Haitian Voodoo Child

For Susan

Haitian Voodoo Child

To Susan Amelia Johnson – Jamaican 1981

I took my leave of Jean
And left your lonely home
Walking under the nighttime skies
Perseus is glittering above me
As shooting stars burn themselves into nothingness

Pegasus I cannot discover
Orion is clear for me to see
I wonder if tonight you are walking the streets
Like a Haitian Voodoo Child
Trying to learn the secrets of a nation
Where Tyranny in the name of law and authority
Incarcerates the freedom of people too weak to break free

O Susan have you seen the palace
Erected by the many
Who died like starving dogs
At the gate of a master who gave them no food

Therein dwells a ruler
Peculating the welfare of the masses
Who with pain sweat and tears
Cry our for deliverance from the hands of despot
Who preys upon the fruits of their labour

Can you see the mansions of the Bourgeoisie
While the hovels of the peasants bring tears
To the eyes of people like you and me

Who will deliver them Susan
Not the Voodoo Gods who cannot hear the sunrise

Must another liberator be born
Will the blood of the oppressed
Again run upon the dusty streets
Like rivulets flowing to the sea

Who will champion the cause
Of the Haitian people
Against the atrocities perpetuated
By a paternalistic continuity

O Susan the stars are fading quietly
The night will soon be gone
I must make it home before the dawn
Maybe I will dream about you
Make believing you are a Haitian Voodoo Child

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