Material Information

Uniform Title:
Portion of title:
Kyk over Al
Portion of title:
Portion of title:
British Guiana Writers' Association
Kykoveral (Guyana)
Place of Publication:
Georgetown Guyana
Publication Date:
Two no. a year
Physical Description:
v. : ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Guyanese literature -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Caribbean literature (English) -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
review ( marcgt )
periodical ( marcgt )
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:


Dates or Sequential Designation:
Began in 1945?
Dates or Sequential Designation:
-49/50 (June 2000).
Numbering Peculiarities:
Publication suspended, 19 -1983.
Issuing Body:
Issued by: British Guiana Writers' Association, 1945-19 ; Kykoveral, 1985-
General Note:
Vol. for Apr. 1986 called also golden edition that includes anthology of selections from nos. 1-28 (1945-1961).
General Note:
Description based on: No. 30 (Dec. 1984); title from cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
12755014 ( OCLC )
86649830 ( LCCN )
1012-5094 ( ISSN )

UFDC Membership

Digital Library of the Caribbean


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ko /~


In the original Greek, an anthology is a collection of flowers. From
more than a score of gardens up and down the British Caribbean, I have
gathered poems and put them together within the confines of this special
issue of Kykoveral, as a selection of the beauty which West Indian poets
have created and continue to image forth, as they come to a sense of
their powers, look upon the environment around them, or on the heart
within, and celebrate what they find there in disciplined emotional
Nearly everyone in this region has heard of some at least of these
poets; for instance, the work of Derek Walcott, Lamming, Forde and
many others has been presented weekly by the B.B.C. The Little
Reviews like Kykoveral, Bim and !he occasional compilations like Focus
have been a vehicle f6r work by others, and the West Indian press from
time to time has carried reviews of West Indian poetry and prose. But
there are few who have seen the poems, so striking or delightful to the
ear or attractively quoted in reviews, and of these fewer still have
attempted to collect the individual booklets and the magazines in which
they have been printed. This selection of poems is therefore a link be-
tween the people and their poets, preserving for the people the poems
they have lost or never found, and furnishing the poets with an audience
of a size and quality some have perhaps lacked, but certainly all would
desire to have

Once it had been decided that the purpose of the anthology would
be to introduce the poets of the region to the people of the British Carib-
bean; two things followed. The poems had to be chosen for delight and
hence were unlikely to be experimental and may not include a poet's
work in his latest phase; again, there being a relative dearth of published
work in .the West Indies, apart from magazine articles, generally con-
demned to early oblivion, a compiler may not be able to include pieces
fully representative of the poet's distinct personality as if he had had a
book of the poet's work before hitn.

What else would the West Indian reader look for in an anthology
prepared for his delight? He may want to know that the poets are
among the best in his region, that their individual range of perception
is more or less represented, and that if possible they express the rarer
moods, the more elevated thoughts and the more impassioned feelings
of the West Indian scene. It is for pleasure that these poems have
primarily been chosen, but there is also the possibility that a collection
of this kind may express the spiritual and intellectual identity of the
West Indies and may help us to win the feeling of being spiritually at
home in these imaginative writings which have their birth in the pecu-
liar conditions of our West Indian people, a feeling that no other litera-
ture, however splendid, can give us.


I should perhaps say something of the history of the anthology idea.
It is remarkable that in the past three or four years persons in var-
ious territories have expressed their desire to produce a West Indian
anthology of some kind or other. It must have been mooted before,
but the idea was certainly mentioned to Philip Sherlock as early as
1944 when he first came to British Guiana, BIM, however made the first
practical step in 1946 with the Little Anthology included in its issue of
mid year 1946 Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps produced a British
Caribbean compilation in 1949, in the nature of a footnote to the pre-
dominantly American writing collected in their "'Poetry of the Negro",
and W. Adolphe Roberts and Wycliffe Bennett are at present preparing
& large-scale Anthology of poetry in the Caribbean, designed to present
work of the writers of the British Caribbean together with poems from
the French, Dutch and Spanish-speaking countries in, and around the
shores of, the Caribbean. These latter poems would be in the original
languages with translations. The Pioneer Press in Jamaica and the
Readers and Writers Group in Trinidad have also stated their intention
to compile anthologies.
We must also include a reference to the exhibition staged at the
Institute of Jamaica by the Poetry League of that island in August, 1951,
when books photographs, lectures etc., all added up to an anthology-
in-situ of Caribbean poetry. I wonder whether Clare McFarlane and
Bennett and Cdulthard were conscious of the interest of the poets in
the area.

This interest in anthology-making is healthy and worthwhile because
a collection of poems finally rests on the personal choice and even the
taste of its editor, and the shortcomings of one anthology are made
good by its contemporaries and successors, while the reader, that ultimate
consumer, is better able to compare and contrast and exercise his criti-
cal faculty when he has before him many men's bouquets.
There is one tendency in West Indian poetry at the present time
which may bear emphasis It is a tendency common to all colonial
literatures developing emotional lives of their own and shaping their
unique voices, that they pass through the phases of a certain pattern
before they find a local habitation and a name. First of all, there is
identification with the gestures and attitudes of the home country to
which allegiance is held, then the literature rebels against them, although
acutely conscious .of the absence of new loyalties to put in their place,
and in the third phase, the land in which the people live and move and
have their being, begins to assert its presence and to supply the dynamic
necessary for developing the new voice. This pattern does not necessarily
synchronise with the growth of the community from dependent into
independent government. Although they are both dominions, and in
spite of the difference between the origins of European settlement and
a slave society, I have the impression that New Zealand and Australia
are only now finding their authentic literary voices, in the same way
that the West Indies is finding its own.


We said just now that the land in which a community lives begins
to assert its presence after a while, at the same time that the community
i- modifying the environment. Not that there is a poetry of geography
in the simple sense of the term, but that the apprentice tongue of the
poet and the community seems to begin by calling the names of things
that lie round about. There is much direct statement of the West Indian
scene to be found in West Indian poetry, as if the poets feel the need
of supplying the background of their emotional response together with
that response, in some unconscious desire to bridge the gap between
themselves and the people for whom they are writing, (this is the
assumed audience so much in a poet's mind that when he describes
things he experiences, he uses the form of words likely to share that
experience with others). Together with this statement of environment,
other themes running through West Indian verse are the great com-
monplace of love, and a certain preoccupation with religion.
When one remembers the plastic theocentric tendency of the African
mind, through whose corridors pass the ghosts of old gods and spiritual
unseen influences, it seems clear that one influence which would shape
the gathering imagination of the West Indian poet would be religion.
Somewhat like England in the days of Bunyan, the Bible twas one book
Which linked the African slave with the thought of a new world to
remedy the topsy-turvyness of the one he knew, and in gratitude both
to this book of hope and to its messengers, the Church, the half-empty
and hungry imagination of the African nourished its springs on religious
tales. Perhaps one off-shoot was the development of a fatalistic attitude
("the Lord's will be done") but certainly there was created a reservoir
of striking religious imagery.

> There was a temptation, fortunately resisted, to compile this an-
thology on the model of the "Spirit of Man" (by Rdbert Bridges. The
collection would have begun with George Campbell's "Litany", followed
by xtaymond Barrow's "Dawn is a Fisherman" Telemaque's "In our Land"
and Derek Walcott's "As John to Patmos", and then wandered its way
through a group of love poems by Clare McFarlane, Keane, Una Marson,
Herbert and Roach. There would have been a middle section of "Mad-
onna and Child", "A Beauty too of twisted Trees", "Jacob and the Angel",
and" "Magdalen" with other groupings of cognate poems. But to have
adopted that model would have been to let the poems tell their tale -
a fine tale, mind you at the expense of the poets themselves.

It is a matter for regret that the anthology does not include any of
the long poems or narrative poems written in the region e.g. Clare
aMcFarlane's 'Daphne", the writer's "For Christopher Columbus" and
"The Legend of Kaieteur", or "Epitaph for the Young" (Derek Walcott).
A long poem is a flower bed after all, not a single flower; it is a
collection in itself with its own reason for being, and its own integrity.
Nor have I entered into the field of dialect and folk tales where Louise
Bennett in Jamaica and Quow in British Guiana are still the delight of
hundreds of readers. This selection of poems is an introduction to the


work of these living West Indian poets, and the hope is that this will
stimulate interest in their work and create a demand to see more of that
work in print

When all is said and done, the maker of an anthology is always
assailed with doubts and beset with fears. In his individual approach
to poets and their work, has he coordinated every possible feature, for
instance, has he given poets space in h's collection, according to his
assessment of their importance, and has each important phase of the
poet's work been represented? Has he, from the context of his own
age-grouping, been unsympathetic to the work of the older poets and
lacking in appreciation of the work of those younger than he? Or has
he, in his anxiety to do all justice, leant over backwards? Of the pub-
2ished poems that he has seen, has he made a fair attempt to correct
his own proclivities and see the best, and with poets whomn he has
asked to assist him by selecting from their unpublished work, has he
given them an advantage over those whose selections he made himself?
But a choice must be exercised and a decision taken, unless one is to
deny that special human quality of taking one's stand, and this anthology
witn the shortcomings so evident to its maker goes on its way to readers.
The successes belong to the poets, who have so 'willingly cooperated in
this venture but the imperfections to the editor.

In this personal harvest, I have had to forego many single poems
of distinction of which I have knowledge (such as Alwvn Rodway's
"Telephone" or Cleveland Hamilton's "Symbols"). There would be many
such singles scattered about the British Caribbean of which I would
not know and which belong to another and more comprehensive

I have omitted a section-by-section analysis -of this anthology
because I am too near to it at present to contrast, properly, say the
romantic movement in W.I. poetry as exemplified by trends in George
Campbell and Derek Walcott, with the classicist trends in Vaughan and
Virtue and Roberts. My main purpose has been to reproduce the
poetry now for later examination, comment, and discussion at every
level. The juxtaposition of this mass of West Indian writing will
raise its own succession of differences and resemblances in the reader's
mind. And as I said before, I have resisted the impulse to devote very
much space to the experimental phases of our poetry, that marginal
land of imaginative creation which is always Ibeing put under cultivation
by the pioneering poet. I could enlarge the list of problematic questions
which arose, but they are a measure of my responsibility only. So let
us make an end of them and before we turn to the poets themselves
who are arranged roughly in order of age so far as that is possible,
let us remember the function of the poet.

In any community, the poet shares with the painter and the musician
(and in a degree greater than they, in a young community where he


has an importance he has lost in older societies) the task of supplying
an imaginative record of the experiences which all the members
undergo. In his images they discover their hopes fnd their short-
comings detached from the daily round. He creates out of his sensi-
bility the positive and encouraging view of human life necessary for
the development of the community and as B. Ifor Evans puts it, he
Points "beyond the range of the observed to all that imagination can
achieve". Perhaps the responsibility is not always fully realized by the
poets, or clearly recognized by the people, but there is a deep need for
a bridge of communication, so that a unique way of life may be won
and a culture made in which they may all rest.

The poets in this volume have been seeking to express their personal
experiences in the only ways possible to them. But what they say is
of value to us all. Adolphe Roberts who opens the anthology has his
own classicist and Greek-tinged reaction to the beauty of animal form
Pnd historical fact, and the awareness of awakening beauty in the
Caribbean brake ("Pan is not dead, but sleeping") and at the end Derek
Welcott who closes the collection, invokes the resemblance of love for
their lands common to himself and John of Patmos, sheds his tear
over the ashes of Castries, protests colour prejudice and meditates upon
that other great commonplace of death. Between them lie the individual
experiences of our British Caribbean poets, each revealing some single
facet of our West Indian life and relating it through the unifying power
of metaphor to other facets, and, collectively among them, providing
the inner and spiritual structure of what will later be the history of
the British Caribbean.


I wish to acknowledge gratefully the kindness of authors in granting
me permission to include their poems in this anthology.

Some of the poems in this Anthology have already appeared in print
in publications which include:- The Poetry of the Negro, A Treasury
of Jamaican Poetry, Poetry for Children, the periodicals Life and Letters, J
Focus, Bim, Kyk-over-al, and Caribbean Quarterly, and the various
publications of the poets, nearly all of which have been privately printed.


