I Speak English

"Practice Makes Perfect"

28 June, 2013

Let’s read some poetry

Filed under: I can write poetry — csa1 @ 16:30



by Derek Walcott

I sent you, in Martinique, maître,
the unfolding letter of a sail, a letter
beyond the lines of blindingly white breakers,
of lace-laden surplices and congregational shale.
I did not send any letter, though it flailed on the wind,
your island is always in the haze of my mind
with the blown-about sea-birds
in their creole clatter of vowels, maître among makers,
whom the reef recites when the copper sea-almonds blaze,

beacons to distant Dakar, and the dolphin’s acres.

Derek Walcott, published in WHITE EGRETS



Cynthia, the things we did,

our hands growing more bold as

the unhooked halter slithered

from sunburnt shoulders!


Tremblingly I unfixed it

and the two white quarter-moons

unpeeled there like a frisket,

and burnt for afternoons.


We made one shape in water

while in sea grapes a dove

gurgled astonished “Ooos” at

the changing shapes of love.


Time lent us the whole island,

now heat and image fade

like foam lace, like the tan

on a striped shoulder blade.


Salt dried in every fissure,

and,  from each sun-struck day,

I peeled the papery tissue

of my dead flesh away;


it feathered as I blew it

from reanointed skin,

feeling love could renew it-

self, and a new life begin.


A halcyon day. No sail.

the sea like cigarette paper

smoothed by a red thumbnail,

then creased to a small square.


The bay shines like tinfoil

crimps like excelsior;

all the beach chairs are full,

but the beach is emptier.


The snake hangs its old question

on almond or apple tree;

I had her breast to rest on,

the rest was History.





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