As I lay here stationary, amidst the ocean, whose motion, sometimes caressingly, sometimes violently, but always constantly, strokes the crevices of my shores,
I contemplate what this mystery called life has meant for me, a realm, which over time has been both safe-haven, and death trap, both prison, and for many, open doors;
Across the seas they came and now by air, all shades of brown, some light as white, the rich and poor, the bond and free, some early ones now find themselves in me but obsolete;
The common ground I've been to them, under their feet, those feet which fled in fear, or lightly tread in secret, those feet which long have danced to that sacred, rhythmic drum beat.
Remember when he stuck that stick in me, there in the South, that Spanish lad who headed for the East but landed West, and raised a flag and claimed me for Isabel and Ferdinand?
Remember when they ran away, they and their slaves, true Englishmen, who wanted tea, and wanted to remain a colony, so left America, and came to "civilize" this land?
Then a brave slave boy named Pompey, along with poor Black Kate, inspired moralists who had a voice to make the case around the World: a divine need for abolition;
It started here, and ended here, that intolerable practice which made some less and others better, through inhumane philosophies which had to die to improve the human condition.
Well they all hold, their children best, the answers to the mystery of my meaning - all who looked towards the rising sun with bright new hope, or came to know through me, equality;
Yes, I make them one, if not in life, in death, and through them I am whole, the ones who in me belong, and love me, legitimately, Bahamaland, and call me home, and keep me, free.
At first, feet marching to the beat of the Congo drum (bom bom)
Inked by the ancestral soil, damp with blood - moist from tears, watered with sweat,
Deep in the Congo - two beats and a breath.
Joined by Miss Tanzania, Miss Uganda, Ghana and Miss Nigeria,
Clapping with twisted waists, mimicking a calypso gyration, in hysteria
Daughters of Africa doing their best – two beats and a breath, caught in their chests.
The pulluvan pattu of India, fastening to the Chinese eight tones:
Silk, wood, bamboo, metal, clay, gourd, hide, and stone,
Not to be outdone chime in on key with the solemn yet festal mood -
An angel has gone to her mortal death to the intercontinental sound of two beats and a breath.
On the pulse of mourning, on that fateful morning a glorious life abated,
And there arose an international, interracial ensemble historically orchestrated.
In joined the carnival of Trinidad, the Junkanoo of The Bahamas, a Cuban fest,
The steel drum, the cowbell, the horns, the bodies elegant scantily feathered dressed,
Swirling and bowing to the bass line hinged to two beats and a breath;
The Paraguayan harp, the Mayan Marimba, the Bandola, the Cumbia of Colombia
Harmonized naturally in harmony with the rhythm inspired by universal desire
Spanning the globe and reaching across bodies of water and land,
Spanning the hearts and soul-dwelling of every ethnical body and hand,
Raised in praise mystically, to the two beats and a breath which left in finality.
In with the twoubadou of Haiti, leaping to the chanting mele and hula of Hawaii;
Our river, Our rock, Our tree, Nationally heard and celebrated Globally.
Two beats and a breath, forming a phenomenally phenomenal synchronized life story,
From the Navajo Shi’naasha and chicken scratch walia of the Native ones -
To the banjo, and fiddle, and wooden flute once played over bruised backs of stolen Africans -
Americans playing a jazz riff in New Orleans, evolved from the call and response of slavery
Shake the tambourine: God put a rainbow in the cloud, two beats and a breath heralded aloud.
Rock it, rap it, beat-box it all day, new age, acoustic, and R&B on Beats by Apple and Dre’,
Country, Latino, an American idol, the Philharmonic, Julliard, Pop, a kindergarten recital;
A celestial host in heavenly glee, and a crown paid in full through a breath and two beats - ceased.