Walter Adolphe Roberts
Villanelle of the Living Pan ..
The Cat
On a Monument to Marti
Hilda McDonald
Evensong ..
Frank A. Collymore
Hymn to the Sea
Hazy Days
To each his lonely symbol
Lullaby .. ..
J. E. Clare McFarlane
Villanelle of Immortal Love ..
H. A. Vaughan
The Tree
For Certain Demagogues
To a Tudor Street Shop Girl ..
Dark Voices
f. M. Sherlock
A Beauty too of twisted trees
Una Marson
The Impossible
Where Death was kind
Vivian L. Virtue
Magdalen ..
The Web
King Solomon and Queen Balkis
Harold M. Telemaque
In our land .. .
Little Black Boy ..
A. J. Seymour
Sun is a shapely Fire
To a Lady Dead
Sea Music for Undine
In the Dark ..
George Campbell
History Makers
A Cloud
M. G. Smith
Madonna and Child ..
Mellow Oboe .
Kenneth Ingram


... 1





S .12




.. 24

.. 28


* .. .. 34

3. W. Harper Smith
Twilight .. ... .. .. 35
To a dead Silk Cotton Tre .. .. .. .. 35
Raymond Barrow
Low is the Wind .. .. .. .. .. 36
Dawn is a Fisherman .. .. .. .. .. 36
Basil McFarlane
Pcem .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 37
Jacob and the Angel .. .. .. .. 37
Wilson Harris
Orpheus .. .. .. .. .. 38
Other Dimensions ..... 39
Cecil Herbert
Song ... .. .. .. 40
The Unreturning .. .... .. .. 40
Lest O Lost .. .. .. 41
A. N. Forde
The day before Ash Wednesday .. 41
Canes by the Roadside ... .. 43
Sea Bird .... .. .. .. .. 43
E. McG. Keane
Seed .. .. .. .. .. 44
My Love are you strong .. .. .. 46
Love Story .. .. .. .. .. .. 46
To...... .. .. .. .. .. 47
E. M. Roach
Stranger Beware .. .... .. .. 47
The Flowering Rock .. .. .. .. 48
Poem .. 49
Daniel Williams
Over Here .. .. .. .. .. 49
O Time O My Testator ..50
Letter for a Friend .. .. ... 51
Martin Cater
Looking at your Hand .. .. ... 52
Death of a Slave .. .... 53
Owen Campbell
Photograph .. .. .. .. .. 54
Ubi Gentium .. .. 55
George Lamming
Swans ... 56
Birthday Poem for Clifford Sealy .... 57
Derek Walcott
The Yellow Cemetery ... 59
A City's death by Fire .. .61
Letter to Margaret .. .. .. 62
As John to Patinos .. 64
FIRST LINE INDEX .. .. .. .. 74


Villanelle of the Living Pan

Pan is not dead, but sleeping in the brake,
Hard by the 'blue of some AEgean shore.
Ah, flute to him, Beloved, he will wake.
Vine leaves have drifted o'er him flake by flake
And with dry laurel he is covered o'er.
Pan is not dead, but sleeping in the brake.
The music that his own cicadas make
Comes to him faintly, like forgotten lore,
Ah, flute to him, Beloved, he will wake.
Let not the enemies of Beauty take
Unction of Soul that he can rise no more.
Pan is not dead but sleeping in the brake,

Dreaming of one that for the goat god's sake
Shall pipe old tunes and worship as of yore.
Ah, flute to him, Beloved, he will wake.
So once again the Attic coast shall shake
With a cry greater than it heard before:
"Pan is not dead, but sleeping in the brake!"
Ah, flute to him, Beloved, he will wake.

The Cat

Pleasures, that I most enviously sense,
Pass in long ripples down her flanks and stir
The plume that is her tail. She deigns to purr
And teke caresses. But her paws would tense
To flashing weapons at the least, offence.
Humbly, I bend to stroke her silken fur,
I am content to b2- a slave to her.
I am enchanted by her insolence.

No one of all the women I have known
Has been so beautiful, or proud, or wise
As this angora with her amber eyes.
She makes her chosen cushion seem a throne,
And wears the same voluptuous, slow smile
She wore when she was worshipped by the Nile.


On a Monument to Marti

Cuba, dishevelled, naked to the waist,
Springs up erect from the dark earth and screams
Her joy in liberty. The metal gleams
Where her chains broke. Magnificent her haste
To charge into the battle and to taste
Revenge on the oppressor. Thus she seems.
But she were powerless without the dreams
Of him who stands above, unsmiling, chaste.

Yes, over Cuba on her jubilant way
Broods the Apostle, Jos6 Julian Marti.
He shaped her course of glory, and the day
The guns first spoke he died to make her free.
That night a meteor flamed in splendid loss
Between the North Star and the Southern Cross.



Like giant brooms the palm heads sweep
The star-dust from the dreaming skies,
As through half-opened gates of sleep
Bird carols of the morning rise.

Where sea meets heaven in misty blue,
The dawn fires leap through rosy spray,
And armed outriders of the morn
Flash burnished spears in bright array.

Westward their wind-whipped coursers sweep,
Hailing the shore to greet the day,
Then turn and toss their flying waves
In rippling silver o'er the bay.

Their trumpets sound from reef to reef,
Their gold-red pennons flaunt the skies
As mailed in silver, girt with jade
Dawn comes up :with flaming eyes.


Sunset had called in the colours
But not yet was it dark,
The pool lay a mirror of silver
Without spot or mark.
When out from the green mirrored mangroves
Stepped a wonder of white
A great heron wandering homeward,
Before it was night.
The pool held the moon and the heron,
And the first white star,
In a beauty beyond all imagining
As I watched from afar.
And my heart sang aloud to its Maker
In thanks and delight,
Who gave me that moment of beauty,
Before it was night.


Hymn to the Sea

Like all who live on small islands
I must always be remembering the sea,
Being always cognizant of her presence; viewing
Her through apertures in the foliage; hearing,
When the wind is from the south, her music, and smelling
The warm rankness of her; testing
And feeling her kisses on bright sunbathed days:
I must always be remembering the sea.
Always, always the encircling sea,
E'ernal: lazylapping, crisscrossed with stillness;
Or windruffed, aglitter with gold; and the surf
Waist-high for children, or horses for Titans;
Her lullaby, her singing, her moaning; on sand,
On shingle, on breakwater, and on rock;
By sunlight, starlight, moonlight, darkness:
I must always be remembering the sea.
Go down to the sea upon this random day
By metalled road, by sandway, by rockpath,
And come to her. Upon the polished jetsam,
Shell and stone and weed and saltfruit
Torn from the underwater continents, cast
Your garments and despondencies; re-enter
Her embracing womb: a return, a completion.
I must always be remembering the sea.


Life came from the sea, and once a goddess arose
Fullgrowin from the saltdeep; love
Flows from the sea, a flood; and the food
Of islanders is reaped from the sea's harvest.
And not only life and sustenance; visions, too,
Are, born of the sea: the patterning of her rhythm
Finds echoes within the musing mind.
I must always be remembering the sea.

Symbol of fruitfulness, symbol of barrenness,
Mother and destroyer, the calm and the storm!
Life and desire and. dreams and death
Are born of the sea; this swarming land
Her creation, her signature set upon the salt ooze
To blossom into life; and the red hibiscus
And the red roofs burn more brightly against her blue.
I must always be remembering the sea.


By the dip of the sky, runaway water under the stars,
The ship's prow drips with the kiss of the wave, and
The sails' saga is told in slow syllables as we plunge onward
Towards the shore of the horizon where the clouds are wrapped
About a shadow. The helmsman's face, old as stone,
Is etched upon the darkness by the cigarette's glow, his cap
Pulled low about. his ears. Voyaging is slow,
And mists spiral through the waiting mind; the night is long,
And the sails' song interminable; moments glide
From darkness into darkness. Fugue of forgetting,
While stars rush silently in swooping curves, and the night
Is hooped around the sea's endlessness. The cigarette stub
Shrinks into nothingness, the hub of thought recedes,
And tattered shreds are scattered upon the silent deck
Lost among unfamiliar shadows. Wan as forgotten dawns
The lantern in the binnacle. Where the huddled hatch
Catches the threading light, thought's snails leave slimy tracks
As meaningless as the newsprint of a dream. There is
No meaning here but the. song of the sails, no end
To wandering. And across the waters strides, the wind
To lay its reckless head upon the bosom of the night.


Hazy Days

The days are very lovely now,
All's 'wrapped in tender haze;
A group of upstart little clouds
Speed on their lonely ways
Across a sky where bigger ones
Too gross and wise to run
Gently conspire to shield and soothe
A not unfriendly sun,
And sometimes shed a little of
Their moisture just in fun.
Shadow and light are interfused,
The white roads doff their glare,
That eyes once blinded by it now
May travel everywhere,
From gravelled path to far-off hill,
And, rested, feast again
Upon the strange midday twilight
Paving the sleepy lane.
Although the mills no longer spin,
The winds remembering
That little boys must fly their kites
Haste with rich offering,
And tree and bush and shrubbery
Clad in their best array
Sway to this choreography;
An evergreen ballet
That one may gaze upon throughout
The livelong lazy day.
Hazy days, dear days!
Each passing moment seems
Wrought from the cloudy pageantry
Of childhood's idle dreams,
When elves and gnomes were sometimes seen
Peering from hidden lair,
And from the bougainvillea hedge
A princess would appear
Wrapped in a dusky cloak of green
With flowers in her hair.


To each his Lonely Symbol

To each his lonely symbol: when the soul
Ravished by its own experience is swept
Into the vortex, there upon the shoal
Is left some broken thing, token inept
Of joy or sorrow that our cognizance
Finding may not its real import infer,
Only inscrutable significance
Drowned in the waters of the days that were.
A tree slim as a maid and clad in gold
Against a sky of blue one message bears,
A startled bird upon a tortured bough
Another such; nor may I reason how:
The one symbol of what delight of old !
The other wrings my wondering heart to tears.


Darkness broods on earth and air
Spilling shadows everywhere
Love lies dreaming Love is near
Lay your head to sleep
The crooked shadows bound and leap
Headlong through the looking-glass
Into nothingness they pass
Lay your head to sleep
Light will break in other guise
Colour blossom beneath skies
Where lamb with tawny lion lies
Lay your head to sleep
Yesterday and distant Now
Slowly through the night will creep
All their harvest yours to reap
Lay your head to sleep
All the nightlong loveliness
Yours my darling to possess
And your sleeping eyelids bless
Lay your head to sleep


Villanelle of Immortal Love

Love will awaken all lovely things at last.
One Iby one they shall come from the sleep of Time,
Bearing in triumph the deathless dreams of the past.

Hard on their fair designs came the wreck of the blast;
Where they lie scattered in every land and clime,
Love will awaken all lovely things at last

Gathered from out the ages, a concourse vast,
These shall return once more with arms sublime,
Bearing in triumph the deathless dreams of the past.

Lo, in what manifold moulds is their beauty cast!
Ah, with what colours bedecked in the new Springtime,
Love will awaken all lovely things at last!

Now shall the Earth emerge from its wintry fast,
And music flow again in powerful rhyme,
Bearing in triumph the deathless dreams of the past.

For out of the welter and dust of the holocaust
Rises the promised glory of our prime:
Love will awaken all lovely things at last,
Bearing in triumph the deathless dreams of the past.


The Tree

Leave me to my little land
Tethered like a tree,
Near the loves I understand -
Loves that nurture me.

Let my roots go deep, go deep,
Seeking fabled streams
While the trade winds sound and sweep


Through my leafy dreams.

Let the fierce wide noontide heat
Haunt my sap with pain;
Afterwards will seem more sweet
Revelry of rain,

And the stir of all wild things,
Hares, and bees, and birds,
Turn my faint imaginings
Into golden words.

Then above the day's vain noise,
Strong, secure, at peace,
I shall spread essential joys
For the -world's release,

Save that in the light or dark
When two lovers come,
I shall tremble as I hark,
Tranced like them and dumb.

For Certain Demagogues

''We love the people, sir,'' You do ?
You ought to; nay, indeed, you must:
Shouting their needs has brought a new
Elation to your fickle dust.

You have the keys of all their hearts,
Yet neither charity, good sense,
Nor truth, nor tolerance imparts
One sparklet to your eloquence.

You prey, but not like beasts of prey;
The cobblers fly too far to be
Your emblem; in a higgling way
You have a place in history;

Like blackbirds in their shiny coats
Prinking and lifting spry, proud feet,
Bickering and picking sodden oats
From horses' offal in the street.


To a Tutor Street Girl

You, too, seek beauty. Past the unlovely smells,
The aching days, the sweet but tawdry nights,
Past all the impatient shoppers' shouts and fights
Past smirks and saucy words and titters, bells
Still ring for you in some fair land where dwells
Your gay young dream of interweaved delights.
The Prince still waits you there amid the lights
And festal music your desire compels.

And yet, each evening, must you still prepare
To meet him should he pass your homeward way;
But not with sophistry of painted lips,
Prim speech or step, only the unruly play
About your forehead of some wisp of hair,
Your happy laughter and your swinging hips.

Dark Voices

There's beauty in these voices. Do not base
Your judgment purely on the affrighted street,
The howling mob, the quarrel, or repeat
Your scathing strictures on the market place.
There's beauty always urgent in this race
That baffles bondage from its sure retreat
Of song and laughter. Loud and low and sweet
There's beauty :n these voices, by God's grace.

Detect two lovers underneath the stars,
Hear the lone worker as he works and sings,
The Christmas choirs whose joyous martial bars
Go forth to greet the new born King of Kings,
And, after this life's numerous frets and jars,
The friends who mourn the end of terrene things.



