“Is­lands” by Derek Wal­cott

[For Mar­garet]

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Merely to name them is the prose Of di­arists, to make you a name For read­ers who like trav­ellers praise Their beds and beaches as the same; But is­lands can only ex­ist If we have loved in them. I seek, As cli­mate seeks its style, to write Verse crisp as sand, clear as sun­light, Cold as the curled wave, or­di­nary As a tum­bler of is­land wa­ter; Yet, like a diarist, there­after I savour their salt-haunted rooms (Your body stir­ring the creased sea Of crum­pled sheets), whose mir­rors lose Our hud­dled, sleep­ing im­ages, Like words which love had hoped to use Erased with the surf’s pages. So, like a diarist in sand, I mark the peace with which you graced Par­tic­u­lar is­lands, de­scend­ing A nar­row star to light the lamps Against the night surf’s noises, shield­ing A leap­ing man­tle with one hand, Or sim­ply scal­ing fish for sup­per, Onions, jack-fish, bread, red-snap­per; And on each kiss the harsh sea-taste, And how by moon­light you were made To study most the surf’s un­yield­ing Pa­tience though it seemed a waste.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Saint Lucia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.