Derek Walcott

A City’s Death By Fire – Derek Walcott

A City’s Death By Fire – Derek Walcott

After that hot gospeller has levelled all but the churched sky, I wrote the tale by tallow of a city’s death by fire; Under a candle’s eye, that smoked in tears, I Wanted to tell, in more than wax, of faiths that were snapped like wire. All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales, Sh...

A Far Cry From Africa – Derek Walcott

A Far Cry From Africa – Derek Walcott

A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt Of Africa, Kikuyu, quick as flies, Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt. Corpses are scattered through a paradise. Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries: “Waste no compassion on these separate dead!” Statistics justify and scholars seize The sali...

After The Storm – Derek Walcott

After The Storm – Derek Walcott

There are so many islands! As many islands as the stars at night on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken like falling fruit around the schooner Flight. But things must fall,and so it always was, on one hand Venus,on the other Mars; fall,and are one,just as this earth is one island in arc...

Blues – Derek Walcott

Blues – Derek Walcott

Those five or six young guys lunched on the stoop that oven-hot summer night whistled me over. Nice and friendly. So, I stop. MacDougal or Christopher Street in chains of light. A summer festival. Or some saint’s. I wasn’t too far from home, but not too bright for a nigger, and not too d...

Codicil – Derek Walcott

Codicil – Derek Walcott

Schizophrenic, wrenched by two styles, one a hack’s hired prose, I earn me exile. I trudge this sickle, moonlit beach for miles, tan, burn to slough off this live of ocean that’s self-love. To change your language you must change your life. I cannot right old wrongs. Waves tire of horizo...

Coral – Derek Walcott

Coral – Derek Walcott

This coral’s hape ecohes the hand It hollowed. Its Immediate absence is heavy. As pumice, As your breast in my cupped palm. Sea-cold, its nipple rasps like sand, Its pores, like yours, shone with salt sweat. Bodies in absence displace their weight, And your smooth body, like none other, Create...

Dark August – Derek Walcott

Dark August – Derek Walcott

So much rain, so much life like the swollen sky of this black August. My sister, the sun, broods in her yellow room and won’t come out. Everything goes to hell; the mountains fume like a kettle, rivers overrun; still, she will not rise and turn off the rain. She is in her room, fondling old th...

Egypt, Tobago – Derek Walcott

Egypt, Tobago – Derek Walcott

There is a shattered palm on this fierce shore, its plumes the rusting helm- et of a dead warrior. Numb Antony, in the torpor stretching her inert sex near him like a sleeping cat, knows his heart is the real desert. Over the dunes of her heaving, to his heart’s drumming fades the mirage of th...

Forest Of Europe – Derek Walcott

Forest Of Europe – Derek Walcott

The last leaves fell like notes from a piano and left their ovals echoing in the ear; with gawky music stands, the winter forest looks like an empty orchestra, its lines ruled on these scattered manuscripts of snow. The inlaid copper laurel of an oak shines though the brown-bricked glass above your ...

In The Virgins – Derek Walcott

In The Virgins – Derek Walcott

You can’t put in the ground swell of the organ from the Christiansted, St.Croix, Anglican Church behind the paratrooper’s voice: “Turned cop after Vietnam. I made thirty jumps.” Bells punish the dead street and pigeons lurch from the stone belfry, opening their chutes, circli...

Koening Of The River – Derek Walcott

Koening Of The River – Derek Walcott

Koening knew now there was no one on the river. Entering its brown mouth choking with lilies and curtained with midges, Koenig poled the shallop past the abandoned ferry and the ferry piles coated with coal dust. Staying aboard, he saw, up in a thick meadow, a sand-colored mule, untethered, with no ...

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

Love After Love – Derek Walcott

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stra...

Midsummer, Tobago – Derek Walcott

Midsummer, Tobago – Derek Walcott

Broad sun-stoned beaches. White heat. A green river. A bridge, scorched yellow palms from the summer-sleeping house drowsing through August. Days I have held, days I have lost, days that outgrow, like daughters, my harbouring arms. ~ Midsummer, Tobago – Derek Walcott Hits: 3

Parang – Derek Walcott

Parang – Derek Walcott

Man, I suck me tooth when I hear How dem croptime fiddlers lie, And de wailing, kiss-me-arse flutes That bring water to me eye! Oh, when I t’ink how from young I wasted time at de fetes, I could bawl in a red-eyed rage For desire turned to regret, Not knowing the truth that I sang At parang an...

Pentecost – Derek Walcott

Pentecost – Derek Walcott

Better a jungle in the head than rootless concrete. Better to stand bewildered by the fireflies’ crooked street; winter lamps do not show where the sidewalk is lost, nor can these tongues of snow speak for the Holy Ghost; the self-increasing silence of words dropped from a roof points along ir...

R.T.S.L. (1917-1977) – Derek Walcott

R.T.S.L. (1917-1977) – Derek Walcott

As for that other thing which comes when the eyelid is glazed and the wax gleam from the unwrinkled forehead asks no more questions of the dry mouth, whether they open the heart like a shirt to release a rage of swallows, whether the brain is a library for worms, on the instant of that knowledge of ...

Sabbaths, W.I. – Derek Walcott

Sabbaths, W.I. – Derek Walcott

Those villages stricken with the melancholia of Sunday, in all of whose ocher streets one dog is sleeping those volcanoes like ashen roses, or the incurable sore of poverty, around whose puckered mouth thin boys are selling yellow sulphur stone the burnt banana leaves that used to dance the river wh...

The Saddhu Of Couva – Derek Walcott

The Saddhu Of Couva – Derek Walcott

When sunset, a brass gong, vibrate through Couva, is then I see my soul, swiftly unsheathed, like a white cattle bird growing more small over the ocean of the evening canes, and I sit quiet, waiting for it to return like a hog-cattle blistered with mud, because, for my spirit, India is too far. And ...

The Schooner ‘Flight’ – Derek Walcott

The Schooner ‘Flight’ – Derek Walcott

1 Adios, Carenage In idle August, while the sea soft, and leaves of brown islands stick to the rim of this Carribean, I blow out the light by the dreamless face of Maria Concepcion to ship as a seaman on the schooner Flight. Out in the yard turning gray in the dawn, I stood like a stone and nothing ...

The Star-Apple Kingdom – Derek Walcott

The Star-Apple Kingdom – Derek Walcott

There were still shards of an ancient pastoral in those shires of the island where the cattle drank their pools of shadow from an older sky, surviving from when the landscape copied such objects as “Herefords at Sunset in the valley of the Wye.” The mountain water that fell white from th...