Monday, October 31, 2011

A grape at the beach

I wash the grapes I have brought with me. They are the little early grapes, delicately freckled green, and of a pouting teat shape. The sun has penetrated their shallow skins and has confused the sweetness with its own warmth; it is like eating something alive.


      Then after Eden,
      was there one surprise?
      O yes, the awe of Adam
      at the first bead of sweat.

      Thenceforth, all flesh
      had to be sown with salt,
      to feel the edge of seasons,
      fear and harvest,
      joy that was difficult,
      but was, at least, his own.

O Sea, give me news of my loved ones.

Were it not for the chains of the faithless, I would have dived 
into you, 
And reached my beloved family, or perished in your arms.

Lawrence Durrell
Prospero's Cell
  Landscape with Olive Trees
Faber & Faber, 1945©

Derek Walcott
Sea Grapes
  New World
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1971©

Ibrahim al Rubaish
  Ode to the Sea
  Poems from Guantánamo
  Mark Falkoff, editor
University of Iowa Press, 2007©


  1. "the awe of Adam at the first bead of sweat" what a line!

    (my word verification word was "nessness"--now there's a thought)

  2. I'm going to have to stop this word verification stuff, I can see that! Who knows what one could have been accountable for saying? It's bad enough to offer one's own speculations.

    Walcott rocks. Use the search engine, JtB ~ we've cited him before, he is basic to the place. Thanks for noting ~