Encaustic on boardx
12" x 9"
inspired by the poem
Crimson parchment petals rustle in the warm breeze. The shadows of palm fronds criss-cross on red-earth. The day is slain. Its blood flows up from the horizon.
From the terrace of the American Hotel in Port-au-Prince I can see tin roofs, little yards; people bend and lift, prepare dinner by small fires on the ground.
The president has been kidnapped.
But you would never know it to hear the voices from the hills, birdsong at dusk.
The smell of burning rubber thickens the air.
They have set fire to heaps of tires in the carrefours.
The Leopards are shooting at random; they have seized the airport.
“But you know a coup in this country—it's the burlesque”,
my friend tells me, “it happens like a holiday four times a year.” Food is sent in to the hotels; there is a curfew.
We sneak out to lunch in a deserted restaurant where a voice snarls threats to foreigners
on the tiny battered radio.
Ghede tells jokes, begs at the crossroads.
He is the Vaudoun god of sex, and death,
together, because both are ravenous... and inevitable.
At home in my small town I realize now I was afraid all the time. But not now.
I lie on my bed in the dark.
Voices in the hallway, mumbling in Creole.
A dog squeals, is silent— another burst of rapid-fire — a mob in the square, shouts throb.
Here the living build turquoise houses for the dead, larger and more elaborate than those for the living. Wreaths of tin roses sparkle on the doors.
A light warmth comes over my whole body,
this feathery blanket the spirits have laid over me, the Other World so close, now I know
we breathe the same air
— © Ellen McKay
Ann Morris has been making ceramic art for more than 30 years. Her work is diverse, whimsical, spiritual, mysterious and organic. Lately, Ann has been exploring her dreamscape – creating masks, mysterious female figures and small houses.