Turn sideways now and let them see
What loveliness escapes the schools,
Then turn again, and smile, and be
The perfect answer to those fools
Who always prate of Greecs and Rome,
"The face that launched a thousand ships,"
And such like things, but keep tight lips
For burnished beauty nearer home.
Turn in the sun, my love, my love!
What palm-like grace! What poise! I swear
I prize these dusky limbs above
My life. What laughing eyes! What
gleaming hair!



Long Mountain, rise,
Lift you' shoulder, blot the moon.
Black the stars, hide the skies,
Long Mountain, rise, lift .you' shoulder high.

Black of skin and white of gown
Black of night and candle light
White against the black of trees
And altar white against the gloom,
Black of mountain high up there
Long Mountain, rise,
Lift you' shoulder, blot the moon,
Black the stars, black the sky.

Africa among the trees
Asia with her mysteries
Weaving white in flowing gown
Black Long Mountain looking down


Sees the shepherd and his flock
Dance and sing and wisdom mock,
Danes and sing and falls away
All the civilised today
Dance and sing and fears let loose;
Here the ancient gods that choose
Man for victim, man for hate
Man for sacrifice to fate
Hate and fear and madness black
Dance before the altar white
Comes the circle closer still
Shepherd weave your pattern old
Africa among the trees
Asia with h-r mysteries.

Black of night and white of gown
Whit- of altar, black of trees
"Swing de circle wide again
Fall and cry me sister now
Let de spirit come again
Fling away de flesh an' bone
Let de spirit have a home".

Grunting low and in the dark
White of gown and circling dance
Gone to-day and all control
Now the dead are in control
Power of the past returns
Africa among the trees
Asia with her mysteries.

Black the stars, hide the sky
Lift you' shoulder, blot the moon.
Long Mountain rise.


A Beauty too of Twisted Trees

A BEAUTY too of twisted trees
The harsh insistence of the wind
Writes lines of loveliness within
The being of this tortured trunk.
I knew that some there are that spring
Ia effortless perfection still,
No beauty there cf twisted trees
Of broken branch and tortured trunk
And knotted root that thrusts its way
Impatient of the clinging clay.

John who leapt in the womb has fled
Into the desert to waken the dead,
His naked body broken and torn
Knows nothing now of Bethlehem's peace,
And wild of mood and fierce of face
He strives alone in that lonely place.
Ezekiel too saw the dry, bones live
The flames and smoke and conflict give
A lightning flash to the dead man's sight
And Moses smote the rock, no rock
In a weary cactus-land to mock
Hollow men stuffed with, straw, but a rock
That freely pours from its riven side
Water for those who else had died......

And hangs on a twisted tree
A broken body for those who see,
All the world, for those who see
Hangs its hope on a twisted tree.
And the broken branch and the tortured trunk
Are the stubborn evidence of growth
And record proud of strife, of life.

A beauty too of twisted trees.


The Impossible

You ask me just to be a little wise,
To half subdue the ardour in my eyes,
To find some unseen power that can restrain
The heated blood that rushes to my brain.

Ask then the wild wind on its furious course
To half subdue its mighty unspent force
And' ask the troubled sea that she no more
Will desh her waves against the placid shore.

Ask of the fire that blazes ever higher
Of its consuming appetite to tire,
And ask the sun that moves towards the west
To stay its cours-, subdue its heat and rest:

Ask on, your chiding is so sweet to me
I have no wish to ask for clemency.


Listen, little wild violet,
Your heart, beats wildly as mine,
Wh-n you hear the feet of your lover
Stop by the Celandine.

My lover he halts by the wayside,
He works' far away from the streams,
And has no time for my music
Or the magic of my dreams.

I'll bide with you, sweet violet,
And we'll banish our loves for aye,
For why should we dream of lovers
Who come not when it is May.


Where Death was Kind

Long had I thought
Of Death
And all his mysteries,
And then they told me
You were dead.

I had seen him
Sitting in the ante-room
Eager to b- summoned,
So when I heard
You had received him
I was silent.

I went to see you
Lying in death's embrace.
I was afraid -
I thought the sight
Would tear my heart
To pieces,
And my anger would rise
Against dlath the intruder.

But when I looked
Into your lovely face
And saw the sweet peace
That his kiss
Lad implanted,
I could not weep,
And I could not be angry.

Ah, sweet is death,
And kindly,
To those who suffer
Unbearable egony:
Sweet was death's kiss
Upon your lips -
Beloved ona
To whom
He gave Risa Peace,



And here among the holy hills
About the doors of God
Whose rapture down the evening, spills
A fleeting period,
Turning a bend of this green pass
Blessed to linger in,
Where the great mists deploy and mass,
We meet you, Magdalen,
Waiting to sell your young embrace,
The sacramental fire,
To any mercenary's face
And bargaining desire.
But, once the riches of your love,
Untarnished and unpriced,
Was balm upon and shade above
The pitying feet of Christ.

The Web

Parting my window to the light
That flooded up an April dawn,
0, I beheld a vision bright
Upon a bough, across a lawn-
A spider's jewelled filigree
Suspended twixtt, the sward and sky,
All perfect in its symmetry
To catch, to hold my raptured eye.
There, dew-bespangled from afar
So light-though burdened-every line,
I saw it, radiant as a star,
Unutterably frail and fine;
Like hanging rosaries untold
Of prayerful saints of long ago,
It flashed within a blaze of gold
Beneath the mounting orient glow.
I rossi and hurried out to win
A fuller view, a deeper bliss;
Faint iridescence woke within
Its filaments beneath the, kiss
Shimmered like jewels opaline
Such figured pattern neathh th s blue
Not lore of Euclid could define.


And in that palace intricate
The wondrous little architect.
Throned in the centre hld its state,
With what but awe could I reflect
Upon the matchless miracle
Of sunrise; and the tasselling dew
Wrought by this least of soulless things.
Here was the crown and pinnacle
Of Art-the web a spider flings.
Hersin was Beauty justified,
Out of the weak was strength ordained;
So in the common, glory, pride
And love are by her might sustained.
Fair web, what though the sun by noon
Had robbed your pearls, a vandal wind
Had torn away your splendour soon-
Forever you enmesh my mind.

King Solomon and Queen Balkis

And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon ....
she came to Jerusalem with a very great train
With camels that bare spices, and very much gold and
precious stones .... (1 Kings x. 1, 2.)

Welcome, great Balkis, with thy queenly train!
Enter the joyous City of a King
On this most glorious day of all my reign.
I saw thy pageant like a rainbow stain
Up from the desert's edge slow entering;
Welcome, great Balkis, with thy queenly train.
I smelt thy spices o'er the desert main
Wafted upon the south-wind's tropic wing,
On this most glorious day of all my reign.
Are stables for thy camels and courts twain
For eunuchs and thy brave slaves following.
Welcome, great Balkis, with thy queenly train!


O come, the eventide is on the wane
With western clouds thine advent rivalling
On this most glorious day of all my reign.

The high feast waits; thrice welcome, once again.
Glad minstrels will my people's greeting bring,
Welcome, great Balkis, with thy queenly train,
On this most glorious day of all my reign !


LEADER: Fling wide the City Gate to Sheba's Queen
Who comes in splendour from the wilderness !
CHORUS: A queenlier pomp hath Israel never seen.

LEADER: O glorious riot of her jewels' sheen !
Opals and rubies, diamonds, gold's excess.
CHORUS: Fling wide the City Gate to Sheba's Queen.

LEADER: Strange-sweet her perfume, and what peacocks preen
Magnificent before her stateliness !
CHORUS: A queenlier pomp hath Israel never seen.

LEADER: What ranging hills are these our walls between ?
Her camels, heaped with royal plenteousness.
CHORUS: Fling wide the City Gate to Sheba's Queen.

LEADER: Her crown is like full corn the daughters glean,
Her robe like vintage that our young men press.
CHORUS: A queenlier pomp hath Israel never seen.

LEADER: Pass where the King's embattled ranks convene,
And take the homage which their swords express!
CHORUS: Fling wide the City Gate to Sheba's Queen:
A queenlier pomp hath Israel never seen!
Hail, glorious King, whose fame hath travelled far!
Doubting, we braved the long, lone desert way,
To find a sun-burst where we dreamt a star!

Matchless in wisdom and all lores that are,
To whom fair lands their gathered tributes pay,
Hail, glorious King, whose fame hath travelled far.

Thrice hath the young moon hung its scimitar
Over the desert, since our starting-day
To find a sun-burst where we dreamt a star I


When sunsets gloried o'er the western bar,
Dreamed we thy royalty would be as they ? -
Hail, glorious King, whose fame hath travelled far.

So now we come to where thy splendours par
The peacock's most magnificent display -
To find a sun-burst where we dreamt a star.

The half had not been told; for words but mar
This loveliness no mortal tongue can say!
Hail, glorious King, whose fame hath travelled far
... To find a sunburst where we dreamt a star!

accompanied with Chorus of Attendant Maidens

QUEEN: Accept, O King, the gifts we bring to thee:
Of Ophir's gold a score of talents here.
CHORUS: Would they were worthier thy majesty !
QUEEN: Sardonyx, rubies, jade, chalcedony,
Jacinth and diamonds, emeralds without peer;
CHORUS: Accept, O King, the gifts we bring to thee.

QUEEN: Chrysolite, topaz, beryl, porphyry;
Ivory, spotted skins the leopard's gear;
CHORUS: Would they were worthier thy majesty !
QUEEN: Myrrh, attar, cassia, ambergris here be:
Frankincense, cinnamon, and spikenard dear.
CHORUS: Accept, O King, the gifts we bring to thee.
QUEEN: Lo, gorgeous peacocks, apes of mimicry,
Bales of soft purple for thy royal, wear;
CHORUS: Would they were worthier thy majesty.
QUEEN: Yea, take them with the homage of my knee,
O Very wise and Glorious, Worthy Seer !
CHORUS: Accept, O King, the gifts we bring to thee:
Would they were woithier thy majesty!

My soul is filled with rapture and amaze;
O for a thousand ears, a thousand eyes,
To hear of all thy wisdom, see thy ways !

White stones, gold, cedar-wood and silver raise
Thy palace, roofed like star-embedded skies.
My soul is filled with rapture and amaze.


Twice three-stepped is thine ivory throne whence gaze
Twice three gilt lions which insensate rise
To hear of all thy wisdom see thy ways.

Thy vessels are of Ophir's gold a blaze;
Thy victuals rare; thy servers skilled and wise.
My soul is filled with rapture and amaze.

Thy palace tower spies out the sun's first rays;
There would I muse with thee when evening dies,
To hear of all thy wisdom, see thy ways.

My lips are dumb with overwhelming praise,
At these the courts wherein thy greatness lies.
My soul is filled with rapture and amaze,
To hear of all thy wisdom, see thy ways!


Take we again the burning desert way,
After the shading palms, the living springs,
O pain today for joy was yesterday.

Now on the glory creeps the after-grey:
Unutterable loneliness it brings !
Take we again the burning desert way,

Seeking the Spring our going was swift, was gay;
Now ours are wounded, heavy, homing wings.
O pain today for joy was yesterday.

When beauty and all gorgeous display
Prove a mirage elusive, vanishings,
Take we again the burning desert way.
How sadly wise the words the King, did say,
That vanity are all sublunar things.
O pain today! for joy was yesterday.

O sorrow-bartered bliss that cannot stay,
Save in the heart's sad-sweet rememberings !
Take we again the 'burning desert way,
.... pain today! for joy was yesterday.


In Our Land

In our land,
Poppies do not spring
From atoms of young blood,
So gaudily where men have died:
In our land
Stiletto cane blades
Sink into our hearts,
And drink our blood.

In our land,,
Sin is not deep,
And bends before the truth,
Asking repentently for pardon:
In our land
The ugly stain
That blotted Eden garden
Is sunk deep only.

In our land
Storms do not strike
/or territory's fences,
Elbow room, nor breathing spaces:
In our land
fhe hurricane
Of clashes break our ranks
For tint of eye.

In our land
We do not breed
That taloned king, the eagle,
Nor make emblazonry of lions;
In our land,
The black birds
And the chickens of our mountains
Speak our dreams.



Who danced Saturday mornings
Between immortelle roots,
And played about his palate
The mellowness of cocoa beans.
Who felt the hint of the cool river,
In his blood,
The hint of the cool river
Chill and sweet.

Who followed curved shores
Between two seasons.
Who took stones in his hands
Stones white as milk.
Examining the island in his hands;
And shells,
Shells as pink as frog's eyes
From the sea.

Who saw the young corn sprout
With April rain.
Who measured the young meaning
By looking at the moon.
SAnd walked roads a footpath's width,
And calling,
Cooed with mountain doves
Come morning time.

Who breathed mango odour
From his polished cheek.
Who followed th- cus-cus weeders
In their rich performance.
Who heard the bamboo flute wailing
Fluting, wailing,
And watched the poui golden

Who with the climbing sinews
Climbed the palm
To where the wind plays most,
And saw a chasmed pilgrimage
Making agreement for his clean return.
Whose heaviness
Was heaviness of dreams,
From drowsy gifts.



