The full moon is so fierce that I can count the
coconuts' cross-hatched shade on bungalows,
their white walls raging with insomnia.
The stars leak drop by drop on the tin plates
of the sea almonds, and the jeering clouds
are luminously rumpled as the sheets.
The surf, insatiably promiscuous,
groans through the walls; I feel my mind
whiten to moonlight, altering that form
which daylight unambiguously designed,
from a tree to a girl's body bent in foam;
then, treading close, the black hump of a hill,
its nostrils softly snorting, nearing the
naked girl splashing her naked breasts with silver.
Both would have kept their proper distance still,
if the chaste moon hadn't swiftly drawn the drapes
of a dark cloud, coupling their shapes.
She teases with those flashes, yes, but once
you yield to human horniness, you see
through all that moonshine what they really were,
those gods as seed-bulls, gods as rutting swans
an overheated farmhand's literature.
Who ever saw her pale arms hook his horns,
her thighs clamped tight in their deep-plunging ride,
watched, in the hiss of the exhausted foam,
her white flesh constellate to phosphorous
as in salt darkness beast and woman come?
Nothing is there, just as it always was,
but the foam's wedge to the horizon-light,
then, wire-thin, the studded armature,
like drops still quivering on his matted hide,
the hooves and horn-points anagrammed in stars.
--Derek Walcott, 1981
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
What’s the weather like? Ask a poet! Poetry about weather and other aspects of Earth can be very descriptive. Giving a sense of the environment through their words, poets describe the planet in interesting...more
Landscape painters have been representing clouds in their art for centuries. Different artists with different styles have painted clouds differently. What's more, there are many different types of clouds...more
The Sky Is Low, The Clouds Are Mean The sky is low, the clouds are mean, A travelling flake of snow Across a barn or through a rut Debates if it will go. A narrow wind complains all day How some one treated...more
Water Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble pricked and the green thread nibbled away, the petal fell, falling until the only flower was the falling itself. Water is another matter, has no direction...more
When The Sun Come After Rain When the sun comes after rain And the bird is in the blue, The girls go down the lane Two by two. When the sun comes after shadow And the singing of the showers, The girls...more
The night is darkening round me, The wild winds coldly blow; But a tyrant spell has bound me And I cannot, cannot go. The giant trees are bending Their bare boughs weighed with snow. And the storm is fast...more
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, From the seas and the streams; I bear light shade for the leaves when laid In their noonday dreams. From my wings are shaken the dews that waken The sweet...more