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Faux Pas

Catullus 101

Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus

Carried through many nations and over many seas


advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,

I arrived, brother, for these wretched funeral rites


ut te postremo donarem munere mortis

So that I might present you with the last tribute of death


et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.

and speak in vain to silent ash,


Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.

Since fortune has carried away from me you in the flesh


Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,

Atlas, poor brother, unfairly taken away from me,


nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum

now in the meantime, nevertheless, these things which in the ancient custom of ancestors


tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,

are handed over as a sad tribute to the rites


accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,

receive, dripping much with brotherly weeping.


atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

And forever, brother, hail and farewell.



Adonais written by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ode to a Swing Bridge Bulldozed

(Bridge over rippled waters)

For donkey’s years Bajans did ride throughout
The length and breadth of country, the Leeward;
Vintage now! This bus was ugly indeed
With rails like a zoo-cage on every side,
It kept human cargo safely inside,
Canvas drapes rolled up to bring in the view,
Inside it commuters could not find loo.

Its snail-pace haste put passengers to sleep;
Thirty miles kept at bay the “arm of law”.
Into Lower Green, gear and brakes applied;
These “cool cats” got off with their heads held high
Up Broad Street to watch Chamberline fly by
Bubbling with pleasure were those gals and boys,
Laughing from ear to ear in city noise;

Now in the square, guys stood on the boardwalk;
Saw tourists round Nelson still on the slab
Looking down Broad Street at posh merchant stores
Heard not the pleas of hawkers shouting out,
Nuts, sugar cakes, comforts, hey! They did shout
Near the Bridge, they too, came to see it swing
And twirl itself to land on its west wing.

‘Twas an august event for country kids;
On parents’ lead excursions into town,
True pictures whizzed by from the northern drive:
Trees, fields and buildings along coastal sea
The marble dolphin spat for them to see;
As they walked on Chamberlain’s outstretched arms,
They viewed the marvellous deep with its charms.

They saw Fielding’s stevedore bridge quartet
Those guys bellowed the bridge lyrics out loud;
Hands on here, Victoria! Hands on here!
Lock all the bolts now and hold on real tight!
Now heave to the left then spin to the right;
Swing now Chamberlain, and swing to the west
Real wide on Duncan’s side, you must now rest.

Oh Chamberlain! You deserve to rest now
And view all sorts of cargo passing by
In this temporal groove, the Careenage
Of still waters ’neath arched extremities
With trade from Caricom communities;
As pleasure crafts sail with the cool sea breeze
For you give them shelter from angry seas.

To your north stand political towers,
The Cathedral and heroes in the Square,
Your frame preserved the tracks, stains and bruises
Caused by every thing flowing over you;
Some have mishandled you and raped you too;
Yet your NISE arms swung with pride and beauty;
Your rest deserved; you have done your duty.














Oh Bridge of fragile frame you have reached now
One hundred and thirty-three years this fall.
With Indians’ feathered quills they wrote ‘bout
The blood, the sweat and tears of by-gone slaves,
Your blows from hurricanes and killer waves,
Yet, your timbered heart did find common ground
With Wolferstone, and Chamberlain, profound!















With tears in our eyes, they bulldozed you down;
Took some of your parts to Heritage Park
Vintage now in maritime museum
Never more will you swing your arms again
But your glory and honour shall remain
With new technology you lift your frame
From dust you rise, thanks to a City Dame.



























Bridgetown the mega town of this small isle,
Rejoices with your megabytes software;
Best wishes to you from us here and there
Welcome your new arms, as you lift them tall;
Never more shall we let you rot and fall,
For with Barrow close by, pleases all Dames;
Boost sales from tourists and the World Cup games.

©Paterika Hengreaves
(Birthplace: Maycock's, St. Lucy, Barbados)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When the word was out that the historic swing bridge of Barbados would be demolished to make way for a modern technology lift bridge, I saw this as an opportunity to write a landmark poem that chronicles its life and the emotions it evoked in me. A little background to the locale of this historic landmark Swing Bridge is in order I suppose. So here it goes.