To those
Who lifted into shape
The huge stones of the pyramid;
Who formed the Sphinx in the desert,
And bid it
Look down upon the centuries like yesterday;
Who walked lithely
On the banks of the Congo,
And heard the deep rolling moan
Of the Niger;
And morning and evening
Hit the brave trail of the forest
With the lion and the elephant;
To those
Who, when it came that they should leave
Their urns of History behind,
Left only with a sad song ih their hearts;
And burst forth into soulful singing
As bloody pains of toil
Strained like a hawser at their hearts......
To those, hail......

Little Black Boy

Sprightly little black boy
Playing by the shore,
Mild of eyes, and laughing
By the white surf's roar.

Hello, little black boy,
Heaping sand on sands;
What may you be doing
With so small dark hands?

Laughing little black boy,
Answer me will you?
"Building castles surely
As other boys do."

Ah, sweet little black boy
Playing by the shore,
As the ships are passing
Through the dark sea's door.


Sun is a Shapely Fire

Sun is a shapely fire turning in air
Fed by white springs
and earth's 'a powerless sun.

I have the sun today deep in my bones.
Sun's in my blood, light heaps beneath my skin.
Sun is a badge of power pouring in
A darkening star that rains its glory down.

The trees and I are cousins. Those tall trees
That tier their branches in the hollow sky
And, high up, hold small swaying hands ,of leaves
Up to divinity, their name for sun
And sometimes mine. We're cousins.

Sheet light, white power comes falling through the air,
- All the light here is equal-vertical -
Plays magic with green leaves and, touching, wakes
The small sweet springs of breathing scent and bloom
That break out on the boughs.
And sun has made
Civilisation flower from a river's mud
With his gossamer rays of steel.


These regions wear sharp shadows from deep suns.

The sun gives back her earth its ancient right
The gift of violence.

Life here is ringed with the half of the sun's wheel
And limbs and passions grow in leaps of power
Suddenly flowing up to touch the arc.

Upon this energy kin to the sun
To learn the trick of discipline and slow skill,
Squaring in towns upon an empty map
Hitching rivers to great water wheels,
Taming the fire to domesticity.



Sun is a shapely fire floating in air
Watched iby God's eye. The distance makes it cool
With the slow circling retinue of worlds
Hanging upon it.
Indifferently near
Move other stars with their attendant groups
Keeping and breaking pace in the afternoon
Till the enormous ballet music fades
And dies away.

Sun is a shapely fire
Turning in air
Sun's in my blood.

To a Lady Dead

These are the features-but the light gone out
In the unpeopled chambers of the eyes.

Root up the roses, let the myrtle rise,
Murmur the hoarse dirge and forget the shout.

There should be lovely lanthorns hung about
Her passing, but four candles now suffice
At head and feet,
and the swallowing darkness lies
Ready to leap when those four lights go out.

There are no words, no charts sent back, to guide
Through the new regions where the bodiless wing
Or if new substances and shapes they take,.

But I am sure as I were by her side
That now she does a glorious singing make
Standing new-dressed in light before the King.


Sea Music for Undine

Waters are blown chords
To her begetting of the sun.
In these drowned distances
The seabed's mountains are her islands
Her 'tween-tide harbours to dry her Trade wind hair.
These fabled waves once trespassed on her touch
And tangled weed within her legendary hair
But now her singing flutes the broken windbreath
And strews the flowing sea hollows
Frozen in a plunge of green cellophane.
Eve's wonder swam there in her paranymphal eyes.
To enter through those portals was to find
Eden again, like Adam
The trees marvellous by the eternal river
And the shade shaped for the dream of lovers
Drowned in each other's arms
But creation asleep in God before the beginning.
The grace that would burgeon into her soul
Lay awaiting the spasm of explosion
To mushroom
And people new universes with her particles.
No stranger passed those priestess pupils
No wanton union lay
With the body of her spirit
Caressing of its hands and limbs.
One was to live there, not take a room.
Come heart, see
Your dismayed schooners sigh their torn sails into bay water
These lawns of the lake after the buffeting sea.
Love runs a swift valley between dark hills.
And after
The taxing sands, banquet your harvest
Heart, from the warm hills made light with green.
Love's gathered grace breathes perfumes through the night.
Slake your huge hurt
Heal whole and brew no quarrel
Now you leap easy to Love's touch.
All the world's wells Love's selfsprings put to shame.


SIn the Dark

Darkness, to the high unclouded call of flutes
Paints thick pure velvet on the day and sows
Night's deep womb with a casual hand of stars.
Yet the coiled thought will slip a brooding Judas
Away from the lighted room and father a traitor.
But in each centre He has set His spark
His loved one-
Silent lovers when they lose identity
And lock in the sheath of the night, put on Godhead.
When the Eternal launched earth forth declaring,
"Let there be light" to the impregnate darkness.
From Everlasting Centre process seethed.
In that All-Eye the immense pupils swam
From idea into being island galaxies
In the bewildered unimaginable deeps
On a scale vaster than the wear of mountains
Or the huge deaths of suns that light their candles
Before His breath.

Darkness preludes the light
As Milton and Samson found
And both received their sight
Born of the anguished sound
When eyes imposed on the soul
The vision the body lost
And temporal things burnt whole
In a spiritual holocaust.
Their seeing soul swaxA out
Into light from the body's dark
As from hunting the hunter's shout
And out of the stone the spark........

Agony painting the night With pain,
Agony 'breaking the dark silences,
Agony shaking the silent darkness
As one shakes a spear,
Terrible agony.
Agony quickening and quivering in the darkness,
Hour after long-drawn-out hour.....
And then the far-flung lovely light,
The morning singing in a host of nightingales.....


Statues in living jet these women are
With skins so closely grained it holds the light
And looses it over the body in a glow
Dappling it with highlights.
Their glowed limbs
Are blooded and fleshed out in easy roundness
That Helen might have envied-the breasts strong,
Halves of the world pointing, the deep waist flowing out
Into great unabrupted curves of architecture
Around the hidden altars,
The generous laughing mouth, the deep-lunged nostrils
Rateably proportioned to the strength of the Sphinx
Towering over the desert........

Often at midnight
When the daughters of the moon are sleeping
I walk along your heart's cathedral archways
And touch the organ to a phantom music
And see the pillars of your heart tremble
With the waves of sound........

Novena's return
will' show that the centre is here.
Wherever circumference pitch
space spurn
or time reach
from the heart and the root
the centre is here.
O Mary,
how fallow thy soul
for eternity's fruit........ the dark sleeping........
the vegetable prayer of the seed
bearing the toll exacted
before time matches desire. the dark the seed........
the secret movements of its fingers
feeding within earth's bosom
silent beneath the arrows of sun.
Hushed the fruit that will forth
the farmer has scattered his future of rice
the ratoons are rooted
the winds of the heaven their tears. will weep
the Christ's in the womb the dark sleeping.....



I hold the splendid daylight in my hands
Inwardly grateful for a lovely day.
Thank you life.
Daylight like a fine fan spread from my hands
Daylight like scarlet poinsettia
Daylight like yellow cassia flowers
Daylight like clean water
Daylight like green cacti
Daylight like sea sparkling with white horses
Daylight like sun-strained blue sky
Daylight like tropic hills
Daylight like a sacrament in my hands.

History Makers

Women stone breakers
Hammers and rocks
Tired child makers
Haphazard frocks.
Strong thigh
Rigid head
Bent nigh
Hard white piles
Of stone
Under hot sky
In the gully bed.

No smiles
No sigh
No moan.

Women child bearers
Pregnant frocks
Wilful toil sharers
Destiny shapers
History makers
Hammers and rocks,



Why praise him lightly when he turns to die ?
Maybe the night is bright, his fiery court;
Maybe the darkness for a night of mourning.
New day: the sun's eternal sport
Watching the earth of life and death and sorrow.
Now he is dead. Is there for him tomorrow ?
His Earth which claims him for her own
Full knows the lover she has sown.

Measure him? His death is living,
Living for the land which knows no death:
He wears the silken day, the veils of night
His hands that hungered at your heart a time
Are now the trees and paths, his epitaphs.
The stars can tell with their sphinx eyes
He's Earth, her lover, and surmise.

A Cloud

A cloud that was the faintest breath
Within a time of gentian blue,
And telling more about the sky
Than any dreamer ever knew.

A cloud that was a thing of light
Which any wind would take from sight
Had everything transfigured there
Beyond the sky and everywhere.

A being that was full of grace,
Right through the blue and mixed with light
A cloud that would be lost at night,


Madonna and Child

Out of that mortal darkness flamed the cross.

It was not this the stranger prophesied
The star intended or the three old men
Kings of the east some said marking their state
Had by obeisance and rarest gifts
And worship in a strange unmusical tongue
Signified as the delivering light
When he as yet a babe beyond her teats
Knew nor cared nothing and no inkling shewed.
That was a strange beginning long ago
Too bright was promise in its glorious dawn
To bear a day as bitter as his birth
Broke open to her in the twisted light.

Now all was passing, world and light and time,
Into apocalypse with such a swirl
Of frenzied shapes and shrieks whose pain and joy
Burned indistinguishable one that horror bound
Her spirit numbly to it and compelled
The tribute of a pain surpassing all
But love as witness. And so summoning
The white inhuman ashes of her will
And with a countenance as cold and set
In preparation for the falling blow
As stone or metal she raised her head again.
Yet for her eyes were shut she saw more clear
Than at that hour sight was possible
Through tears and gathering darkness the white stark
And dreadful angularities his limbs
The human shape of pain had given but aid not see his peace.
For in his eyes was such a peace it seemed
He was a thoughtless little boy again
And wandered heavenwards up dusty roads,
Or caught shrimps: in the hill-streams with his mates,
Or went bird-nesting, or on a solemn start
Thanked God for Nazareth and his mother's home.

The white drawn mouth winced with its still-born cry.
Her head tilted defiance of the hurt.
She stood and waited by the wooden cross
Beyond appeal or hope, a graven wound,


Carved with such care and pain that could she keep
Intact and motionless though all the world
Break and come toppling downwards on her head
And all the firmament her birth and death were one
And the door open at last to understand.

The meaning. Yes, the meaning. Where the throne
So clearly promised? Where the golden throng?

Because she had been but a peasant girl
More used to do without and toil than dream
Of joy or glory she had distrusted all
Even the stranger who had been the first
To mention this with mouth and eyes aflame
In that still dusk of autumn by the well.

So when he came she watched him narrowly.
Where had she missed or failed to understand?
That evening she appeared between two men
After he had been three days lost with John
Whose death in prison had been such a blow
Unto them all, lost in Jerusalem
Had she not spoken kindly out of love
And thankfulness for his return unharmed?

But could love be enough? When she had asked
Perhaps a little plaintively that he admit
His truancy and negligence had been unkind
To her and a grave breach of faith, promising
To forgive and forget all, he had said,
"I was about my Heavenly Father's business".

Then first she knew, yet knew not what she knew
"My Heavenly Father's Business". As he grew
Further and further from her, quite beyond
The place where speech had meaning or touch flowed
Even at work together in one room
Nothing remained for her but love and pain,
Such love, there was no movement free from pain,
Such pain, it was the soil and birth of love.
How could there be acceptance? Day on day
Like prophets of inevitable doom
Burst with a storm of darkness on her world
And full of instance made the silence peal
With his rejection and all light terrible
With apocalytic vision of the end.

"My Heavenly Father's business". Still she watched
Hopeful of the winged hosts descending to set right
Her days again and give her back her son
Counselling carefulness and fearing too


The time when he would rise and snap the last
Invisible associations of her love
Like threads and go with his unfaltering steps to meet
Out in the darkness that unknown thing she feared
And leave a crown of thorns for memories.
Where was the understanding? He was wise
And he had said when she had asked for peace
And pleaded that among the Pharisees
He could sufficiently perform and teach
The love and good he longed to give to all,
"Be in peace
The peace that passeth understanding
Make that thine".

And so one morning when he answered not
She came and found his straw upon the floor
Cold and the goatskin untouched. Martha said
"Jesus has gone into the wilderness".
Since first she knew that prayer had not ceased.
"Oh God Almighty Give me back my child
Take this cup from me. Thou hast many sons
Oh Father Father Give me back my light".
This was a land where rumour like the wind
Bathing the cedars swept the villages
With a great mounting tide of mood and dream
Disabling the judgment of all fact.
And so the news came in blue rolling waves
That surged up suddenly and rushed and broke
Upon her cliffs and thundered till the deep
Swallowed the echoing heavens in their wake
And gave all calm the unreal sense of trance.
Capernaum. Gadara, wave and wave
Wrothfully surging from an unknown world
And Galilee and Bethphage and the names
Each name a new wound the names of all his friends.
Was not her love sufficient? Still she hoped
For peace or glory and unceasing prayer
"O God Almighty, Give me back my Son".
Then Martha said that he was coming down
For the Passover at Jerusalem.
There was no need to say more for she knew
Even beside the cross the memory of that
First moment of the foreknown light
Terribly blazing with ecstatic death
Wrung from her cold white lips one last fierce cry
"O Father Father thou hast many sons
But he is all my peace. Give back my child".


