THE ALL TEXT INDEX

Waiting For The Bus, In Jamaica
Two Versions of the same poem

Art And Poetry by Jim Nasium


The New Version

Dawn slowly colors the Eastern sky
reflections of sunrise paint the sea water
birds sing the song of a new day
dogs bark as cats head home from the prowl

My feet soak in the warm salt water
as I sit on the sea wall waiting
the bus to town is late again today
no one is ever in a hurry here

Off in the distance I see a few small boats
the waves toss them towards the shore
their nets are loaded with today's catch
fresh treats for the sea food lover

Soon the boats will be on land again
the fishermen must sell what they caught
but are willing to trade for things they need
slowly the market place comes alive

Vendors gather in the center of town
wooden tables and booths are set up
fruits, vegetables, breads and cheese are offered
along with fresh fish, meats and ganja

Experience tells me to get to the vendors early
they are always eager to barter
the early bird gets the worm they say
but all I really want is the bus to come

The old man who pushes a wood cart on wheels
loaded with fresh bread and sweet buns
stops at the sea wall to offer me a treat
I ask him to sit for awhile and we talk

He assures me the bus will be here soon
I thank him for the bun and wish him a good day
he has to go set up in the market place
before all the good spots are taken

A few woman who take the bus to town daily
gather near the sea wall talking
they are happy to stand in the shade and wait
the wait is nothing new to them

Children in blue and white school uniforms
play games like Simon Says and jump rope
their books and lunches lay forgotten on the ground
they wish the bus would never come

Men who must take the bus to their jobs
are not happy about the wait like the children
they are slightly hung over from last nights rum
wanting only to turn back the hands of time

The sun's high in the sky now
as the big blue bus rounds the corner
horn blowing to announce it's arrival
a long line of people forms to board

I put my shoes on and gather my things
make my way to the end of the line
pay my seventy-five cents, and find a seat
knowing the ride to town will be a pleasant one

There is always someone to talk to
young ladies interested in an American hippie
Rasta's who swear they have the best of everything
old people with their stories of days gone by

There's conversation and ganja is in the air
as we make our way East on the old coast road
finally on my way to Montego Bay
on the Morning Bus
©2005 Jim Nasium

**********

The Old Version

Dawns light slowly colors the East sky
reflections of sunrise paint the sea water
birds sing the song of a new day
dogs bark and cats head home from the prowl
my feet soak in the warm salt water
as I sit on the sea wall waiting
the bus to town is late again today
no one is in a hurry here

Off in the distance I see a few small boats
the waves toss them towards the shore
their nets are loaded with today's catch
fresh treats for the sea food lover
soon they will be on land again
needing only to sell all they collected
willing to trade for things they need
slowly the market place comes alive

Vendors gather in the center of town
wooded tables and booths are set up
fresh fruits, vegetables, breads and cheese are offered
along with fresh fish, meats and ganja
my experience is to get to the vendors early
they are always eager to barter then
the early bird gets the worm they say
but all I really want is the bus to come

I wonder if this wait for the bus
is worth the money saved
compared to the fare for a private car
which is more important to me now
time is the one thing I have plenty of
money is so hard to come by here
I could have been where I need to go
but I'd be out the eightyseven dollars a car cost

The sixty mile trip along the old coast road
from Salt Springs to downtown Montego Bay
will only take about eighty minutes by car
compared to the two and a half hours by bus
but the dollar twenty five I'll spend
for a one way passage by bus
no matter how long the trip takes
is to me, worth the savings

The old man who pushes the wheeled wooded cart
loaded with fresh bread, cheese and sweet buns
stops at the sea wall to offer me a bun
he sits with me for a minute and we talk
he assures me the bus will be here soon
I thank him for the bun and wish him a good day
he must go and set up in the market place
before all the good spot are taken

A few woman who take the bus everyday
gather near the sea wall talking
they are happy to stand in the shade and wait
the wait is nothing new to them
school children in blue and white uniforms
play games like Simon Says and jump rope
their books and lunches lay forgotten on the ground
they wish the bus would never come

Men who must take the bus to their jobs
are not as happy about the wait as the children
they are slightly hung over from last nights rum
wanting only to turn back the hands of time
to be in the arms of their loving wives
in bed, in the small wooded houses they built
a place they can call their own home
they are proud of all they worked hard for

The wait is finally over for us all
the big blue bus rounds the corner
the horn blows three times to announce it's arrival
a long line of people forms to board
slowly I put my shoes on and gather my things
I make my way to the end of the line
pay my dollar twenty five, and find a seat
the ride to town is always a pleasant one

There is always some one new to talk to
young ladies interested in an American man
Rastas who swear they have the best of everthing
old people with their stories of days gone by
conversation and ganja is in the air
as we make our way East on the old coast road
I know that Montogo Bay isn't too far away now

©2001 Jim Nasium

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