By 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 archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea. Now, is my last.
I stop talking now. I work, then I read,
cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
I try to forget what happiness was,
and when that don’t work, I study the stars.
Sometimes is just me, and the soft-scissored foam
as the deck turn white and the moon open
a cloud like a door, and the light over me
is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.
Just finished reading Archipelago by Trinidadian writer Monique Roffey. One of those great books that gives you the itchy feet! Now I want to conquer not only land, but also sea. I also learned about a phenomenon I never knew existed, the “moonbow”, or lunar rainbow:
“The moon is high in the sky; there is the disappearing squall, and between the squall and the boat — a perfect hoop. Just like a rainbow, except the seven shades of colour are shades of grey and gauzy light, as though it is a rainbow in negative. A wide delicate arc stretches across the night, each end finishing in the sea…A rainbow before it has dressed itself.”