One of his friends called John who stood close by
Moved out of pity at the sudden shriek
Drew near and saw how tear flowed past on tear
Under her eyelids down the wrinkled cheeks
And whispered broken comfort to a wound
Carved with such pain and care that could she keep
Intact and motionless though all the world
Broke and came toppling downwards on her head
And all the firmament, her birth and death were one.
And as he whispered she was overcome
With tiredness and turned and leaned on John.
And shut the door of understanding fast.
For in that hour Jesus raised his eyes
And saw them both and spake clear as a bell
"Son, behold thy Mother;
Woman, behold thy Son".

Mellow Oboe

The wind breathes a mellow oboe in my ear
I from the seas of life
Have filled my cup with foam.
The tension of Time's waves has broken on
These cliffs
The menace is resolved in foam.
O beautiful
0 beautiful
The cruelty.
Soon the suave night's surrender
And the mass music of the dark
Falls fragment into foam.
To apprehend the foam the waves declared
And drink the milk pure from the farm of Time.
Nebular and luminous
The stars the peaks achieve
Found foam of peaks and stars.
So bracket the stars with bubble
Fill baskets of whife berries from the sea
All is a rich donation
The waves are lines of epic
The sea a deep quotation
The foam the complete poem.
I hear the sea's halfTbreath half-moan
Sweep in fugues through me
And the wind breathes an oboe in my ear.



God made sheep in the early morning.
In his hands he caught the clusters
Of the fleecy clouds of dawning
And tied them in bunches
And fastened their feet and their noses
With wet brown clay
And into their eyes he dropped
With reeds from a nearby river
The light of the dying morning star
And the light of the dying moon.

And then on that creation morning
When the sun had flooded the peaks and plains
And the dew lay thick on the rushes
Man saw sheep on the grazing grass
And heard the sadness of their bleating.


The hills are like great waves of music
But of a still and soundless music:
The hills are silences.
Dark silences on moonless nights
Silver silences on moon-nights:
The hills are pure silences
Seen from other silences.

The hills are the great silences
That follow when the clear ripples
Of bird-song and bird-flute
Have ringed away in that blue and greatest
of all silences.



I dance upon the brink of day
And try to keep the night away.
I stand between the dark and light
And ere the sun dives out of sight
I borrow from his flaming rays
The splendour of a million days.
The rainbow in my hand I hold-
Vermillion, russet, orange, gold!
I strive to light the darkening sky;
The day, I say, it shall not die!
For who has seen the night so gay
He would not change it for the day?
And though I lose th'uneven fight,
I fill the inky sky with light.

But countless eyes at night must play
Where only one had ruled the day.

To a' dead Sill Cotton Tree

Your little tongues once whispered in the breeze
And sang sweet music in the traveller's ear.
Soft silken parachutes, like swarming bees
Once bore your children from your arms. The air'
With gentle fingers planted armies to
Your glory.

Tell me, now that death has shorn
Your tresses, kissed you 'til your giant limbs
Stiffened into spectral resignation,
What are your though? Your strong brown roots still drink
The waters of the Essequibo: still
Erect you hold your pboud and massive trunk.
Death, with its leprous touch, could not destroy
Your noble form. But now yoir lips are sealed;
No more I hear the music of your voice.......
What are your thoughts, I ask, what are your thoughts?


Low is the Wind

Low is the wind upon your English moors;
Dark is your city with its midnight sleep;
And I unbraced must wander out-of-doors
Walking your highways where the snow lies deep.
For when the darkness falls I needs must keep
A rendezvous with my most treasured things;
And in your solitudes I fain would weep
At memories the silvery silence brings

Of bamboo groves and waving sugar cane -
Savannahs stretching wide to distant hills -
Blue droning reefs, and misty summer rain -
Picados' blossom-strewn, nd forest rills;

But most of all, the yearning, waiting plea
On faces brown beside a tropic sea.

Dawn is a Fisherman

Dawn is a fisherman, his harpoon of light
Poised for a throw-so swiftly morning comes:
The darkness squats upon the sleeping land
Like a flung cast-net, and the black shapes of boats
Lie hunched like nesting turtles
On the flat calm of the sea.

Among the trees the houses peep at the stars
Blinking farewell, and half-awakened birds
Hurtle across the vista, some in the distance
Giving their voice self-criticised auditions.

Warning comes from the cocks, their necks distended
Like city trumpeters: and suddenly
Between the straggling fences of grey cloud
The sun, a barefoot boy, strides briskly up
The cunved beach of the sky, flinging his greetings
Warmly in all directions, laughingly saying
Up, up, the day is here! Another day is here



Music a kind of sleep
imposes on this weary flesh
wind beyond silence
speech of the God who ordered
trees flowering of dark earth
light, essence of darkness

Lucifer massed
in arrogant disorder all about
pale quiet strength of stellar presence
hears in a wonderful dread
music a calm
persistent tread
above the wild torment of nameless waters.

Jacob and the Angel

And shall a man
mortal though the mind
covets eternity seek only
this seek only to endure
whether failings of breath and bone
corruption of flesh and faith?

Too thin too thin the wind
of consolation here
the outer edge of prayer
the unexorcised inexorcisable knife
selfknowledge is closer to distant stars
whose stare is lonely and unexplained
solemn and keen and unwinking like regret

than to old Earth estranged now
a pillow of cold stone.



Green this masculine head
like leaves;
the world slowly tumbles
shadow of other crucifixions
upon domestic beauty
as if to ask an intimate question of a poodle:
but certainly it is meaningless to ask. Since his pale face
is frozen
is washed like eternal pavements
where the sun endures anguish
and the substantial human shadow gasps.
Hieroglyphics on solitary roadways of the brain
are separate flesh
:hat fold over the enormous wings
of a fevered heart. The important marionette
is death mask:
whose failure to live
is the obscure power of life
seeking the vast clouds to moor space:

his footsteps are void and echo-less
save in blooms of pain
they echo the assault of mechanical tragedy:

the stars are icicles of music to disturb the last
echo of his dreams insensibly
like monotone above streets: whether spring or ebb
pain still follows him in aeroplanes

and innocent voices well from summer
into the heartless rivers of his night
where he drowns to banish fear
slowly swimming in secretive waters of light.

Cloaks of cold darkness he wears
when slowly he emerges to brush the moon
like a raindrop from the sky which is his room
and to imagine the fiery lights would star forever
and his release be a cool decision to halt forever
deep beyond the motes in his heart's unsleeping eye
and in the frenzy of his silhouetted mind
Vainly faces the unearthly chimney stacks crucified
in hell's night sky
and lingers now to spy the impossible station
of the eternal.


Other Limensions

What flowering anguish contrives to divorce
frail intimacies, what slow stars to drift between flesh and spirit?

passionate persistence and the huge pole of darkness
is the uneasy separation of sheep
Spasturing under a long hope of heaven.

Space besieges the individual, maelstrom of an urgent
time and protection restores the wreck of eternity
red like a flower and bright
yet gnarled like limbs of desert
into what is intangible
Sand what is original.

Imprecise and frail, yet stalwart
the image of beauty is the torture and mechanism
of the soul. The needle of pain
records voices:
since moving secretly behind time's bars is passion,
glittering with an intent preamble like echoing steps
of sightless speech. Solitary and immune passes
as it were on the deck of space,
gathers a secret momentum beyond terror
and beyond pain. The interior certainty or the indefatigable author
of identity
has no border line in space
but torn between substance and fury is a huge presence trimmed
by incessant machines like the sea.
Violent distortions and surfs of deeper worlds
Release groping steps, the sediment of interior
and exterior fantasy, the reconciliation of space
and anonymity. This world is a trough of memory,
. is covered by spray of the imagination, heeding
perception and trembling on the verge of time
like disparate and sordid refuse
and marble voices in conglomeration. Momentous
gulf that affords sounding and other dimensions
is buried between shafts of the human
temple, the inner subsidence of each wave
Like a butterfly's wing in space. The cruelty that is flying in time
Only a breaking sea. And the pasture of pleasure or pain
only frail boulders of compassion momentarily lingering
to vanish or increase.


Night's end and bird song. Bright birds,
All through the morn from the child's waking hour,
From perches high in, with cascades of chords,
Drenched the leafy dew-starred hair of trees.
When the gradual, vivid dawn was done
The filigree of dew drops disappeared,
Bird song of the past was blurred
And fumbling the hairless trees
Came time's haze of dust-laden years
Which makes future and past so vague;
And also came the fear that stunned
The fear that I'd grown into stone.
But to-day, bright thoughts have scoured the brain
And I try for the happy words
To express my hope, large as the sun,
That violent as the poui
Which explodes into flowers when earth is cast iron
I shall rend my veil of fears
And burst into song with the radiant tongue
Of the birds, in the trees, in the dawn.

The Unreturning
Chiseled from the marble of memory
Of the unreturning rapture of youthful days
But impalpable and indistinct
As shadows in a legend of moonlight
The image of an early lover appears
And from the old crone's lips cries drip:
"Time was he was my lover.
I found him all fire, fire that burned
Through the flesh to the core of my 'being,
But he spoke in strange idiom
Of roses wrought in flame
And of insidious sunshine
That soon would kiss each rose
Into perpetual darkness,
And I, through pride, pretended perception.
O wherefore ,was I proud and why
Did they, the ancient women and anxious men
Who through his veins ran frantic,
Why did they hate me thus who now,
A monument of antique bone,
Grown cold and by my lover beguiled,
Wail through the intimate dark
Though stone-deaf ears hear not my cries ?"


Lost, 0 Lost

On the tip of the tongue of the wind returning
The lover, accosted by fear but loath to betray
Himself to the tides of love, to the frenzied sway
He had sailed dumb seas of lust without discerning,

Tried to dislodge the inveterate yearning
From the core of his heart and knew dismay
For words left unsaid when he sailed away
On the hills of memory were like beacons burning.

Whenever if ever his ride be over
And he comes to the shore with the rising tide
On the crest of love he so long denied,
Though the burn in his blood may not move her

Nor mute the wailing waters, words shall discover
The hole in his heart by love drifted wide
O may the fact of love be justified
Whenever if ever his ride be over.


Day Before Ash Wednesday

There is a bee
this morning
feeding on the pollen
of my breast
as the sun
with professional touch
brings colour to the limbs
a warm flood to the warm blood.

Pain is
in the clenched heart:
for this day is gay
and warm with music-weather
and air-rhyme.


There is a heat
in my temples
and in the stream
of mad pounding
my pulse leaps
with its message
to the waiting lips.

The limbs take
power and triumph
from the beating hands
and the bands
of trivial maids
tie their modesty in a fling.

No more here
the pull of gravity
but the soul steeped
in the stimulant
of a tune.

And after all
the wine and wandering
through hectic streets
and sun
night comes
and the moon sheds
grains of silver
from the sheaves
in the clouds.

And on the seashore
the artistic waves
ply their brushwork
on the sands
and memory nods
to wake on the shoulder
of Ash Wednesday.


Canes by the Roadside

Time was
you tossed in a delirium
of whispers near the roadside:
now your last whisper
is a treasury of lost sound

Months ago
you were a handful
-f green ribbons teasing the wind:
now dead strips tell
where the colour and the sparkle go.

In the cycle
of things you will submit
to the tyranny of shining teeth
and the remorseless murmur of the mill
and all your once-green pride will not console a bit.

Heaped up
in your pyre ready for
the yearly sacrifices to power
you lie robbed of the majesty
of your plotted earth
bared of the eagerness .of your dream.

Sea Bird

Scrawling a signature across
The map of the sky you fly
With the grace
Of a warm memory
Touched with the scalpel of time past.
In the mosaic of the clouds
At sunset you fold proud
Wings to lie
Upon the palpitation of the waves
Leaving behind a tender trace
Of your lightness on the sand
For the careless sea to trod
On and erase.


Or in powered dives
With taut limpness down
The shafts of air your limbs
Sink in a sharp plunge
To the rocky ground.
Or rising from the catacombs
In an equipoise of wonderful
Propulsion your arms
Climb the tiers of the air
With an upward roll.
Your nest left huddled
In the ear of a rock
Mid the blast and wrack
Of fretful billows
Clamouring to be heard
You ride into the silence of the sky.

And far below you
As you soar
I envy your freedom
From the tug of time
Your glory
In the welfare of the air.



Fling me the wind
I am the winged seedling
Ripe for resurrection
From the tree's old season
Burst is my pod of dreams
I have a hundred breaths to brandish
Cracked my seedbox
Mature the pink fibred pinions
And the proud buoyant blades
Greened into manhood
Thinking of their career in the clouds....
Seed in the wind
Reckless speck of quick dust rollicking
I have lived in a thousand flowered seasons
When nature makes her bargains in regeneration
I have seen yellowing in gardens
A thousand little contracts with soil and sun
And God's green investments maturing on the hills.


