Dawad Philip

A Mural by the Sea

A Mural by the Sea

The cocks are crowing from end to end.
The last train of the old calypso rots
in the round by the convent. Band passing:
the woman with fogged glasses is fanning
the woman with the crooked wig is fanning
the woman in grey kicked off her shoes
the woman in white kicked off her shoes
the woman in brown kicked off her shoes.

Leo the jab jab is standing
predominate among the shoes.
The woman in grey has found her mirror
in an Indianís eyes (they meet and collide),
we collect the scattered cigarettes and coins
that rolled away. We meet at the steel margin
of the soul between hill and sea, at the edge
of memory, on an old map of the world.

Not a day passes when the moon is not
crushed into a million, when each shard
does not sharply recall the dutiful ocean,
mud road or whistling eye of a star, novellas
brought on the wings of the tradewinds,
the huge and sorrowful parting of the Bocas.
We wake with the indifferent light of morning
against the treacherous shadows of a day.

A horsewhip slithers through the grasslands
of Vistabella through Marabella, making its way
past the silver domes of Pointe-a-Pierre, lush
acres of canefields stretching across Central,
yellow Caribs smoking leaves under the Arima dial,
a herdsboy and his mud-caked bulls at Aranguez,
the blackened corridors of Old South Quay Station.

Savannahs and swamps teem with history
set in coastal sunsets, grinning monkeys
by the luminous river where all along we lived
in the signpainterís eyes: his sweeping skies
and emphysemic horizons going down at dusk.

A flaming cane-arrow pierces an ox-pecker cloud,
curls to ash like swamp-grass to a saduís prayer.
And here we are, Sarah, resurrected in the forest
of mas and myth, the enamel world of the flame,
braving silence for a singular language,
occasional light, occasional stone.