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Two poems for Haiti: ‘We be Spirit People’ and ‘Statistics of loss’

February 14, 2010

We be Spirit People

by Rudwaan

Be strong, Ayiti! Be strong, Afrikans! Sending love, respect and honor to our Afrikan family in Ayiti, the Congo and around the planet – not in honor of their bloody valentine, but in solidarity with those who know it’s time. For too long we have stayed the wind; now let the wind blow, while we Move the Village to Higher Ground.

An earthquake survivor rests - and remembers - in a Jacmel hospital two weeks after the earthquake. – Photo: Marco Dormino, UN
Long before the Ayitians fought back
The ancients taught that
Heroes were not made
Spirit could never be slaved
That the Afrikan would rise again
And bring the end of days

To end the ways of the beast amongst us
Disarm those who harm the very least amongst us
For as much as they do unto these of us
They do also unto the Most High in us
They trigger quakes where most that die is us
Tourists lounging, laughing while they who cry is us
Missionaries come again and again to spy on us

Long before the Ayitians fought back
The ancients taught that
Fiction would be as real as fact
Matter of fact? Fact won’t matter
What matters is that fact would seem to matter

“Battle in Saint-Domingue,” a scene from the Haitian revolutionary war as imagined by Polish painter January ‘Jan’ Suchodolski (1797-1875), who was both a painter and an army officer, known for his depictions of battle scenes. Enslaved Haitians fought and defeated not only Napolean’s army but the Spanish and English too and in 1804 founded the first Black independent country in the world. The world’s imperial powers have never stopped punishing them for their victory or their persistent defense of their sovereignty.
On the surface
But in the belly of the earthquake machines would cause faults on purpose
Purpose being to turn supreme beings to corpses
The same beings who broke France’s back from the backs of horses
Shook their shackles, dealt the West their first free labor losses
Count the costs
Thirty-plus coups d’etat, spiteful embargoes, and French extortion
All designed to keep Ayiti from rising

But long before the Ayitians fought back
The ancients taught that
The Afrikans could never be poor people
They are my people and your people
Never those people
Always close people
For we people will always be free people no matter where we be people

For long before the Haitians fought back
The Ancients taught that
Spirit could never be slaved
And we be Spirit People
Long before the Ayitians fought back


© All rights 2/13/2010 Rudwaan can be reached through Ezili Danto, at

Haiti: Statistics of loss

by devorah major


A mother and her children rest on a cot in a makeshift outdoor hospital a week after the earthquake. – Photo: UN
i cannot count but so high
without losing my place
in the line of the dead
who sleep next to the homeless
and the hungry

for three hundred years
they have paid
for loving their freedom
as much as they love
their gods

even the doctors are crying –
not for the ones who were past saving
but for the ones they could have saved

ten thousand bodies buried
in one hole
how large does that hole have to be
how deep?

whose sons and daughters were responsible
for giving the order to give the order
to the send five planes
carrying over 77 thousand tons
of relief supplies away
whose sons and daughters
carried out those orders
whose sons and daughters
died because of them

you say katrina
and i say haiti
you say oh bush
and i say obama
oh bush, obama
katrina, haiti
let’s call the whole thing off

when they dig out the last body
from the rubble
will hope be found
whimpering and covered in dust

i am trapped inside a gaping mouth
riding on a scream
whose name is haiti

devorah major, former poet laureate of San Francisco, can be reached at

6 thoughts on “Two poems for Haiti: ‘We be Spirit People’ and ‘Statistics of loss’

  1. Stephan Tompkins, Director/Producer

    Let us not accept Frances Preseident, Nicolas Sarkozy offer to shuttle the alleged 75 million debt they blamed on the 1804 Slave Insurrection, when the Freed Slaves destroyed France’s Great White Hope, Napolean Bonaparte’s attack on the Island of Ayiti leaving many Haitians dead and the country left in bloody ruins.

    France forged the attack and lost the battle, and blamed Haiti for winning and imposed an unofficial debt on Haiti that been a pain on the citizens of Haiti since.

    I reccomend that Haiti sue France in the World Court for trebele damages that were assessed by France. Like, One Billion, and return what ever amount of gold that were taken.

    IF POORLY EDUCATED SLAVES CAN DO IT. THE WORLD BLACK NATION CAN AND MUST COME TOGETHER AND DO IT, REBUILD AYITI.” WE OWE IT TO OUR FAMILIES. Black Citizens, I suggest that you don’t get caught up in the political scams, and lets follow a solid road to the reincarnation of Haiti.

    First we must restore the Citadelle, King Henri Christophe’s Palace and make it the true “Ninth Wonder of the World”. (don’t think money. think completion, and let me think money for the Citadelle.) This development can take place as Haiti is being made liviable for its citizens. Within the next 90 days we will bring to the world our plan for the Reincarnation of the Citadelle.

  2. annoyed at the world

    *sighs* Not very many people know about the history of Haiti and they basically shoved away all White Influence. ……. something i’ve heard from my father and something that has to do with the the declaration of independence bill of rights or consitution or something….. back then, they said Haiti would be a place of refugee for all black people. But then a little after French and and some other white influences attempted to take over haiti but lost. How I am connecting to this earthquake? Simple. Call me crazy, but I don’t entirely believe that Haiti was a natural earthquake. According to some of the information i’ve read, to put this bluntly, i guess America has had a bit of a grudge against Haiti and decided to use the HAARP weapon, created by Nikkola Teesla i believe his/her name is, to destroy haiti, then have the U.S.A. guards help them then basically encourage them to come to American….. >_< it sorta makes my head.. im pretty sure i explained this clear enough…. as my finger sort of hurt at the moment..

    -annoyed 13 year old

  3. facetsofhaiti

    yes I an blogger and if you're interested we can bring the message to the right lobes…visit the website at


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