Two bridges span the Careenage: one that used to swing open and closed when larger ships passed, and another with the Independence Arch standing tall. These bridges echo back to when colonists first settled the land and found a handmade Indian bridge spanning the river. Chamberlain Bridge (the old swing bridge) stretches from Trafalgar Square to the other bank; the Charles Duncan O’Neale Bridge spans the river to the city’s main bus terminal on Fairchild Street. The Careenage is actually an arm of the sea that stretches inland. Bajans named the “river” Constitution River. In past years, merchants used the Careenage’s calm water as a place to dock their ships and to load/unload merchandise. In years gone by, Bridgetown used to bustle with men and women who carried heavy bundles of bananas, boxes of mangoes and avocados, barrels of rum, etc.

1 comment:

Bob McKerrow said...

As I said in my comments on your latest posting, I really enjoyed this. Thanks. Bob/Ropate

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In plenty and in time of need
When this fair land was young
Our brave forefathers sowed the seed
From which our pride was sprung
A pride that makes no wanton boast
Of what it has withstood
That binds our hearts from coast to coast
The pride of nationhood



Chorus:


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate




The Lord has been the people's guide
For past three hundred years.
With Him still on the people's side
We have no doubts or fears.
Upward and onward we shall go,
Inspired, exulting, free,
And greater will our nation grow
In strength and unity.



Chorus


We loyal sons and daughters all
Do hereby make it known
These fields and hills beyond recall
Are now our very own
We write our names on history's page
With expectations great
Strict guardians of our heritage
Firm craftsmen of our fate

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Thank God only minor damage has been caused by this 7.0 Earthquake in New Zealand's North and South Islands.

Kia ora

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National Anthems of New Zealand

Anthem 1

Māori Version

E Ihowā Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā
Āta whakarangona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai
Aotearoa

Ōna mano tāngata
Kiri whero, kiri mā,
Iwi Māori, Pākehā,
Rūpeke katoa,
Nei ka tono ko ngā hē
Māu e whakaahu kē,
Kia ora mārire
Aotearoa

Tōna mana kia tū!
Tōna kaha kia ū;
Tōna rongo hei pakū
Ki te ao katoa
Aua rawa ngā whawhai
Ngā tutū e tata mai;
Kia tupu nui ai
Aotearoa

Waiho tona takiwā
Ko te ao mārama;
Kia whiti tōna rā
Taiāwhio noa.
Ko te hae me te ngangau
Meinga kia kore kau;
Waiho i te rongo mau
Aotearoa

Tōna pai me toitū
Tika rawa, pono pū;
Tōna noho, tāna tū;
Iwi nō Ihowā.
Kaua mōna whakamā;
Kia hau te ingoa;
Kia tū hei tauira;
Aotearoa

English Version

God of Nations at Thy feet,
In the bonds of love we meet,
Hear our voices, we entreat,
God defend our free land.
Guard Pacific's triple star
From the shafts of strife and war,
Make her praises heard afar,
God defend New Zealand.

Men of every creed and race,
Gather here before Thy face,
Asking Thee to bless this place,
God defend our free land.
From dissension, envy, hate,
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand.

Peace, not war, shall be our boast,
But, should foes assail our coast,
Make us then a mighty host,
God defend our free land.
Lord of battles in Thy might,
Put our enemies to flight,
Let our cause be just and right,
God defend New Zealand.

Let our love for Thee increase,
May Thy blessings never cease,
Give us plenty, give us peace,
God defend our free land.
From dishonour and from shame,
Guard our country's spotless name,
Crown her with immortal fame,
God defend New Zealand.

May our mountains ever be
Freedom's ramparts on the sea,
Make us faithful unto Thee,
God defend our free land.
Guide her in the nations' van,
Preaching love and truth to man,
Working out Thy glorious plan,
God defend New Zealand.

Anthem 2

God Save the Queen

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save The Queen.
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save The Queen.

O Lord our God, arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks;
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save The Queen.

Note: The second verse of 'God Save The Queen' is commonly omitted.

Edmund Hillary

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Charlie Douglas
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