Caribbean Tiers

By: John Grey

harbor

The town overlooked
the natural harbor
from a half-circle of land.

It rose in tiers
like the seats of a theater.

Transients, tourists,
occupied the motels
and shabby rental homes
along the beachfront.

Spread out behind
was a belt of shanties
and donkey paths
fifteen blocks deep
that gave way to
dirty plaster pink houses
and tiny yards buried
in mango and palm debris –
occupied by the ones
with the better jobs.

Above it all,
barbecue pits
a few swimming pools
wide cool verandahs –
the abodes of the owners and managers

and towering over these,
at the very top of the hills,
the mansions of the ultra-rich.

Above it all
was clear blue sky,
plenty room to build
but, except for God,
hierarchy all accounted for.

###

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Poem and Midwest Quarterly.

 

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