Saturday, December 31, 2011

At 20 of 4 today, Whit and I could sit on the lawn toward the sun

The grazers were delivering hay
for the horses, you could hear
them hollering to let them know
on the other side of the berm.
The sun from the pond was fresh
and sharp in our faces, the firm
ground was fragrant and warm
from an overnight rain. The 
branches stood out white in the 
reflection overhead, and still, 
like the feathers at his flanks, 
but alert, directed, as the incline 
of his shoulders. When we came 
inside, I turned to this page
in Derek Walcott's recent White 
Egrets ~

A dun day brightening, clouds like grey flannel,
but, more than the usual, occasional sail,
a grey-hulled tanker anchored in mid-channel,
hazed by the distance and a sunlit drizzle.
They never pause going further north, or else they seem
to wait until I silently send up a flare
to signal my lifelong distress, wave flailing arms
against such paradisal luck at being stuck here,
among scuttling crabs and the ribbed hulks of palms
looking like frozen detonations, each
ghostly anchored tanker is a young man's dream
of flight, adrift in all the ports of the world
where he has left his name scrawled on a beach,
hiding in ramshackle harbours with a white beard
like a sea urchin, a skin cracked like leather:
that when masts crack and lightning bolts are hurled
he would have seen the world in its worst weather,
quiet as the tanker grazing in midstream.

If you have just come to this page
you may not know, Whit is the name
of an English Cocker Spaniel, my
dog. We seldom co-operate on an
entry here, but the character of
the day is what did it; and this
we always share.

We wish all visitors comfort on
this night. You know, we can
hear your peaceful gathering
past the berm.

Derek Walcott
White Egrets
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010©

iv  Jakob Wiechmann


  1. Best wishes for 2012 Laurent! May the year bring happiness, enlightenment and a continuation of your excellent posts (no pressure!)

  2. Thank you very much, Derek, I hope I snaffle some enlightenment, myself, even of the date when you change one of the 2's in your masthead to a 3 (no pressure). But, yes, I wish for you the continuation of my excellent posts, which naturally entails a lot of work for you, and delight for me.