02 May 2012




You see those breakers coming around Pigeon Island
bowing like nuns in a procession? One thing I know,
when you're gone like my other friends, not to Thailand
or Russia, but wherever it is loved friends go
with their different beliefs, who were like a flock
of seagulls leaving the mirror of the sand,
or a bittern passing lonely Barrel of Beef,
or the sails that an egret hoists leaving its rock;
I go down to the same sea by another road
with manchineel shadows and stunted sea grapes
dwarfed by the wind. I carry something to read:
the wind is bright and shadows race like grief,
I open their books and see their distant shapes
approaching and always arriving, their voices heard
in the page of a cloud, like the soft surf in my head.

from "The Acacia Trees" by Derek Walcott



  1. The imagery in this poem is so wonderful, I can picture exactly what he means.

  2. only just found your blog and i love it
    just brilliant


  3. my boyfriend could read derek walcott for days. but, after reading this, i feel like maybe i should try to.

  4. This is lovely. I need to read more Walcott. Looking forward to giving Omeros a stab a some point.

    And yes to salt as hangover cure (and at all other times too)!

  5. I've had to read this through several times because it resonates so strongly with me - and because it's simply lovely. I've never come across it before - thank you.

  6. Hila - Yes!

    Isabelle - Thank you so much!

    Jessica - I only just discovered him, I think I need to as well.

    Chuck - I haven't read that, adding it to my list...thanks!

    Kate - Same, there's just something about it, I can't stop reading it. Thanks so much for your comment.