This poem September Seventeen was first published in the anthology Hope, then in Volume 13, 1999 of the Caribbean Writer.

Every 17th of September is time to gratefully recall a people being delivered!

It captures the events of September 17, 1996, Montserrat – the first explosive eruption of the current eruptive phase the Soufriere Hills Volcano which came to light in July 1995. The events are real.

September Seventeen

September seventeen
turns eighteen.
A rude awakening.
Soufriere hot belly
burst open
machine gun fire
of hardened magma.
Hell fires blaze
kindled by heaven’s torches.
A thief in the night
to lighten our darkness.
Peals of thunder
a prelude to hell.

Goliath of a crusher
grinding rock
ashen sand
for asphalt
shingle jingle
grafting gravel
for devil music
on galvanize rooftop.

Is it not yet?
The hour at hand
Rocks miss Mr. Rock
Devil’s granite chisel
Heaven’s pumice sharpener
move the church.
An open door.
And stones cry out
Praise God!

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