Thursday, December 4, 2008

Poems from Nassau, Bahamas

Totus Mundus Exilium Est

This day:
This all-I-ever-see,
My eyes unhinged from urgency
As ghouls grin through my door:

This wind rustling wild lace skirts
Over the island, atop Fox Hill
On the monks' bare heads.

Nassau at church,
Repenting the poinciana's scarlet hair,
Palm trees welcoming whatever comes
Sundays, sun days,
Their own way,
Fronds the aboriginal shutter,
Now permitting, now occluding
Play of air and light,
Coconuts dangling in the tree's scrotum,
Emitting their musky man smell
All over New Providence.

+ + + + +

Talking Bahamian

In a word is everything.


Of jasmine haunting the night air
That troubles this island hilltop
While sun dies.


Of the crystalline moon
Suppliant before the light,
Riding on its side
To the sky's ridgepole.


Of ghosts from slave coffles,
Chains clanking all the land over,
White eyes shining endlessly
In the night,
In the jasmine's bloom,
In the moon's clean edge.

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