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Thursday, February 2, 2023

The Roses of Last Spring

rosesaBy Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

Over the next few weeks, CSMS Magazine will publish a series of unedited letters and poems written in the spring of 1980. These letters are part of a collection of poetry set to be published soon under the title “The Roses of Last Spring.” These beautiful words stemmed from a romantic correspondence between the author and his beloved princess, Angeline. The seat of the correspondence is Saint Louis Du Nord, a small Haitian town nestled on the exotic, northern Caribbean coast. The source of the correspondence is not only the romantic relationship between the two lovers, but it is also the acute understanding of the natural environment, the exuberance, the canopy of green foliage, the sandy coves, the ravines, the mango groves and the tropical undergrowth that make the author so proud to be born on this still beautiful part of Haiti.

Of course, romance does not only bring happiness; it can also bring bitter-sweet feelings. In all correspondence between two lovers and within the boundaries of love, all kinds of feelings are expressed—frustration, anguish, pride, resignation, and, ultimately, happiness.  So we begin by presenting to our readers this first poem titled “In Search of Happiness.”

In Search of Happiness

I’m searching for a girl, an elusive girl.

Against all odds, I’m determined to find her.

At school, at church, at the play house, at the river source,

Never will I stop searching for her.

I’ve been in this search for the last three years.

I will be in it for the next three hundred years.

Or, until the last beat of my heart.

Or, perhaps, until the cool, tropical breeze carries her to my path.

“Let nature takes its course,” my friends say.

But, hasn’t nature already decided

That I am the lone voyager on an infinite voyage?

Hopeful, I am and I will always be–

For the more I search, the more I can feel her invisible presence,

That would empower my heart now trapped by fear and tears.

Like a savage and solitary loner,

I walk through hills and valleys, through prairies and meadows, and

Through all the riverbeds.

I climb the highest mountains,

I navigate between the deepest gorges,

The rockiest ravines

Like an astray lover,

A chirping colibri.

I have yet to find the slightest trace of her.

She seems so close, at times.

She seems so far, at times.

Wait, wait a second.

Isn’t that you, Angeline?

My exotic princess, voluptuously charming?

Please, tell me it’s you.

Tell me it’s true.

That YOU are the princess, my princess

That kept me waited for so long,

That I have been dreaming of, day and night.

Angeline, I can’t believe I have found you.

You, for whom I wanna live.

You, with whom I wanna reach paradise.

Y.L. March 1980

Note: Colibri is the most popular Haitian songbird.


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