Poem by Kemar Cummings

• December 2011

Times Children

I hear the children’s laughter in the sea’s
waves while they throw their hands like stars
up to the sky. They splash the ripples where
a slave-ship once seared a seething scar
into the ocean’s back. Children stamp
the sands as breezes whistle folk-songs
of long ago when a stranded slave had felt
the pull of home as slavers tugged his neck
toward a new world of pain. A gull’s cry
echoed the ache inside his heart.
Soon he is rooted to a strange earth,
digging seeds of hope to his groans’ rhythms
which grew to bloom in youth’s green harvest,
free to play in the island’s sky of sunlight.
His children scoop open the sands of time where
their father buried the cold fire of freedom.


Kemar Cummings lives in Jamaica, where he is pursuing a Literatures in English degree at the University of the West Indies. He was first published in his high school magazine, where he won a prize in a literary competition. He has also been published in the Gleaner (Jamaica) and in the Jamaica Observer’s weekly magazine, Bookends.