The Caribbean Writer

Terra Incognita/Taino Incognito

David Gershator


Taino tradewinds
in the palmettos
over an island
with no Taino tag to it
an island left nameless as the waves
an island blessed, damned, and cursed
like any place called paradise
in earnest or in jest

what was the primal name…
the first name given
by what driven Adam
among first men
scouting in hollow log canoes
checking out the island for land and water
a stopover, a watering place
a place to live
it was all tree then and now
but in Tutu the bones
lie buried in concrete
nameless, voiceless

today some boost the new K-Mart
built on sacred grounds
some not really interested in fighting
to rescue a past beyond their kith and kin
for some, Africa’s the yearn
for others, oblivion

but on an island
the Taino bones called home
they called it so by cove by valley,
by village, by name
to the north a colder sea
to the west Borinquen
to the east Malliouhana
to the south Ay-Ay
some sounds, some meanings insinuate themselves
into conch shells, clay shards, midden mounds, zemis

Attabeira, Yucah


Copyright © David Gershator

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