fun to formulate and creativity is a means of leaving the everyday behind.

  5. It is hard to find a way to express my anger and disgust, but you have found a way through poetry and sarcasm. Your definition poem is funny and yet, disgustingly true. Did you see the Stephen Colbert remake of Ms. Frizzle and the Magic School bus as it travels through the body of Trump? Hilarious and disgusting. We need our poetry and our humor during these times.

    1. Ha, ha! Here's the link for those who missed it: https://youtu.be/CTEy6Y9MYoc. I like how they worked in his "remark"!

  6. Thanks for sharing, Diane - so beautiful. I know we are all particularly rallying around Ruth in spirit these days, as well as all the folks we don't know in all those precious places. Jama's post today is refreshing good medicine, too, along these lines.

    1. Yes, I just visited Jama's post. We are kindred spirits!

  7. What a beautiful book. What a sad, sad state of affairs.

  8. Thanks for sharing this collection. It is the first I have heard of it. I am adding it to my list.

  9. Yes, yes and yes again! It's so hard to know how to react--in a way that helps--to so much of the outrageousness that comes from Washington these days. I love the idea of sharing books that provide truth to counter the false narratives. And your poem is spot-on! I keep shining the light of truth and peace in my little corner of the world--or at least I try. Now I'm off to march later in the day.

  10. Hear! Hear! Diane, how aptly you described your disdain for rude comments. The poem by the Haitian child is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Yep. Getting this book. An act of resistance? Hope? Lifesaver. Today women are marching. I am in a state meeting working toward a better future. Let’s shake off this trumpery

  12. I started reading your post then got sucked into a world of definitions and Magic School Bus clips. How had I never made the "trumpery" connection!?! Your poem is brilliant and I love your featured Haitian poem. What a terrific way to push back against ignorance. Thank you!