At the Mercy of Gods

We come in waves.
Our boats, tiny specks
on dark, fathomless oceans.

Driven away by devouring drought,
scattered by quakes, typhoons, cyclones, wars,
we flee, fish in a storm.

Propelled by dreams,
we would walk on water
if miracles could be bought.

We are swallowed
by sea gods demanding sacrifices.
Our dreams are coveted by
who wish to conquer man and land.

Do the gods conspire?

Jealous Wind and Sea pillage our crops
withhold rain, wake Vulcan, fan his flames.
Belligerent Mars whispers in man’s ear,
demands he bathes in his brother’s blood.

Gods cackle at fleeing men.
Ants in their eyes,
they set howling death upon us.

Our exhausted Creator sleeps.


Born in Antigua, West Indies, Althea Romeo-Mark is an educator who grew up in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. She has lived and taught in the St. Thomas, Virgin Island, USA, Liberia, England and in Switzerland since 1991.

She was awarded the Marguerite Cobb McKay Prize by the Editorial Board of The Caribbean Writer in June, 2009 for publication (short story “Bitterleaf,”) in Volume 22, 2008. Was one of a hundred guest poets invited to read at the XX International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Columbia. She writes poetry and short stories and has been published in The Caribbean Writer, Off the Coast:International Poetry/Translation Issue, KRITYA, Revista Review Inter-American, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review among other journals. Her last poetry collection, If Only the Dust Would Settle, was published in 2009.

1 comment:

Obie Quiet said...

I read "At the Mercy of Gods" and thought, how like a herd of buffaloes is Althea Romeo-Mark's creative force - every line like buffaloes with their shoulders arched - with their heads down - surging forth. How unintentionally paradoxical is the poem's concluding line. I had to wonder, which creator? After reading what I had just read, the creator uppermost in my mind was the author and certainly not tired or asleep: her poem causing this reader to be more fully awake- more alert and more aware as well.

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