State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

My Jamaica: A Poem

hills and sky in jamaica
Photo: Brianna Brown

my Jamaica beautiful


Her seven-mile white sand bleached beach

graced with water clear as cloudless sky

Her bamboo forests

everlasting in their stretch

for sultry beating sun

Her sunsets paint skies

ripe mango orange

vast, deep loving purple

Bulls Bay sea blue

pink as faint as

woodfire’s earthy scent

Her stars shimmy and shine

on their midnight dancefloor


my Jamaica surreal


Her goats and cows and pigs and chickens and

john crows and chicken hawks and blackbirds and

dolphins and manatees and green lizards and

crocodiles and cockroaches roam the land

dogs, skinny and thin

ribs poke through golden-chestnut coats

noses upturned

sniff, wriggle, and writhe in air

jittery chickens skittering beaks chittering

wings fidgeting on the forage for food

prepared to catch flight after the

clever discovery of a fat crumb

of dirt-stained hard dough bread

chests puffed out, boasting with pride


my Jamaica whimsical


She       tricks and jokes

Her       winds turn tides

did you know skies can lie?

blind sunshine, placid breeze

morphs to thundering clouds

raving fires let smoke unfurl

tendrils of heady grey shadows crawl up walls

fooling the drink and drunk

to see duppies at day


my Jamaica musical

driving droplets of rain beat drums

on black rubber barrel lids

island breeze strums coastal waves

tree frogs croak like piano keys

and dolphins chirp in harmony

all i want is to dance atop the Hill

look down on Friendship

feel dirt squelch and mush

between my toes

as i turn

and turn

and turn

in light of setting summer sun

john crows circle over my head

feel wind’s steady rhythm

sway around my hips

Originally from Jamaica, Brianna Brown is a student at at Barnard College, where they’re majoring in Environment and Sustainability. Read more of their poems here

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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Theo Johnson
Theo Johnson
3 years ago

Perfectly capture the essence of my beautiful island ️

2 years ago

John crow? It should be vulture