At night
I have watched the waves foaming like wine
As the river touched glasses with the sea
And I too have been witness at
The marriage of moon and waters
With under the cape cadenzas in coral
And northward
Five wise stars trimming their lamps
But here always in this warm soil of our air
I have kept waiting for the moon to grow roots
And wondered what sickle honours the upper
Harvest of the stars ....

Seed of light
Freckling the clear-skinned sea
Into dawn's early complexions
My valley drunk
With the yellow rum of the sun
Sky in a red shivers
Ocean foaming at the mouth
Sower sun
Walking the ploughed eternal day
Scattering timefuls of frenzy

Time does not age
For God and the sun are of one seed
And faith does not look twice
Into the eyes of time for recognition
For God and time and faith are of one seed
And I learning in this season
How the soul of the leaf feeds only where
The roots feed
Have known that the prime cellars of the brain
Are one with beyond where are smokeless fires
Brewing gallons of rock and a black hoarded time
Reeling like an intense deed
Convict in the hot central cell
But the cell is God
And the egg of the brain breeds green universes
Keener than the burst pod
Prosperous in the wind's encouragement
And as sure as the ripe time rising from the soil's altar
Will find faith reaped pure
As prayer in the clasped hand,


My Love are you Strong

My love, are you strong?
I will bring my life to you like a bundle of washing;
And all they say is my soul
I will bring
Like washing to your sweet rivers.
And will you say this?
Will you say,
Drink deeply
Sink deeply
Dream deeply of cleansing
In the rivers' bones...

My love, are you strong?
I will bring my sins to you,
On the breast of your rivers, like stones
I will bring my sins
Prayerful to be swept along and away
And will you say this?
Will you say,
Sigh sweetly
Die gently
Dream deeply of cleansing
In the rivers' bones........

Love Story

We looked at the moon together,
Big and wise there,
We looked at our hearts together
Fused in our eyes there
The moon is an eye upon all things.
Love is strong beyond all things,

Beyond the life, the death-life,
The biogenesis of all things.
Now I look at the moonless night
Wondering if somewhere beyond.
This cold meaningless night
Is an eye upon all shattered eyes.

For love and life and the moon can be broken beyond all things.


1 ..

Shyly a little
because your innocence is still
innocent of itself,
and you have not
learned your modesty by heart,
my thoughts' embraces
of your soul
end every searching their sadness:
but since
sighs are not fulfilled
in their own due longing,
and hope remains mercy
only until the warm
love of its deception
waltzes over the edge of
our one lost moment,
my searching is forever
and so be your innocence.


Stranger Beware

What is faith and what is faithless?
Stranger, you who hold his lover
In the neighbour island yonder
Lightly turn and fondly ask her.
Lightly turn and fondly ask her
Of the years she shed away,
That she count them to your hand
Out of her dark heart day by day.
That she count them one by one
As the hoarder counts his treasure
Gem by gem and coin by coin,
Measure after precious measure.
If on one coin you see an image
Black as a Tartar, sad as Caesar,
Give it back unto the giver,
What is Caesar's leave for Caesar.
All she is is his alone
Whose dark image her day bears,
In whose heart her every feature
Gleams more sad and bright than tears.

All of her so light and faithless,
All she is is his soul's own,
All her odd and doubtful beauty,
Every turn of mind and bone.

And his loss is given you
In the moons of her desires,
In the feast of the soft kisses,
In the ecstasy of fires.
Stranger, beware lest the brown witch
Break the spell and break the mirror
And begone and leave you leaning
On the echo of her laughter;
On the witchery of her graces
That are gone into the bone;
Oh, beware lest she shall leave you
Lost to her legend, turned to stone.

The Flowering Rock

Neath dooryard trees in burning noons
Our peasant women nurse our sons
Whose cradle is a song, as in our valley
The stream water croons
Cool rhythms to the stones.
No graph records our thoughts unspoken;
No more can break hearts that are broken.
We sieve our sorrows from our soul of tears
That trickle in night's silence,
Our voices bear grief's cadence.
From a black rock, like sanctity,
The lily proffers purity;
Is earth's clear essence all too pure for fragrance,
The distilled thought of stone,
The singing skeleton.

Our emblem blossoms in the slum;
The hungry boy who shall become
The little island hero. He breeds recurrent
From our fecund womb,
Our parturient loam.

Night draws her shadows from these shores.
Day comes my darling. Our thoughts like sunflowers
Turn toward the dawning. Light, rose and red
And gold tinges horizons.
Hope sings her orisons.



He plucked a burning stylus from the sun
And wrote her name across the endless skies
And wrote her name upon the waxing moon
And wrote her name among the thronging stars.

If the pale moon forgets he will remember.
Lovers remember though love's ghost sigh in the sun
Or whimper in despair in the large dark.

The seas are sorrows
And the seas accept the moon's dark tragedies.
The seas reflect the yearning of the stars.
His heart is weary as the endless seas.

His soul is wearier than the flowing wave.
O dark tide of no hope,
O blood of tears still sings the sun.
No cloud can blind the memory of the moon
Or blot the legend from the ageless stars.


Over Here

Over here where our islands
Puncture the leaden sea into a chain,
And our wish inconstant like the pilloried
Sun fatigued by the clouds, here where pain
Is narcotic, blunt and dull, frenzied
We have hoped.

Not for the nurturing of a million
Varied wish or the relish of a lotus
Pleasure; not for the temporary brazen
Triumph the coin has taught or the sick
Culture which understands only the voice
Of duped builders.

Rather the ubiquitous call of the river
For the salt panting of the sea, rather
The proud turn of the leaf's neck
For the hot kiss of the sun and the weak
Reach of the hand for the strong grasp
Of the comrade.


For here we have loved
The wet mud clinging the hoemen's feet.
Here in the soil our blood is green and
In our wine the vine is parched with the
Heat of oui hope; yet untamed is the spark
Of desire, strong in young strength.

Time reaches for the harp
Of history, and in the east dawn brings
Her dower of light and flings it to her
Husband day; glance in the west, the golden
Egg will break into a myriad suns and people
Our horizon.

Look at the land, the psalms,
Singing for our sons beyond the fever of the years;
Look at the trees, the prayers,
Curtesying before the sacred scribbling of the wind,
And the clouds, the white precipitate of the sky
Like incense on the altar.

Time O My Testator

O time O my testator,
I cannot forge the diamond centre
Of my thanks.
The hammer tongue is blunt
I cannot cast
Upon the stubborn anvil
Of the iron will
But accept this rag
This shred of gratitude for Genesis.

For skyscape and skymarks
And continents of clouds
And the wind that washes against them,
The geography of the sky.
This my legacy my cheque from the womb;
To be at the centre
Where everywhere the centre is guest of the lonely sun
Chained to the clock
To watch day convalesce at dawn.

Let me love night
And her eternal rosary of stars pulled by the
Praying wind


Let me lie betwixt the crucifix of time and eternity
And be the rivet.
Garner the light that drips out of the morning
In the unbridling hour,
-Take a hand when the year shuffles the suit of the seasons
And await the deal.

For mine is the democratic sun and its twelve chapters
Of light and deed of day
The lightning sea flashing in sunlight
And the sunset
A liquid ruby, a smouldering cup of wine
The heritage of waters
That from the source where everywhere is sourceless
Rise in the heart.

Letter for a Friend

It is not always dark
Often I have seen day with dawn
Like a rag dusting out the night
And the stars retreat into the deep sky;
Seen the houses come out of hiding
And the day awake, shake itself,
Resume its business.

It is not always dark.

This letter is emotions overdue
But I must let you know
That I call sorrow synonym
For joy confuse pain and pleasure
Nickname love necessity.

So when uncertainties ago the season
Was fitful I prayed that He would
Jamaica us, and when fears ago we
Daemocles and Soufriere hung a threat
He did not spill us as I had hoped
So that love could come like a thief
And circumstance chisel friendship out of ashes.

So burn no holes in your cheek
With tears my friend
The dead are more secure than we
Past the spite in the sun and the farcical smile


The habit of living and the dry jest in the
Cracking wind; for earthquakes do not shake
Them though the earth cracks
But we crack at each tumble of the sky.

Resuscitation begins in the dark
And out of the night the light is begot;
Eternity is the stretch
And time the boundary stone.
But on the edge of the heart
Wisdom is weak.
And I too have paid my bill for sorrow
Cashed my share of tears
Known the currency of the salt cheek
And learnt that grief is no miser.


Looking at your Hands

I will not still my voice!
I have
too much to claim-
if you see me
looking at books
or coming to your house
or walking in the sun
know that I look for fire!

I have learnt
from books dear friend
of men dreaming and living
and hungering in a room without a light
who could not die since death was far too poor
who did not sleep to dream, but dreamed to change the world

and so
if you see me
looking at your hands
listening when you speak
marching in your ranks
you must know
I do not sleep to dream, but dream to change the world.


Death of a Slave

Above green cane arrow
is blue sky-
beneath green arrow
is brown earth-
dark is the shroud of slavery
over the river
over the forest
over the field.

Aie! black is skin
Aie! red is heart
as round it looks
over the world
over the Forest
over the sun.

in the dark earth
in cold dark earth
time plants the seeds of anger

this is another world
but above is same blue sky
same sun-
below is same deep heart of agony.

cane field is green dark green
green with life of its own
heart of slave is red deep red
red with life of its own.

day passes like long whip
over the back of slave
day is burning whip
biting the neck of slave.

but sun falls down like old man
beyond the dim line of the River
and white birds
come flying, flying, flapping at the wind
white birds like dreams come settling down.


night comes from down river
like thief -
night comes from deep forest
in a boat of silence-
dark is the shroud
the shroud of night
over the river
over the Forest
over the Field.

slave staggers and falls
face is on earth
drum is silent
silent like night
hollow like boat
between the tides of sorrow.

in the dark floor
in the cold dark earth
time plants the seeds of anger.



Island hiding in the haze there,
Ripple population,
Shades of light and colour,
Dip and splash of quick oar,
And the fast foam-fever
Trembling in a harbour,
Find a lodging in a moment's breath.

The crisp wisp, of slender smoke too,
Climbing from the funnel
Of a ship idle there,
Up-penciling the air
Until it wears aloft
To fading like the soft
Dreamings that are always found with us.

And that ship strangled on the beach
Drying at each sun-pour
Or rotting in the wet
Of broken wave and fete
Of foam is fortunate
In its unsensing state
While we recover for more whippings.


"Ubi Gentium"

After the flood, lightning,
And no dove, no olive leaf.
The raven of despair goeth forth without returning.
After blood, after the march,
Sacrifice and the burnt offering, yet where is Moses?

Lost in the mist, gone,
Lost in the cloud on the mount.
Let us break from our faith, build us a calf to lead us on.
Here is no hope now,
Here are all bleak faces,
Here all dreams are cracked in the ground under the sun,
Here all heart runs purple in rivers under the rain.
But we have found out
All about mirages,
And in our seasons of drear no flash could fake us;
In our deserts of wandering, we expect no pools.

And this one who dared.
Who dared hope, suffers now,
Utters his last wish fainting, -the Columbus cry:
"Give me my men but three days, give me time my masters".
.... Wait! There are birds now bearing
The tall-tale bush, and on the sea
The token, the bough floating
And fresh-green.

Under the wet of waiting
May be ground, may be Ararat;
And some wait, not with knowing
But despair.
Just beyond our trust, beyond
The edge of the dwindling acre
May be land, may be the fat land.
Few have faith.

Only time now while we wait on the wind
To find what only the sun and the wave
Knew and whispered about,
After doubt and drifting
Had broken our hearts.



By no other name are these
The imperturbable birds more beautiful,
No likelier image for the summer's curl
Of white light caught from the sea's
Arterial cells; or the moon's wry
Face carved on the curved aristocratic sky.

Sailing the solitude of their customary waters
Dark and dimpled, in the windy morning,
Instinct prompts a ritual of preening
The rude arrangement of their feathers,
And leaping with the leaping light of dawn
They crown the river with a white perfection.

Later the circus arrives
With its ready-made apparatus of pleasures,
Dogs and women and the dutiful masters
Of small boats swimming their lives
Through charted areas of water
And chuckled warnings of the wind's laughter.

The birds thoughtful, decorous, austere,
Retreat to a far side of the river,
Their eyes held in a puzzled stare
Measure their recently arrived spectator.
Some cluster to a deep deliberation
Or ponder in amazement their own reflection.

Leisurely the evening ambles,
Through the stained air, on torn leaves,
Over the lame, dry grasses.
Sadly, silently the late light falls,
And the waving curl of water dies
Where the winged white quietude at anchor lies.

Now blank desertion fills the senses,
Over the howling city
Louder than the cry of industry,
The moon sheds a contagion of madness,
And water fills the eyes of the visitor
Entering the legend of this historic river.


