Map of Haiti

Natural and Unnatural Disasters

Map of HaitiSadly, we are used this. We have seen our homes slide like lard down mountains. Year after unforgiving year, we lose loved ones to blood-thirsty floods. We have felt the earth shift under our feet, pulling us under. We are accustomed to disaster.  Continue reading

“Natural and Unnatural Disasters”: written by Katia D. Ulysse.  Originally published in CBC Diversity.



Rara Ironwork

Bois Caiman 2016 – by Jason Harris

Rara IronworkLong past nightfall, deep within the Massif du Nord, we still hear Dutty Boukman exhorting us towards a new day—as he did once before.  His prayer, our prayer, is old yet new, its words ever relevant to the task at hand: << Bon Dye ki kreye la tè a. Ki di solèy la klere. Bon Dye ki bay lanmè a tout dwa li merite. Ki pèmet loray gronde. Bon Dye ki gen zorèy pou li tande. Ou menm ki kache nan nwaj yo. Kap gade. Siveye. Fè yo sonje la verite: dènye sa ki te dèyè gen pou pran devan ! >> The last shall be first.

<<  Pa lage nou nan mitan tanpèt la . >>  Keep us safe from the storm. << Pwoteje nou anba maladi etranje yo pote pou nou. >> Spare us from diseases which strangers bring to us.  << Pa kite kolon yo pwoche peyi nou . >>  Keep the colonists away from our land.

<< Sezi lang tout moun k ap niche bòt rayisab yo . >>  Take the tongue from those who would lick the boots of our oppressors.  << Anseye san-konprann yo; di yo dlo pa kouri nan je Ayisyen pou  moun swaf ka plen vant yo . >>  Teach the strangers that our tears are not to satisfy their insatiable thirst.

<< Nou pa ka pataje lanmou pandan nou antere anba dekonb arivis. >>  We cannot share love, when we are buried under the rubble of their greed.  << Koute vwa libète k ap rele anmwey andedan kè nou. Doulè ki pa janm ka fin blese n; doulè ki pa janm ka fin kase kè n. Pran doulè sa yo pou nou . >>  Take away the pain that wounds our broken hearts.  Delivre nou, Bon Dye .>>

Birds flying togetherWe do not send up prayers blindly.  It seems that our simplest of prayers–to live with dignity as full members of the human village–has been reduced to absolutions mounted atop the wings of the obscene. Subsisting on the dark side of an island haunted by double consciousness, we are the last of the Original Suffer heads.

According to Europe, the wages of our freedom is the boot of submission.  Found guilty of freedom gained, we are currently serving a sentence of a life of pain.  Was this not our lot according to the deeds of the colonizers?  While they and the rest of the world proclaim us the lowest of low, we know better, for Boukman’s words dance on our lips.

Know this:

We do not want your factories and their slave wages.  We are not the training ground for your ruddy-cheeked millennials. You can take your Cholera back home with you; we are finished with it.  You say you come here to work with us; yet every time you swing the machete, the blade cuts our electricity, spills our blood, dries up our water, and breaks our bones.

Rara IronworkThe world bottles our tears and drinks deeply. It is an abomination to us that you seem to find satisfaction in sitting so far from suffering, in the opulent confines of corporate cocoons, spinning threads to wrap around the necks of children.

You come here and hide tools and machines on the island that should be used to rebuild our cities and only bring them out to insure your own comfort.  You are the monster.  Ayiti’s suffering is a referendum on your humanity.

Only when Ayiti is free of tormentors will we be able to deal with the vicissitudes of Mama Earth, be it weather or earthquake.

The challenge of rebuilding is no greater than the challenge of gaining freedom, and it is that knowledge that keeps the light shining in our hearts in the midst of pain.   Even with all that you have done to us, we are willing to share the vision of our beautiful future.

Be clear that you can no longer march in with starched collars and pressed sleeves and order us about.

Ousmane Sow's Louverture (kdu photos)

Ousmane Sow’s Louverture (kdu photos)

If you are not willing to have the same dirt under your fingernails and the same scrapes on your knees—as it is with our brothers and sisters who scratch out life from the hills of Jérémie, Chantal, and Les Cayes each day—then this is not the job for you.

Ayiti will be free of all that ails her, with or without your help.  Bondye te delivre nou yon fwa deja.  Delivrans nou sou wout.



Photograph Courtesy of Jason Harris.

Photograph Courtesy of Jason Harris.

Baltimore-based writer and 2015 Kimbilio Fiction fellow, Jason Harris, is the editor of the speculative fiction anthology REDLINES: Baltimore 2028, as well as the author of the soon-to-be-released novel Fly Girl.  His work can be found at


We Are Haïti

Danger is a fearsome insomniac, surging like an angry river, taking with it our homes, and ripping families apart.  Bridges collapse. The earth under our feet slides away, stripping the land down to the bone. How much more can Haiti endure? In case anyone wants to know: yes, it is mentally, emotionally, and physically tiring to have to be so damn resilient all the time.  Enough is enough.

Please, read the following very important articles that appeared in The Guardian:

Haiti cannot endure anymore broken promises after Hurricane Matthew ~ Written by Matthew Smith

After Hurricane Matthew, will  aid predators ravage Haiti? An opinion piece by Jocelyn McCalla

Hurricane Matthew in Haiti: Looking beyond the Disaster Narrative ~ Mark Schuller

"Haiti" text written by Judith Craig Morency

ADOPTED from Haiti

Si Gen TravayLoss is universal. So is betrayal. So is revenge. So is hope. So is love. And so is redemption.

Some of us in the diaspora experience a level of homelessness, even if we have a home Here and another There. We are aliens, some legal, some illegal; both now too foreign for either place. The hyphen between the words Haitian and that other nationality is more than a border-less bridge.  Those who left by choice use hope and excitement as guides. Those who were forced to leave are led by a host of other emotions. As the years slip away, voluntary immigrants learn the macabre anthem of the exiled. There is evidence of rot and mold on every fruit and slice of bread on ex-pats’ dining tables.

And then there’s that other story. The one you’ve always known, but not really. You’ve heard about children being adopted by foreigners, some legally. Others not quite so legally. It happens all the time. Another adoption will take place before you finish reading this story. Eyes at half-mast stare at the realities festering in our homeland. We don’t want to remember. Secretly, we wish the children well. We hope they are better off–in that other place–with grownups who selected them (for all the right reasons). We tell ourselves it’s really all fiction. This sort of thing does not happen in the civilized world. But it happens across the civilized world every day.

Adopted children have a particular way of growing up. Some accept the hard light cast on their personal truths. Some are grateful to the moms and dads who chose to love them as their very own.

Some run.

girl christening clothesBut when a girlchild feels in her blood that she does not belong where she is told she belongs, an intense hunger takes root. When she finds herself feeling like an alien in the only home she’d ever known—with parents whose physical characteristics she does not share at all—she asks difficult questions that yield difficult answers. When nothing matters but uncovering the absolute truth, however searing or elusive, she dives heart first into the unknown. Hope is now her guide. Fear, like a royal guard, stands close by–pretending to be idle.

Judith Craig Morency’s Adopted ID is the story of a woman reaching with tentative fingers into her secret and possibly horrifying past. Follow this link to the Voicesfromhaiti: Nou Bèl. Nou La! INNERview page, and read Morency’s own words in “Chapter One: The Return”

Sending you love and more of it,








We are Beautiful and We Are Here