Bermudas

By Kamau Brathwaite b. 1930 Kamau Brathwaite

marine to noon on AméricasAirplane

First the dark meer
begins to breathe gently into green
into light & light green
until there are like blue

ribs upon the water. dreaming
and the ribs of water’s colour are the gills
of the first fish breathing
the first land the first eye

-lann
until there is what shd not be here
on the water
white

footsteps of sand from the bottom of the ocean
become the thin road to Eleuthera
long & thin upon the water walking
until there is suddenly a black stone

a dark
veil kabala surrounding by whorls
of worship green water scallops
folding into themselves like soft

jewels the first huge fish
out of creation
w/ribs veins glimpse
of a tail & deep channels in between

where they will be mountains & ridges
& villages & ozure indigo sunsets
of lapis lazuli & white salt marking its finely corrugated edges
& stretching out into thousands of tongues. miles

of soft drifting labials. like pellucid love
on the water. this fish
from the air of so many so many untangles
& 10 thousand years later there are trees

glistening sunlight & listening rain & white streets
& houses & people walkin bout & talkn to each other on the water & across
its blue echo
& thinking of horses & houses & now soon after midday there are great ob

-long blotches like a stain
of milk & a great spider spreading itself along the pale glazing bottom of
the water. and this great planet passing upwards towards us
out this silence & drifting & blessing of the water

FOOTNOTES:

*100m sharks are assassinated each year for their fins - their carcasses thrown back into the sex of the sea - to make
fine Chinese fin soup for you to sit down & dine
w/yr sip spoon & napkin all over the wide open restaurant eye of the world
CNN NewsReport seen in Ja on the friday of arrival there

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

Source: Born to Slow Horses (Wesleyan University Press, 2005)

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Poet Kamau Brathwaite b. 1930

POET’S REGION Caribbean

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Animals, Social Commentaries

 Kamau  Brathwaite

Biography

Born in Barbados, Caribbean poet and scholar Edward Kamau Brathwaite was educated at Harrison College in Barbados and Pembroke College in Cambridge. He earned his PhD in philosophy from the University of Sussex.
 
Using “nation language” as well as linguistic and typographic innovation, Brathwaite composes poems that deftly parse the connected strands of postcolonial, historical, and personal inquiry. As Publishers Weekly noted . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Animals, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION Caribbean

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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