Birthday Poem for Clifford Sealy

Today I would remember you whom birth brought no lucky dip
From which to pluck a permanent privilege,
And pain pushed prematurely into prose.
The photograph that recreates a child whose glance
Cast on the rescuing rock reads tyranny
His body bare to the bellowing wind
Has proved your former existence,
So when the season of awareness came
Passion made politics a serious game
And poverty your partner. How well I understood
The intolerant gesture, the juvenile lust to murder
An evil that had forged your life.

My birth records a similar story:
The freezing bastardy, the huddled tenantry,
Where children carry parents' pains like a uniform
Articulate only in their loyalty to life,
The individual desire or despair mocking most faithfully
Barometers that measure another's will
And happiness as time indeed has shown
Absolved by the evil, intelligent question:
Was that piece of land a paying concern?

Those who start life without a beginning
Must always recall their crumbling foundations,
Rushing past affliction of the womb's unfortunate opening,
Reconsider now and again their earliest ambitions,
Or poised somewhere between loss and a possible arrival
Question their precarious present portion
What new fevers arise to reverse the crawl
Our islands made towards their spiritual extinction?
Do you still patrol the city's unsavoury sites
Probing the prostitutes' hearts? Setting your intelligence
An exercise in pity as the warm nights
Drift their human flotsam before your questioning glance ?

Nothing is changed in the news that reaches me here:
Papers continue to print the impossible, and rumours telegraph
Whatever falls within the senses' gauge,
Young poets are decorated with foreign approval
For precocious statements in a borrowed language,
Fashionable women whom comfort couldn't bless with sense
Still flock to applaud lectures by men


Who've a soft spot for the sound of their voices,
Corruption is keen: time throbs
With the ache of the proud and the sensitive like you
Who angrily wade through the vacuum
Forever afloat with oily seas,
While politicians posing incredible paunches
Parading their magical and primitive power
Fit the incompetent into jobs.

Life is similar in (what some call) the Mother Country
Where our people wear professions like a hat
That cannot prove what the head contains,
Success knows what grimace to assume,
Mediocrity is informed by a bright sense of bluff,
And Democracy a convenient attitude for many.
Students whom the huge city has shorn of glamour
Divorced from their status by a defect of colour
Find consolation in Saturday nights
With eloquent white whores that dance;
Or at nightfall over their new habit of tea
Argue with an elephant's lack of intelligence
Our culture must be spelt with a West Indian C.

We must suffer in patience whom life received
On islands cramped with disease no economy can cure,
Go with or without our lovers to the quiet shore
Where the reticent water weaves its pattern
And crabs crawl with a peculiar contemplation of the land,
Move through the multitude's monotonous cry
For freedom and politics at the price of blood,
Yet live every moment in the soul's devouring flame,
Until we fold with the folding earth,
Erect our final farewell in tree or cloud.
Hoping (if possible) for a people's new birth.

So you who care little for festival,
The seasonal sports, the carnival
Of barren souls in the February noon,
Preferring to inhabit your room, hoping to lean
On some durable solace in pages that justify
Your honest but innocent worship of the Russian regime
May not question why your exiled friend,
Seldom at ease in the habits of his time,
Never understanding why people pretend
To manufacture good wishes at certain times of the year,
Should yet try sincerely to offer you
A gift in words on your birthday.


The Yellow Cemetery

"They are alive and well somewhere
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end
to arrest it."
Walt Whitman.
All grains are the ash to ashes drowsing in the morning,
Wearing white stone. I passed them, not thankfuller to be
Their living witness, not noisy in salt like the near sea,
Because they are spaded to the dirt, our drowning.
As lovely as the living, and safer, to the bay's green mourners
They will unkeening bones, and they are happy.
Lost the candle and censer mysterytale, the swung smoke
of adorners
Of dying. Could they speak more than ,bramble, they'd be
One in the language of the sun and the bibleling froth.
Their now !bread is broken stone, their w:ne the absent blood
They gave to days of nails.
It is enough
And greater is no grace, no surplice more serviceable than
the lap and hood
Of the seasons that grew them, and now mother them to sleep.
And you alive, speak not of the unlucky dead, the sunless
eyes rotten
Under downs and saddles in a kingdom of worms.
Speak of the luckless living, that are gnawed by a misbegotten
Moon and memory;
It is a blessing past bounds, to miss the dooms
Of the vertical fathom, at each suncrow
To know no anguish, cool in clothstones that flow,
The sleep in the bone, all weathers.
But we, each
Flapping boast of the crowing sun, turn in our linen graves,
Face stale mornings, old faces, but these dead on the beach
Are joyed at the dawn's blood skyed on their dearth of days.
We cocky populations fouling the fallow plans of heaven,
Shall find perfection in a cemetery under a hill.
For we have suffered so long, that death shall make all even,
There shall the love grow again that once we would kill.
This is no place for the cater of herbs and honey, for beads,
Here are water, crops, seabirds, and yet here do not ibe brave,
Seek no fames, and do not too often pray to keep alive,
Against the brittle wick of wishes the wind in the clock strives
And wins. Was not your father such?

Gay in the burning faith of himself, but melted to forgetting ?
Thank time for joys, but be not thankful overmuch,
The sun a clot of the wounded sky is setting.
Delve no heart in the sound of your soul, a man's speech burn
And is over ; the tears melt, colden and stales the tallow.
And the story of your ash to ashes breath that the wind learns,
The bushes from your eyes will tell in a deeper yellow.
And there at sea, under the wave,
The sea-dead, the legendary brave,
Under the windmaned horses of the sea
Float the bulged trampled dead, nudged by whales;
Their wicks windkilled too, by salty gales,
And they were so braver, less alarmed than we.
For we want to run, who do not want to drown where
There is no angel or angelus or another's helphand;
But they too ride easy and the nunnery of brown hair
Of the white girl of walls, shall be no more in the pardoner sanm
Black man's denial. Heart, let us love all, the weeds
That feed the sea-herds, miracler than man's tallest deeds,
For here the living are blinder than the dead, ah
Look a rainbow sevencoloured wakes glory through the clouds an,
Breasts sea and hill and cemetery in warning,
And the chained horses thunder white, no more adorning
The harbour that grows truculent at the sevenhued sky,
A canoe scuds home quickly, and indigo reigns.
Praise these but ask no more the meaning of mourning,
Than you ask a moral from the seven glory of the clouds, and
Go slowly to the hill as the gale breaks, crazy on the loud sand.
Do not talk of dying, you say, but all men are dead or sick,
In the brain and rib-hollow rooms
The candles of the eye burn and shorten, and how quick
The fine girl sleeps in her grave of hair, the grasshair tombs.
O look at the sane low populations of the democratic dead,
How all are doomed to a dome of mud, all brought to book,
Believing in a world for the perverse saint and the holy crook.
Love children now, for the sun will batter their thinklessness
For there, if place, He walks, who was a lifelong child,
And when the sun is spearing them in growth, pray,
There is the kingdom of haven in the tears of a child.
The trees, alive in a wind of generations, spin a terror of grains
In the air, in the blue and froth of the weather, the branch rain
Yellow on the graves.
We, the raisers of a God against the hand
Wonder who is made or maker, for the God our ancestors learned
Moses of terror, burns in no bushes,
We pray only when seas are turned
Angry, and the wild wind rushes,
And love and death we cannot understand.


The signatures of a lost Heaven remain,
The beauty of the arch, the nature not sun not rain
We want our God to be. And yet were He scanned
We the long builders of beyond this flying breath would look
Beyond the written Heavens, the wide open sea, the land like a
green booK,
Would find the Author and the Author's purpose.

A swallow falls, and perhaps the sole spoken prayer
Is the hand of a leaf crossing the cold curled claws.
Where is the God of the swallows, is He where
Lives the one whom you flew young from, who all life was ycurs?
And yet for all these gifts, the gift that I can pray,
The mountain music, the pylon words, the painting, they are
Enough, and may be all, for they add grace by day
And night give tears as harshly as a telling star.
Were there nothing, and this the only
Life, a man has still to save the cliche of his soul, to live
With, I will say it, grace, to atone for the
Sins that all the worlds awvoke before he ailed alive,
Climb there, go to the hill where another Sun is warning,
That the wicks weaken and in the halls of the heartsun, love,
For love is the stone speech that outlasts our ash and mourning.

A City's Death by Fire

After that hot gospeller had levelled all but the churched sky,
I wrote the tale by tallow of a city's death by fire.
Under a candle's eye that smoked in tears, I
Wanted to tell inmore thanwax of faiths that were snapped like wire.

All day I walked abroad among the rubbled tales,
Shocked at each wall that stood on the street like a liar,
Loud was the bird-rocked sky, and all the clouds were bales
Torn open by looting and white in spite of the fire;

By the smoking sea, where Christ walked, I asked why
Should a man wax tears when his wooden world fails.

In town leaves were paper, but the hills were a flock of faiths
To a boy who walked all day, each leaf was a green breath

Rebuilding a love I thought was dead as nails,
Blessing the death and the baptism by fire.


Letter to Margaret

Each day the calender unlocks the tired crowds roaring
For fun, clerks with inkstained souls, children, women with blonde
And sunglasses, moving in the compulsion of touring
The paper-wrecked lawns, the dirty and debonair.
And cricketers advancing before the language of applause
Are cheered by yellow, pink, black hands
Suspiciously united in their cause
As though a gangsterish duty behind them stands.

Bravado of brass, and the holiday band
Lulls or punctures their sunpatched boredom. Barefoot
Black laughter from those who cannot understand
The wrongs of the social ladder. Pluck from the root
This flowering evil of those divided by coins.
Blonde shrivels when a vacant seat
Is taken by an eventual husband whom death joins
And gnaws. The nigger she will not eat

Near is hardly repulsive to the worm;
Both suffer the anonymity of the bone,
His body stiffened later out of harm
Is the total comfort that allays his groan.
Daily, my gift to a nervous crowd of roars
Conceals raw anger under lip-thin laughter,
As when the pavilion of pigments applauds after
Some skin-passing stroke, I itch to scratch the sores

Under the green epidermics of the lawn.
But single, am helpless, so rather, Margaret,
I remember our chaperoned afternoons of fun,
Another pavilion equally replete
With the three hues occasion disciplines,
And send this in print popularity makes you read
In payment for the gravest of all sins
Not answering my letter. You only heed

Because respect for habits of praise compels
Applause to talent on field or pages,
I can easily construe why this repels
The absurd speech, the difference in ages;


Or is it the excess of a suspicion
The queasy solution, that I was dark?
I offer then, lady, to make remission
For kicking up heels in chastity's trimmed park.

I swear to restrain the intemperate adjective,
Harangue my dreams, discharge amorous recruits,
Solicit your smiling graveness and behave
As poets should, solemn as their fruits.
Helpless we study apart the conniving
Saboteur, Terror, distort the mind's destination;
As men with paunches watch an appetite for living
Constrict to hobby and habit we lose our station;

So since I loved you, the tracks have been smothered
By creepers; reconsideration, lost desires
Like cruel thorns inherit the rose road,
Hate lies entangled in its own barbed wires;
Still I retain the unreason of remembering
Simplicity in plaits, your snowy teeth
And the grey ignorance of your unschooled eyes,
And time that wears your freshness like a wreath.

Hidden in the green talk of vines and hedges
I sketched our villa, smart suburban shrubbery,
Your proud and brittle family would trim the edges
And that would keep your father quiet, (very).
Cool lights of river moving on nursery wall,
Under the careless sky, the strolling clouds
Should envy the green trimmed union of our will.

And once combined there, charm and hardihood,
No longer cautious except to what is crude,
You would be clean as streams that scour the prude
And from our pliant union control delight
Like a bright river to a murmuring calm,
Brave and obedient when the nigger night,
Has laid its head to sleep on day's blonde arm.


As John to Patmos

As John to Patmos, among the rocks and the blue live air hounded
His heart to peace, as here surrounded
By the strewn silver on waves, the wood's crude hair, the rounded
Breasts of the milky bays, palms, flocks, and the green and dead

Leaves, the sun's brass coin on my cheek, where .
Canoes brace the sun's strength, as John in that bleak air,
So am I welcomed richer by these blue scapes Greek there
So I will voyage no more from home, may I speak here.

This island is heaven away from the dustblown blood of cities
See the curve of bay, watch the straggling flower, pretty is
The winged sound of trees, the sparse powdered sky when lit is
The night. For beauty has surrounded.
These black children, and freed them of homeless ditties.

As John to Patmos, among each love-leaping air,
O slave, soldier, worker under red trees sleeping, hear
What I swear now, as John did,
To praise lovelong the, living and the brown dead.

