Dec 13 2006
Rev Brian Gill
You might find this interesting. A few days after 'Janet', which you might know did not really hit St. V. but Grenada. We got the high seas not not the wind.
Indeed, we were supposed to have been hit and I remember we were battened down at our home at Frenches and was listening to the local Radio to know
what as happening when the Governor, who in those days lived in Grenada, came on the air to sympathise with the people of St.Vincent, because
he said ' we are having such a terrible time here, God help you all', or some such. Later we learned that the wind had altered course and Grenada and the
Grenadines received the full force.
My Dad, Dillon Gill, was an engineer and was very involved with designing and building many of the Arrowroot factories on the island.
On the 29th September some days after 'Janet' passed, Dad had to go to Wallilabou to see the factory there and I went along with him and his assistant 'Sealey'. The beach at Wallilabou was covered with bush etc. from Grenada, including nutneg branches with nutmegs. I picked up one of them and wrote this poem about it.
High upon the mountain slopes of green Grenada,
Thou didst live amidst the subtile breezes,
And there among a family of nutmeg groves,
Thou wast a happy one whose daylight hours
Were an incense offering from thy spicy bowers.
But then the thunder rolled and blinding lightening flashed;
No one would think that cruel Janet changed
Her promised, wrathful course from Hairoon's waiting shores,
And least of all that she would pass so near
To thy fair land, and start' the earth, the sea, the air.
The very atoms of the air took to their feet
And fled, with speed their trampling footsteps sped.
O fear! O might fear, what horror in their tread!
Man's work is left debased, his houses flat,
With fallen trees and birds and leaves, dead dogs and cats.
And thee, what hast thou seen, sweet aromatic mace?
How felt thee torn away by airy hands,
Thee and thy shell, thy heart, and e'en thy branchéd house,
But to be dragged upon the wasted land?
What pain to feel -- the sea and then the darken sand!
If thou could speak what tales of horror wouldst thou tell,
Of mighty waves and monsters ill described;
Hugh beasts and fish whose fearless ivory teeth then shook
And chattered in their bony bed with fear!
What child was that? Whose throat-cut pig and hoof-worn mare?
Yes, thou hast seen what we, please, God, might never see,
And felt what we, with life, could ne'er endure,
Destroying winds, an unrelenting sea and rain,
With stinging salt and flying stones and sand,
Then -- then, at last, what peace and rest to be on land.