Jamaica Farewell

Negril 1975

You forced me to use words I didn’t
want, repeated in structured form
like women taking off their clothes.
It could have been the moon
or Jamaican nights caught naked
by the beams through the thatch.

I know you tried but you weren’t
the first to walk this sand
forgetting the reason you came.
Lizards watch
slip through the floor
scratch sestinas
on the beach.

Outside, blowfish die waiting
for the tide.

19 Responses to Jamaica Farewell

  1. johemmant says:

    Great this, Scot……love the beautifully woven threads — women taking off their clothes becoming Jamaican nights caught naked, then structured forms (with open interpretation) to sestinas on the beach…… The ending has real emotional impact. Very well done.

  2. gingatao! says:

    It’s brilliant, but shifting, I will have to read it many more times.

  3. nochipa says:


    I love the place where this takes my mind and the images it conjures of a world I have never seen in reality.

  4. wherenothingissacred says:

    “repeated in structured form
    like women taking off their clothes” – brilliant simile.

    I agree with nochipa: this took my mind to different places and different moods throughout, even through it’s only a short poem. The intrigue of what the narrator’s situation is, really gets your reader thinking, and when that is combined with well-crafted imagery like you have in this piece…it’s good poetry.

    We’re left on a melancholy note; maybe weary, maybe anguished, maybe those two lines are stated as stated as a casual fact, but it can’t be refuted that you exit on a sombre image, which makes me think the story within this poem doesn’t have a happy ending.

    You’ve created some beautiful verse in this post.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Scot says:

    Thanks Nochipa, At that time before the condos and all inclusive resorts–it was pure, raw paradise among other things.

  6. Scot says:


    Pleased you stopped in. The poem does not have a happy ending at least to some readers and of course the blow fish. This was a old poem I found in a dresser drawer–just thought I would bring it out and give it a bit of sun/

  7. gingatao! says:

    I’ll try to be brief. The things is you are there at the beginning ‘me’ then dissolved by a complexity of language, the wrong structure, transmogrified into a lizard, slipped out onto the beach, she didn’t find anything, it’s a magic trick, ‘the me’ disappears through the convolution of the first stanza, a complex mechanism, more subtle than the earlier one which was written later, notes for my mad doctoral thesis, you are a great poet and I am learning what I am thinking by reading your work which really stretches me but never disappoints, there is reward greater than the effort it takes to read them properly, a new thing, the creative process, in this case by removing the self, cool bananas,

  8. […] Scott is a brilliant poet. Read his Jamaica Farewell […]

  9. Narnie says:

    I think everyone has said it already – this is a perfect example of craft. It starts with a cool detachment, a personal defense, with an unmistakable deeper emotion that the reader grabs for. It was interesting that I have now read this a few times (I do that a lot before I comment on pieces that impact) and the initial impression never wavered… that is so rare. Fabulous.

  10. Scot says:

    You never have to be brief as I am always interested in what you have to say. I appreciate your comments and somewhat balk at being called a “good poet”, but thanks. Wordslinger is a term maybe more fitting. So, what is your doctoral field and your thesis? Thanks for the visit!

  11. Scot says:

    Thank you for the read and kind words that warm on this snowy midwest day.

  12. Pris says:

    Wonderful poem!

  13. Tina Trivett says:

    …and all are one. I love this write. Perhaps steel drums should play the funeral dirge for the blowfish.

  14. Sumedh says:

    This is absolutely fantabulous! Marvellously profound and deep in its connotations! Superb!

  15. Scot says:

    Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting. Steel drums indeed!

  16. Scot says:

    Thanks so much for the kind words and for dropping in!

  17. Scot says:

    Thanks Pris!!

  18. I love the lizards scratching sestinas, wnderful image. The whole poem is atmospheric, and intriguing

  19. Scot says:

    Thanks for the read and comments!

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