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HomeArts-EntertainmentArts & Literature‘Fish and Fungi: The National Dish of the V.I.,’ a Poem by...

‘Fish and Fungi: The National Dish of the V.I.,’ a Poem by Winston Nugent


(This is a pitch in support for making fish and fungi the V.I. National Dish.)


In the islands where the turquoise waves collide,

A dish of legend, with flavors worldwide,

Where the ocean’s bounty and heritage combine,

Let me sing the praises of Fish and Fungi divine.


From coral reefs, where vibrant colors play,

Comes the catch of the day, a gift from the bay,

Majestic snapper, or old wife so fine,

Whisper tales of the ocean on each tender line.


Marinated in spices, kissed by island fire,

The fish dances in the pot, its flavors aspire,

To capture the essence of the tropical sea,

Infused with love and island harmony.


But what of Fungi, the partner so dear?

A humble companion, often held near,

A gift from Africa, where history was sown,

A testament to resilience and roots deeply known.


Cornmeal and okra, in a delicate blend,

Simmered with passion, tradition on the mend,

Transformed into a golden ball, tender and light,

A perfect accompaniment to the fish’s delight.


Together they unite, on a plate so divine,

Fish and Fungi, a duet that intertwines,

The succulent sea meets the land’s rustic fare,

A feast for the senses, beyond compare.


So, raise your fork, and take a savory bite,

Let the flavors transport you, like a magical flight,

In the Virgin Islands, where Tim Duncan was born,

Fish and Fungi, a treasure forever sworn.

Winston Nugent was raised in the US Virgin Islands on St. Croix after
being born in Spanish Town, Jamaica. He was the first recipient of the
College of the Virgin Islands’ poetry prize in 1975. His poetic chapbooks
include Blue Rain, Negus, On Our Island, and Walking in the Footsteps of
My Ancestors. The Caribbean Writer, a publication of the University of the
Virgin Islands, has published the following short stories: Many Rivers to
Cross, Two Birds with One Stone, and Still Water Runs Deep. For his tale
The Rim, he was awarded The Daily News Prize.

The Source Arts & Literature section highlights the work of our creative readers. All visual artists and creative writers are encouraged to share new works with us at visourceart@gmail.com. Poetry and creative prose submissions are limited to 1,500 words and should include a brief bio of the writer. Visual art submissions should include at least one high-quality image or video and a very brief bio along with an artist’s statement that speaks to the inspiration of the work. The statement should include the title if there is one, the medium used and what the work means to you.

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