Tuesday, October 30, 2012

TUESDAY POEM - After The Storm by Derek Walcott

Vigil (detail from a painting in progress)

Before posting today's poem I want to stand with you and send love and healing energy to the US East Coast; to hold a vision of protection for all our friends and relatives in the path of Hurricane Sandy and to ask that the destructive potential of this storm be transmuted into one of cleansing and purification. We are one land under one sky; one people with shared stories, shared waterways and coastlines. . . Let us send fierce and tender love whenever our thoughts are drawn to the East Coast. Collective prayers and focused energy are a power and gift beyond measure. 

Stitched flotilla adrift in an archipelago of stars (work in progress)

                                  After The Storm 
                                  There are so many islands!
                                  As many islands as the stars at night
                                  on that branched tree from which meteors are shaken
                                  like falling fruit around the schooner Flight.
                                  But things must fall, and so it always was,
                                  on one hand Venus, on the other Mars;
                                  fall, and are one, just as this earth is one
                                  island in archipelagoes of stars.
                                  My first friend was the sea. Now, is my last.
                                  I stop talking now. I work, then I read,
                                  cotching under a lantern hooked to the mast.
                                  I try to forget what happiness was,
                                  and when that don't work, I study the stars.
                                  Sometimes is just me, and the soft-scissored foam
                                  as the deck turn white and the moon open
                                  a cloud like a door, and the light over me
                                  is a road in white moonlight taking me home.
                                  Shabine sang to you from the depths of the sea.

                           Derek Walcott

After The Storm - details from a work in progress

This week's Tuesday Poem editor is Harvey Molloy
with When We Watched Movies
by New Zealander Tim Upperton

To enjoy a rich variety of poems, please click on the quill. 


xo Be safe. Take care, dear friends xo


  1. Oh, this is beautiful, the pictures are wonderous. I especially love this line:
    "soft-scissored foam/as the deck turn white and the moon open/a cloud like a door"

  2. This post is lovely and thoughtful, tender and tense.

    The paintings-in-progress take my breath away.


  3. The combination of poem and your art is incredibly poignant and arresting. I too send strength and light to all affected by the hurricane.

  4. The Schooner Flight is one of my favourite poems. Thanks for this excerpt, and for your lovely words, which I second, for all those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. And the loss of life on board the tall ship Bounty, which foundered in mid-atlantic in the storm. Beautiful paintings too.

  5. Thank you, Claire . . .

    All well here in Massachusetts but New York is badly damaged.


  6. Loving the new work, Claire. It's beautiful. xo

  7. What touching, aware support for our fellows in the path of great peril. I love your work in progress, it is stunning and so fitting of these past few days. Beautifully matched by the poem in which I can feel the water, see the stars. xo

  8. Beautifully expressed thoughts both in word and images. I especially love what you said about collective prayer and focused energy being a power and gift beyond measure. Thank you. x

  9. One of Walcott's best.

    Your work is strong and delicate--lyrical!

    I'm afraid that storm hitting New York and New Jersey means that the future is here--seas rising, cities destroyed. It's happened so quickly.


  10. Thank you Claire for the prayers and light.
    We caused this and did not heed the warning.

  11. Excuse my question, ...what does ''cotching'' mean?

    1. Hi anonima - 'cotching' is a Jamican slang term meaning to prop something up or to rest or stay somewhere. The actual urban slang term comes from Jamaican 'patios' and not French although that may be its original origin.

      Verb: To cotch. To recline, to relax or chill out in comfort.

      PS. Derek Walcott is Jamaican ; )