The world recognises a nation of the imagination: Derek Walcott
Sunday 11 October 1992
Port of Spain
Midsummer stretches before me with a cat's yawn.
Trees with dust on their lips, cars melting down
in a furnace. Heat staggers the drifting mongrels.
The capitol has been repainted rose, the rails
round the parks the colour of rusting blood;
Junta and coup d'etat, the newest Latino mood,
broods on the balcony. Monotonous lurid bushes
brush the damp air with the ideograms of buzzards
over the Chinese groceries. The oven alleys stifle
where mournful tailors peer over old machines
stitching June and July together seamlessly,
and one waits for lightning as the armed sentry
hopes in boredom for the crack of a rifle -
but I feed on its dust, its ordinariness,
on the inertia that fills its exiles with horror,
on the dust over the hills with their orange lights,
even on the pilot light in the reeking harbour
that turns like a police car's. The terror
is local, at least. Like the magnolia's whorish whiff.
And the dog barks of the revolution crying wolf.
The moon shines like a lost button;
the black water stinks under the sodium lights on
the wharf. The night is turned on as firmly
as a switch, dishes clatter behind bright windows,
I walk along the walls with occasional shadows
that say nothing. Sometimes, in narrow doors
there are old men playing the same quiet games -
cards, draughts, dominoes. I give them names.
The night is companionable, the day is as fierce as
our human future anywhere. I can understand
Borges's blind love of Buenos Aires,
how a man feels the veins of a city swell in his hand.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by police in Ohio park
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by police in Ohio park
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Audacious North Korean kidnap plot foiled at Paris airport as 'Asian men' attempted to bundle student onto plane
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
£30000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent: Austen Lloyd: Employment Solicitor - Ke...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Hi All, I'm currently recruiting for t...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...
£23000 - £30000 per annum + pension, 25days holiday: Ashdown Group: An industr...