Over Hawkins Hill / d’anthra adderley


is dreamt of on this rock
is never executed on this rock
you gata go off

dreams like seeds
thrown on rock
or dried or swallowed up
choked by weeds
no rain
no reign
it just ain’t da season


we dance to reggae in a rake-n-scrape nation
we drown in the Caribbean Sea
we drunk by the infusion
from da bush, cerasee
we bin in the sun too long
da middle passage was too bumpy

memory follows
like salt in the salty sea
poinciana petals in the island breeze


we oppress ourselves
we dress ourselves
in borrow’d robes
in fashion, in British accents


they say we ain’t gat no space
for art
displaced like science or math
it’s not the size of the island
it’s the size of the mind


what-ery-one-talking- bout?
“the revolution”
it’s politricks!
from house to house
shaking hands
disguised, in timely smiles
to get into the House

“my learned friends”
trying to lead the country
citizens, my friends
we in trouble


“our prime minister can’t dance!”
“he ain’t gat no rhythm!”
“he ain’t Bahamian!”
“he is Haitian!”
he hair gat the peas
but he ain’t gat the Roots
the music, the moves
but I see him in Junkanoo
he ain’t half bad


one day
you ga
wake up
roll over
to find
ya wife, a Haitian
by ya side


if we are a melting pot,
put down the knives
turn the fire up
let the barracuda boil

in and out of season
let the poets converse, cuss, carry on


D’Anthra Adderley is a Year 13 student enrolled in the International Baccalaureate Program at St. Andrews School. “Poetry is where I find relief and refuge. With every chance I do write I become more aware of poetic and non-poetic elements of poetry, and as a result this has helped me to make finer or refined art.”


  1. “Over Hawkins Hill” and TOTO, what a fortuitous tie. It was a privilege to be near enough to observe D’Anthra undergoing this poem in the way Ezra pound, in one of his cantos, remarks that someone is “undergoing a novel”. “Over Hawkins Hill,” is what was left of what was longer and not at all as tight as what is left. What was a very different creature, has been reduced to the polished bone. What is contained in “Over Hawkins Hill” are significant elements of present day Bahamian life and identity. On the ground, these elements are not well integrated. Overly charged with tension, they do not fit well and, at times, mayhem results. In the 8 parts of “Over Hawkins Hill,” these elements, carefully fashioned, cohere and fits quite neatly. This poet indicates and this poem is an indication that what has become of Bahamian identity can be blended, made a single fragrance of or made fragrances of or just made fragrant. Just as the poem was, the nation can be edited into shape and made a song of.

  2. An interesting poem on individual, cultural, social and political growth. “dreams like seeds/thrown on rock/or dried or swallowed up….no rain, no reign.” Yes, we must water our dreams. “t’s not the size of the island/it’s the size of the mind.” Oh so true! “if we are a melting pot/,put down the knives,” Yes, we need to stop cutting each other down and pull each other up. And “politricks” says it all in a nutshell.
    .Lots of smoke and mirrors there. Strange creatures-politicians.

  3. Well done! For one so young, a splendid effort. You are already on your way.
    You made me chuckle, you made me think… and say… yes, you are so right.

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