Guanahani, 11

like the beginnings — o odales o adagios — of islands

from under the clouds where I write the first poem

 

its brown warmth now that we recognize them

even from this thunder’s distance

 

still w/out sound. so much hope

now around the heart of lightning that I begin to weep

 

w/such happiness of familiar landscap

such genius of colour. shape of bay. headland

 

the dark moors of the mountain

ranges. a door opening in the sky

 

right down into these new blues & sleeping yellows

greens. like a mother’s

 

embrace like a lover’s

enclosure. like schools

 

of fish migrating towards homeland. into the bright

light of xpectation. birth

 

of these long roads along the edge of Eleuthera

now sinking into its memory behind us

“Guanahani, 11” by Kamau Brathwaite from Born to Slow Horses (Wesleyan University Press, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Kamau Brathwaite and reprinted by permission of Wesleyan University Press.