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HomeArts-EntertainmentArts & Literature'The Fishermen Of Gallows Bay,' a Poem by Winston Nugent

‘The Fishermen Of Gallows Bay,’ a Poem by Winston Nugent


(In memory of Bam Bam)

They are symbols of dead slaves

buried centuries ago.

The image of them swinging from the gallows

Would’ve discouraged the sale of barracudas.

Their stories would’ve been forgotten by

the receding tide.

The fishermen of Gallows Bay!

Saturday mornings were embraced.

Grape leaves transformed into plates,

with roasted fish, conch, lobster, and the ones that

escaped the bargaining scale.

The fishermen of Gallows Bay!

Avoid the political bones of the sharks,

toast with a taste of single barrel.

They knew their ancestors’ rebellious spirits

protected them on the untamed sea.

The fishermen of Gallows Bay!

A lifetime of grassroots men chopping wood

for a fire to burn in memories.

Men who spoke in silence,

“Life is never one sweet song.”

The Fishermen of Gallows Bay!

Unexpectedly appeared from a world

in an open book where the pages were leaves

preserved with lamp oil from the bark of

Mangrove trees.

The Fishermen of Gallows Bay?

They were not afraid of the tide.

*Winston Nugent grew up on St. Croix. He has been honored by the International Society of Poets. Blue Rain, Negus, On Our Island, and Walking in the Footsteps of My Ancestors are among his poetry chapbooks. The following short stories have been published by the University of the Virgin Islands (Caribbean Writers): Two Birds with One Stone, Many Rivers to Cross, and Still Water Runs Deep. He received the Caribbean Writers’ Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize and the Daily News Prize for his story The Rim.

The Source Arts & Literature section highlights the work of our creative readers. All visual artists and creative writers are encouraged to share with us new works. Poetry and creative prose submissions are limited to 1,500 words and should include a brief bio of the writer. Visual art submissions should include at least one high-quality image or video and a very brief bio along with an artist’s statement that speaks to the inspiration of the work. The statement should include the title if there is one, the medium used and what the work means to you.

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