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.