Written by Dr Tulsi Dyal Singh
Wha kind a madness dis?
Dem gon close de psychiatric haspital
wha deh near de Canje bridge
and bill two hotels in Palmyra.
Is somebody lusting for de land
dat de haspital is sitting on?
Is a nice piece a property dat
where Canje Crick jine de Berbice River,
doh in high tide, sometimes it does flood
but when all dem sand truck in Jashtown
done wid de mecking of de island
dem can immigrate over to Berbice
and ketch dem hawn fetching sawn
to elevate de mental ground.
Me know dat place like mih own-own hawn
Me spenn plenty time down deh
from when Steve Camacho meck a century
against Berbice High in nineteen sixty
at de Mental haspital cricket feel
which was bigger and more commodious
dan de little feel at BHS.
Same, same day dem announce
dat not one, but two, new hotels
gon be built nearby at Palmyra
and while me is not a genius
mih can see how at least one odem
could be put to prappa use.
Me is fram Palmyra, bawn and grow,
mih navel string bury dere
beside de punt trench near de cane piece dam.
What a legacy it has benefacted!
Ahyou coulda ever guess dat one navel string
woulda produce eleven billion barrel oil?
Hotels, stadium and haspital
airport, housing scheme and shopping mall
deep water harbor and oil refinery
in place of rice field and cane piece
and savanna, beyarie and kharian
milk cow, water buffalo and sheep
buck crab marching in de mudflat
hassar, houri, sheriga and congo fish
Grand Canal, Seawell and Bramfield
and de twin chimneys of Rose Hall
while de village office of Sheet Anchor
Number Two and Palmyra at Ford Ordnance
provided entertainment for de country
through Sydney Sukhu and Bush Bull.
Palmyra is de perfect place
fih bill up all de transformation
including de newest pharmacokinetics
on how fih meck food and drink
from oil and gas and mud and saltwater
but dey gon need a bigger piece of lann
fih put de factory on.
Ahyou see any salushan?
Note: Subject to correction.
Beyarie – plot of land temporarily submerged for sowing rice seedlings, beya, for transplantation by hand. (In the fifties much of the transplantation was done by the women of the extended family.)
Kharian – small plot of land used for threshing rice grains using oxen to trample over the mature stalks. (As a six, seven year old, I volunteered to walk the yoked set of three oxen in circles, around and around the kharian’s center pole.)
Tulsi Dyal Singh, MD.