Index to First Lines

A beauty too of twisted trees (SHERLOCK) -p. 12
Above green cane arrow (CARTER) -p. 53
A cloud that was the faintest breath (G. CAMPBELL) -p. 29
After that hot gospeller had levelled all but the churched sky
(WALCOTT) -p. 61
After the flood, lightning (0. CAMPBELL) -p. 55
All grains are the ash to ashes drowsing in the morning-p. 59
And here among the holy hills (VIRTUE) -p. 15
And shall a man (B. McFARLANE) -p. 37
As John to Patmos, among the rocks and the blue live air hounded
(WALCOTT)-p. 64
By no other name are these (LAMMING) -p. 56
By the dip of the sky, runaway water under the stars -p. 4
Chiselled from the marble of memory (HERBERT) -p. 40
Cuba, dishevelled, naked to the waist (ROBERTS)-p. 2

Darkness broods on earth and air (COLLYMORE) -p. 6
Darkness to the high unclouded call of flutes (SEYMOUR) -p. 26
Dawn is a fisherman, his harpoon of light (BARROW) -p. 36

Each day the calendar unlocks the tired crowds roaring -p. 62
Fling me the wind (KEANE) -p. 44

God made sheep in the early morning (INGRAM) -p. 34
.Green this masculine head (HARRIS) -p. 38

He plucked a burning stylus from the sun (ROACH) -p. 49

I dance upon the brink of day (HARPER SMITH) -p. 35
I hold the splendid daylight in my hands (G. CAMPBELL) -p. 28
In our land (TELEMAQUE) -p. 20
Island hiding in the haze there (0. CAMPBELL) -p. 54
It is not always dark (WILLIAMS) -p. 51

Leave me to my little land (VAUGHAN) -p. 7
Like all who live on small islands (COLLYMORE) -p. 3
Like giant brooms the palm heads sweep (McDONALD)-p. 2
Listen, little wild violet (MARSON) -p. 13
Long had I thought (MARSON) -p. 14
Long Mountain rise (SHERLOCK) -p. 10
Love will awaken all lovely things at last (J. E. C. McFARLANE)
-p. 7
Low is the wind upon your English moors (BARROW) -p. 36


Music a kind of sleep (B. McFARLANE) -p. 37
My love, are you strong? (KEANE) -p. 46

Neath dooryard trees in burning moors (ROACH) -p. 48
Night's end and bird song. Bright birds (HERBERT) -p. 40
No I will not still my voice (CARTER) -p. 52
On the tip of the tongue of the wind returning (HERBERT)
-p. 41
O time, O my testator (WILLIAMS) -p. 50
Out of that mortal darkness flamed the cross (M. G. SMITH)
-p. 30
Over here where islands (WILLIAMS) -p. 49
Pan is not dead but sleeping in the brake (ROBERTS) -p. 1
Parting my window to the light (VIRTUE) -p. 15
Pleasures that I most enviously sense (ROBERTS) -p. 1
Scrawling a signature across (FORDE) -p. 43
Shyly a little (KEANE) -p. 47
Sprightly li'.tle black boy (TELEMAQUE) -p. 22
Sun is a shapely fire (SEYMOUR) -p. 23
Sunset had.called in the colours (McDONALD)-p. 3
The days are very lovely now (COLLYMORE) -p. 5
The hills are like great waves of music (INGRAM) -p. 34
There is a bee (FORDE) -p. 41
There': (beauty in these voices. Do not base (VAUGHAN)--p. 9
These are the features-but the light gone out (SEYMOUR)
-p. 24
The wind breathes a mellow oboe in my ear (M. G. SMITH)
-p. 33
Time was you tossed in a delirium (FORDE) -p. 43
Today I would remember you whom birth brought no lucky dip
(LAMMING) -p. 57
To each his lonely symbol; when the soul (COLLYMORE)-p. 6
To those who lifted into shape (TELEMAQUE) -p. 22
Turn sideways now and let them see (VAUGHAN) -p. 10
Waters are blown chords (SEYMOUR) -p. 25
What flowering anguish contrives to divorce (HARRIS) -p. 39
What is faith and what is faithless? (ROACH) -p. 47
Who danced Saturday mornings (TELEMAQUE) -p. 21
Why praise him lightly when he turns to die (G. CAMPBELL)
-p. 29
Welcome great Balkis with thy queenly train (VIRTUE)-p. 16
We looked at the moon together (KEANE) -p. 46
"We love the people, sir", You do? (VAUGHAN) -p. 8
Women stone breakers (G. CAMPBELL) -p. 28
You ask me just to be a little wise (MARSON) -p. 13
Your little tongues once whispered in the breeze -p. 35
You, too, seek beauty. Past the unlovely smells (VAUGHAN)
-p. 9

Biographical Notes

Raymond Barrow (British Honduras) (1920 ) the son of a
district judge, educated at St. John's College in Belize, working in the
law department of the Civil Service. Contributor to "Poetry of the Negro",
the B.B.C. "Caribbean Voices" programme. Captures the sense of the
Mayan and Spanish history of Honduras in his poems.
George Campbell (Jamaical (1917 ) worked as a newspaper
reporter on the "Daily Gleaner" and now lives in New York. Poet
and playwright, published "First Poems" (1945).
Owen Campbell (St. V.ncent) one of the 'well known St. Vincent
trio of poets with Keane and Williams but at present is living in
Trinidad. Reported to be a fine amateur boxer. Has contributed to
"Kykoveral", "Bim", the B.B.C. etc.
Martin Carter (British Guiana) has published a long poem pamphlet
"To a dead Slave", and in the Miniature Poets Series "The Hill of Fire
Glaws Red". (October, 1951). Direct and energetic in his poetry which
concentrates on social protest.
Frank A. Collymore (Barbados) (1893 ) educated at Comber-
mere School where he has been teaching since 1910. Co-editor of the
magazine "Bim" in which his short stories and poems frequently appear
with his own illustrations. Has published "Thirty Poems", (1944),
"Beneath the Casuarinas" (1945) and "Flotsam" (1948).
Alfred N. Forde (Grenada) School teacher in Grenada. Published
"Canes by the Roadside" (1951). Has contributed to West Indian
periodicals and B.B.C. broadcasts.
Jas. W. Harper Smith (British Guiana). Has published collections
of poems "Forgiveness" (1944) and "Musings" (1951) (in the Miniature
Poets Series).
Y Wilson Harris (British Guiana). Land Surveyor. Has published
"Fetish", a collection of poems in the Miniature Poets Series, under the
pen-name of Kona Waruk.
Cecil H-rbert (Trinidad) (1924 ) Served in the R.A.F. in
Canada in 1944. A Land Surveyor, his poems have been broadcast in
"Caribbean Vo:ces" and published in West Indian and English
Kenneth E.Ingram (Jamaica) Contributor to "Focus" and "Poetry
of the Negro" and B.B.C. programmes to the West Indies. On library
staff of the University College of the West Indies.
Ellsworth McG. Keane (St. Vincent) In 1950 Keane published
"L'Oubli", a collection of poems, which was favourably reviewed.
Teacher at a secondary school, has been leader of an orchestra in
St. Vincent, published critical articles on West Indian writing in "Bim".
Conltributor to "Bri.", "Kykoveral' "Carilbean Vo,ices". One of the
well known St. Vincent trio with Williams and 0. Campbell.


George Lamming (Barbados) (1927 ) One of the younger
poets. Born in Barbados, has been a teacher in Trinidad and is at
present in London, where he takes part regularly in B.B.C. broadcasts
to the West Indies.
Una Marson (Jamaica) (1905 ) Secretary to the League of
Coloured Peoples, London, (1933 1935), delegate to the Istanbul
International Alliance of Women, 1936. Attached to the Ethiopian
Legation in London, accompanied H.M. Haile Selassie to the League of
Nations, Wartime Producer of West Indian programmes of the B.B.C.,
now organising secretary of the Pioneer Press, Kingston, Jamaica.
Published "Tropic Reveries" (1930), "Heights and Depths" (1931), "The
Moth and the Star" (1937) and "Towards the Stars" (1945).
Hilda McDonald (AntiguaY. Served as Information Offi)eer in
Antigua, during the 1939 1945 war. Has now retired from public
life but in 1915 was member of a literary club in London to which
writers such as Galsworthy and Shaw belonged. Has published
collections of her poems.
Basil McFarlane (Jamaica) (1924 ). Son of J. E. Clare
McFarlane. Served with the R.A.F. in the last war. His poems have
appeared in many West Indian and English periodicals.
J. E. Clare McFarlane (Jamaica (1896 ) Founder (1923) and
President of the Poetry League of Jamaica, editor of two anthologies of
Jamaican poetry. "Voices from Summerland" (1929) and "A Treasury
of Jamaican Poetry" (1950). Author of "Daphne" (1931), a narrative
poem; "Sex and Christianity" (1932); "The Challenge of Our Time"
(1945), a collection of critical essays and addresses. Officer of the Order
of the British Empire, and Accountant General, Jamaica.
E. M. Roach (Tobago Has been contributor to the B.B.C. programmes
and West Indian periodicals.
Waiter Adolphe Roberts (Jamaica) (1886 ) Reporter on the
"Gleaner" at 16, American War correspondent in the 1914 1918 war.
Editor of several American magazines, Distinguished Historian, (The
Caribbean), novelist (the Single Star, his latest novel, earned him a
decoration from the Cuban Government). Introduced the villanelle
into Jamaican poetry. His books of poems were published in 1919
and 1928.
v, Arthur James Seymour (British Guiana) (1914 ) Assistant
Public Information Officer, British Guiana. President of the B.G.
Writers Association and Editor of "Kykoveral". Has published several
collections of poems. Author of 'A Survey of West Indian Literature"
1950 and "Caribbean Literature" (Broadcast talks) 1951.
Phlip M. Sherlock (Jamaica) (1902 ) Headmaster of Wolmer's
High School, Secretary and Librarian of the Institute of Jamaica, Educa-
tion Officer for Jamaica Welfare Ltd., Director of Extra Mural Studies
and Vice-Principal, University College of the West Indies. Editor of
the "New Age Poetry Books" and joint editor "Caribbean Readers" and
"Anancy Stories".


Michael G. Smith (Jamaica) Anthropologist. Has contributed to
West Indian and English periodicals and the B.B.C. Car;bbean Voices.
Prominently featured in "Focus", 2948.
Harold Milton Telemaque (Trinidad) (1911 ) Headmaster of
the Fyzabad Intermediate School. Published "Burnt Bush" (1947) with
A. M. Clarke. Has been President of the Trinidad and Tobago League
of Literary and Cultural Clubs.
Hilton A. Vaughan (Barbados) (1901 Studied law in
England. Has been a member of the Barbados House of Assembly but
is now a judge in Barbados. Special interest is the history of Barbados
and is working on a biography of Sir Conrad Reeves. Published "Sandy
Lane and Other Poems" (1945).
Vivian L. Virtue (Jamaica) (1911 ) Published a collection of
his poems "Wing's of the Morning" (1938). His poems have appeared
in many West Indian and English periodicals. His sequence "King
Solomon and Queen Balkis" has been termed "perhaps the supreme
Jamaican achievement" in the villanelle form.
Derek Walcott (St. Lucia) (1929 ) Published "25 poems"
(1948) "Epitaph for the Young" (1949) "Henri Christophe" (1950)
"Poems" (1951). Poet and playwright his plays "Christophe" and "Harry
Dernier" (1952) have been produced by the B.B.C. At present an arts
student at the University College of the West Indies.
Daniel Williams (St. Vincent) With Keane and 0. Campbell, one
of the well known St. Vincent trio of poets and like the others, contributor
to "Bim", "Kykoveral", the B.B.C. etc.

"Guard well your spare moments"

Study while you have the chance...then, when

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Scranton, Pa.

KYK-OVER-AL iH.mii.niii ii in i i ii ii miiiiiiinm ii iiiiiii

Phone CENTRAL 1497.


A .

O Bailu lronile,"' Xinitb, II
23 & 24, Main Street, -:Georgetown, i
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63, High Street,
Kingston, Georgetown.
Phone C. 494.

PE 34/1

_ _


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Endowments payable at age 60 or 65.
Income beginning at age 60 or 65.
Anticipated Endowments.
Whole of Life Convertible.
Deferred Annuities beginning at age 60
or 65, and other popular forms of

Modern in Provisions
Liberal in Terms.

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Robb & Hincks Streets, Georgetown.

Drink and


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Established 1830.

The Whisky of the

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Water Street.


r No Better Security

Share in the Prosperity of the New Building
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No brokerage charges to invest or to withdraw.
Interest is paid regularly and there is no risk of
capital depreciation.
The Society is built on the firm foundation of the
homes of the people of British Guiana.
All properties mortgaged to the Society are fully
insured against fire.
Ask without obligation for free descriptive leaflet



A Member of the Building Societies Association

Total Assets Exceed $1,000,000 Total Reserves
Exceed $80,000
Liquid Funds Exceed $70,000
1, High St., Newtown, Georgetown, 9 Telephone C 252

r/___ ___ _






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STEEL DESKS in 4 styles.
STEEL EXECUTIVE CHAIRS, with coil spring seats as well
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21, Water Street 'Phone 797.

., 'JlllI1

Full Text