Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Comments on Haiti's Holler

The recording of the date, time and place when a poem is completed does matter. In so doing, this helps when the poem undergoes critical analysis. That being said, I composed this poem “Haiti’s Holler” in Double Acrostic on May 20, 2010 at Cassia Drive, Husbands Terrace, St. James South, Barbados. Click on this Link for guidelines for writing a Double Acrostic poem. Much grieving, bewilderment and sadness still blanketed folks as daily news unfolded through all kinds of media and graphic pictures fed the eyes of those daring to look at such. This poem reflects some of the moods and moves at that time that drew attention to natural disasters and dire consequences when Mother Nature retaliates from years of plundering and scraping of her intestines to satisfy corporate greed.

The title of this poem is very explicit as it rolls itself into the first lines of verses one recognizes that the explicit point to the earthquake that unleashed its fury on Haiti. On Tuesday, January 12, 2010 an earthquake of a catastrophic magnitude 7.0 Mw, occurred in Haiti. Its epicentre was near the town of Léogâne approximately 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, the Capital of Haiti. By January 24, 2010 reports stated that at least fifty-two aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake; the Haitian Government reported that an estimated 230,000 people had died, 300,000 had been injured and 1,000,000 made homeless. They also estimated that 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings had collapsed or were severely damaged. The earthquake caused major damage in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and other settlements in the region. Many notable landmark buildings were significantly damaged or destroyed, including the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, and the main jail. Among those killed were Archbishop of Port-au-Prince Joseph Serge Miot, and opposition leader Micha Gaillard. Hédi Annabi.

Many countries responded to appeals for humanitarian aid, pledging funds and dispatching rescue and medical teams, engineers and support personnel. Communication systems, air, land, and sea transport facilities, hospitals, and electrical networks had been damaged by the earthquake, which hampered rescue and aid efforts; confusion over who was in charge, air traffic congestion, and problems with prioritisation of flights further complicated early relief work. Port-au-Prince's morgues were quickly overwhelmed with many tens of thousands of bodies having to be buried in mass graves. On January 22, 2010 the United Nations noted that the emergency phase of the relief operation was drawing to a close, and on January 23, 2010 the Haitian government officially called off the search for survivors.

Ten months after the earthquake struck Haiti, life is returning to normal but at a snail's pace. As at the writing of this, a new wave of destruction has swept over what is left in Haiti; the deadly scourge of cholera has broken out and has claimed hundreds of lives.

The fifth line of verse in this poem alludes to the sequence of events that fell from Iceland Eyjafyallajökull volcano. This seismic activity increased on March 20, 2010 and continued on to April 14, 2010 and into May. The Eyjafyallajökull volcano ejected into the air an estimated 250 million cubic metres of tephra. The ash plume rose to a height of approximately 30, 000 ft (9 kilometres) which rates the explosive power of the eruption as a 4 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. The behaviour of the Eyjafyallajökull volcano caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe due to the ash mist that blackened skies and was so reluctant to move away. According to reports, due to the large quantities of dry volcanic ash lying on the ground, surface winds frequently lifted up an "ash mist" that significantly reduced visibility and made observation of the activity of the volcano through web camera impossible.

The last line verse of the poem strikes a familiar chord that everywhere around the globe disaster shows its unwanted head on a chain of events natural or man-made. The closing line of verse points to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill which is referred to by such names as the BP Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, BP Oil Disaster and the Macondo Blowout. This oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico flowed for three months in 2010. It started on April 20, 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded killing eleven workers and injured seventeen others. On July 15, 2010 the leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead after releasing into the Gulf of Mexico and estimated 53, 000 barrels per day of crude oil. On September 19, 2010 the relief well process was successfully completed and the Federal Government of the United States of America declared the well "effectively dead" but with far reaching consequences.

The oil spill caused extensive damage to marine and wildlife habitats; as well as to the Gulf's fishing and tourism industries. Skimmer ships, floating containment booms, anchored barriers, and sand-filled barricades along shorelines were used in an attempt to protect hundreds of miles of beaches, wetlands and estuaries from the spreading oil. Scientists have also reported immense underwater plumes of dissolved oil not visible at the surface. The United States Government has named British Petroleum (BP) as the responsible party, and officials have committed to holding the company accountable for all cleanup costs and other damage. After its own internal probe, BP admitted that it made mistakes which led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill has become the largest in United States of America's history.

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

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