Haibun from Bermuda

In 1609, a British ship ran aground on an uninhabited island. No conversions. No wars with indigenous peoples. Bermuda is the epitome of a melting pot: British, American Indian, Portuguese, African. All came to her shores, whether willing or not.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a skirling ceremony on the parade grounds of a 19th century fort. Kilt clad drummers and bagpipers with those haunting droning tones, moved resolutely, sonorously. Today I sit, eyes and ears accosted by a Gombey Revue. One whistle, so loud it seems like twenty. And two frenetic drums reverberating through the room. A cacophony of color leaps, runs, and moves. All in seeming abandon. Every inch of every troupe member covered in cloth, sequins, feathers, gloves, masks and towering hats. Their movements tell their history.  I am mesmerized.

It’s as if a coin’s been tossed. Yesterday I saw heads and today I see tails.

elegant heron
yellow raucous kiskadee
nature’s kaleidoscope

    
Toni hosts Haibun Monday at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Theme today is “the best things in life are free.” A haibun is prose (nonfiction) followed by a haiku. Bermuda’s Uncover the Arts Program runs November through March, with many free and wonderful things to see and do that give you glimpses into the country’s culture, history, and scenery. Our rented apartment in St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has a deck that overlooks the harbor. I often see a beautiful heron in the early morning. And we always see and hear the yellow kiskadee, a very loud, bright yellow bird – its “song” sounds like its name, kiss-ka-dee, kiss-ka-dee.
Pub opens at 3 PM Boston time. Come join us!

36 thoughts on “Haibun from Bermuda

  1. kanzensakura February 20, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    Thank you Lillian. How wonderful – a skirling ceremony! And looking at the boats in the harbor and watching that heron – I love herons. and the kiskadee. I remember from last year you writing about that lovely yellow bird.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:23 am

      It is a special place! Slow to the responding here and reading too. 😦 Bermuda’s outdoors keep calling me.

      Like

  2. whippetwisdom February 20, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    A beautiful haibun Lillian – I love the kaleidoscope of colours and joy in your closing haiku especially

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:23 am

      Thank you! Bermuda is truly an amazing island/country.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sarahsouthwest February 20, 2017 / 4:06 pm

    Great to see those images and hear about the mix of cultures. It sounds amazing. I like the contrast of the kiskadee making its own musical contribution to proceedings. Have a wonderful trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:24 am

      The Kiskadee is truly a beautiful bright yellow and at the same time, a raucous bird! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Grace February 20, 2017 / 4:09 pm

    Love the history and ceremony of the city Lillian ~ And that haiku of the heron is stunning image ~ Enjoy your vacation ~

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:25 am

      Thank you so much, Grace. Really late to the replies here….Bermuda’s out-of-doors is calling us this last week here. 🙂

      Like

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:25 am

      Glad to bring you along, Paul. 🙂

      Like

  5. frankhubeny February 20, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Nice contrast in seeing heads one day and tails the next. I didn’t realize Bermuda was uninhabited prior to the 17th century.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:26 am

      Absolutely no humans here when it was first discovered. Birds and their eggs were easy grabs as animals were not afraid of humans…had never seen them!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Bev February 20, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    Truly a kaleidoscope of sight…heads and tails indeed! Your descriptive phrases were wondrous. You took me there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:27 am

      So glad you enjoyed, Bev. Happy to bring you along to this magical place!

      Like

  7. Jane Dougherty February 20, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    What a mix of cultural references! Exotic and noisy, reflected in the birds of the haiku.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kim881 February 20, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Thank you, Lillian, for such an interesting and colourfully illustrated haibun from Bermuda. I love to learn new things from the Poets Pub.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:28 am

      Thank you, Kim. I do learn tons at dVerse….and everyone is so supportive which makes for flowing words and ideas 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:29 am

      Happy to provide smiles 🙂

      Like

  9. Victoria C. Slotto February 20, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Thank you, Lillian, for giving us a peek into life on the melting pot that is Bermuda and into a bit of the Scottish influence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:29 am

      Sadly, I didn’t have the videos of the skirling ceremony and the Gombey dancers with us….would have been fun to post for everyone to really feel the difference! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:30 am

      Just here for the month of February. It is our third Bermuda winter….returning to Boston at end of the month. It is indeed a magical place!

      Like

  10. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 21, 2017 / 12:15 am

    This the kind of beauty I love, the variety of humans, a melting pot of joy. Great to know that there are places in the world not plagued by fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:33 am

      It is a special place. I don’t mean to say it is a paradise…but there is a difference when there are no indigenous people to war with or “convert” as one settles a place. There was slavery — and there were upstairs balcony seats for black in earlier days. But when there are only 68,000 in the total population, and everyone is basically an immigrant by history…it makes a difference. The friendliness here is quite amazing…as is the civility. When you ride the bus, everyone says “good morning” or “good afternoon” when they get on. Households can only have 1 car, so many many ride the public bus system. The top speed allowed on the few main roads that run up and down the island is 25 mph….so it is a slower and more calm pace to begin with! 🙂

      Like

  11. ladynyo February 21, 2017 / 11:10 am

    My sentiments echo Bjorn’s. How lovely a place on the Earth not divided with turmoil. Lovely, lovely view of a melting pot of life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:34 am

      So glad you enjoyed! 🙂 It is a special place — we love coming here for 1 or 2 months during their “winter.”

      Like

    • lillian February 23, 2017 / 8:35 am

      Wish I still had the video — the Gombeys in an enclosed space are deafening — and FUN!

      Liked by 1 person

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