NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Vol 17.2: Fall 2017 - Page 100

When the Day Arrives Words Are Ready (To Derek Walcott’s Spirit) ah ah yes the hour has arrived i’ve long anticipated this day have contemplated the journey still I’m a little surprised but won’t ask for another year or day i’m ready all my poems are written i’ve been wracking my brain to find other ways to use words so their truth will last a millennium i’ve mined the garbage heap plumbed the sea grapes until words looked at me head shaking in astonishment that look of approval and awe i still see on my mother’s face and her voice soft reflective but look you here asking to rename the sky m Derek Walcott and Opal Palmer Adisa in 2009. this is it this is it i’ve loved words and words have loved me more ardently than any woman could words have been more saccharine than sweet-sop warm as breast milk its nectar graining the mouth words have been more bitter than seville orange words have always been with me i’ve fondled them more intimately than the women i seduced into my bed and not once have words ever disappointed always supple willing to be stretched to lay beneath me and be hurricane wind on the page 49 BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE The pestering bores I thought I’d shaken off attempts to reach me even here. * * * I chop a radish into tiny cubes. The knife knocks on the pale wood of the breadboard. I season country cheese with a clove of garlic and what I found on the shelf: a few drops of soy sauce, a spoonful of mild curry. I eat unhurriedly. Then with a piece of crust I wipe the bowl Clean. What fury must have possessed the thunder Which struck this old fir-tree! Pale splinters the size of spears Lie scattered yards away. Her thick trunk split From the top to the very roots, Broken halfway down, She leans on the arms of her neighbours. They all seem dumbfounded still: “She was the tallest of us all, When it was hot she offered us her shade, She braved the first thrusts of the wind, The buzzards favoured her for rest. Why her?” * * * I wait Until the small black box stops its rasping, Hunting for me. Plum trees are pregnant as anything this year. Even the young stoop under the burden of purple braids. How much fruit will rot in the tall grass? After a while The wind combs the grass again, Juices grow sweeter in the velvet plums, The heavy hills nest comfortably in the valleys, Cows, far away, demand to be milked, Crickets go about their usual business, And I am slowly filled with tranquility. If the women choose to take the time Jars of dark jam will load the larder shelves. It would feel good, too, to have handy a quaint-shaped crystal carafe in winter. How curious that slivovitz is not purple — It preserves the memory of a darkening sun. * * * * * * Motionless, I embarked on a path. Oh, the joy of returning! Already the green’s heavier and deeper. First dry leaves on the porch. The evenings more sudden, nights colder. Yet another revolution. * * * * * * I’m waiting for the wind To move the dark cloud From above the garden. Already the nearest slope is sunlit. I feel no need to hurry. Wind. Quiet. Beatitude. * * * How good to get away from people, Even the dearest. Here all I listen to are crickets. In the empty house Silence walks on tiptoe. A stick of incense Burns with a soft swish. I spied on a woodpecker today. It hammered furiously at the wall Of an old birdhouse on a tall cherry tree. * * * If only I set about any job of mine With such diligence! Marcówka, September 8-1, 1997 * * * These are this year’s last blackberries. Picking the nearest one, I tip the branch and watch in despair As the ripest, sweetest ones Disappear into the high grasses And prickly irreversibility. * * * Inexorably doomed — Is it aware of being so? I will never learn What is hidden behind the gleam Of its orb-like red eye. * * * It rained all morning. Now the white shawls of fog are lifting, Displaying the wet canvases of slopes Dabbed with yellow and red. It’s Sunday. The perfect stillness Is undisturbed by roars of trac ѽȁ)=ȁ́ɽ́ѡ̸)QͽչхЁɍ)Ḿݑɽ́ɽѡչȸ)5䁡Ё̸)]Ёхх)MՑ́ѽѡ́ѽ)5ɏݭMѕȀ()ѕȁݼݕ́$)Qѡ䁵չх͔)Qͥ́ݕѡ͕ݥ)ɔɕݸݥѠ̸)=ѡͭѽɽЁ)ѥ䁝ɕɅ䁥́她)%Ё́́ͥ)9܁ѡЁٕ)%́ѡѕ͡ѥѡ)QՍݕݥ)́ȁɅȸ)=ٕȁ́居́ͥ!)ɽ́ѕЁմ$ݽɬѥє)MѽѼ݅эѡ͕Ёٕ͡ȁݕ)$ЁЁ݅)ፕЁɥ́Ѽɱȁ) Ё́ѡ́()Uɵ䁵ѥ̰)]ͥЁ͕Ʌѕѡ݅ѡݽ)Mи=ՙ䁽ѡɉ䁵չЁ  )]Ʌѡѽɱ́ɅȰ)͕Pѕѥ)ѼՉՔѡ͡ɕѡ՝̸()ɽݥȁѥ)]хѡͭ͡)=ɽݸ̸ٕ)ٕٕͥȁյ)ݔͱݱ䁍ٕɕɽи)Qݥ́ѡɽ՝ȁ)ٔѡ)MɅȁ́ȁɽȁٕ̰)]ɔՕݥѠѡ͵ɕͥ)]ɕѡɔ)]ɽа)]Ёɕ䁙ȁѡݥѕȁ+PѡɕЁ$)%չхP)]́ݡ䃊P)݅́Ё)́ՑɅѱ)ɽ́ѡɑѥ́եи())Iid%11(