June 1, 2020

Jamaica mind

This is a poem I wrote in November (way before the coronavirus pandemic) from the one-word prompt Trouble. I had just been to Jamaica and learned that the favored slogan is “No problem, mon.”

Jamaicans take a laid back approach to life, hence the saying. Whatever is happening, no matter how tough it is, just go with the flow.

It seems cavalier to use such a phrase during the current crisis, what with all the sickness, death, unemployment and widespread fear. What strikes me about the following poem is how trivial my complaints often are.

Getting stuck in traffic is not a problem and neither is the cable TV going on the fritz. A virus pandemic IS a real problem. It’s real Trouble.

Here’s the poem:

In Jamaica, they say
“No problem, mon. Soon come.”
The electricity goes out
No problem
The plane is late
No problem
You burn the meatloaf
No problem
Relax. Don’t worry. It will happen. 
The power will come back
You’ll fly away
You will eat
Waiting, making do, changing plans
These are not bad things
These are not problems
They are life.
They shall pass.
I like that. I need more Jamaica mind
When I’m stuck in traffic
When cable TV goes out
When the plumbing clogs
Remember to say
No problem, mon.
Soon come.

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