Derek Walcott Passes

The Caribbean Is One Nation.

Derek Walcott
The Mahogany Coconut Group joins with the Caribbean Nation in expressing our profound condolences to the good people of St. Lucia on the passing of poet and playwright Derek Walcott. Walcott proved that size is no impediment to excellence, and long ago earned the status of a true Caribbean Nation icon. We do not believe that being awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature, was important in considering him a Caribbean Nation icon; we hasten to suggest that he became an icon because his work would have been equally inspiring without any award or validation from outside the region. We are certainly not denigrating the Nobel Prize but there must come a time when our distinguished sons and daughters are judged beyond what others see as some global validation.

We hope that Walcott’s work will continue to inspire us. Here we present a passage from Walcott's: "The Schooner Flight"

Fall gently, rain, on the sea’s upturned face
like a girl showering; make these islands fresh
as Shabine once knew them! Let every trace,
every hot road, smell like clothes she just press
and sprinkle with drizzle……………………
Though my Flight never pass the incoming tide
of this inland sea beyond the loud reefs
of the final Bahamas, I am satisfied
if my hand gave voice to one people’s grief.
Open the map. More islands there, man
than peas on a tin plate, all different size,
one thousand in the Bahamas alone,
from mountains to low scrub with coral keys,
and from this bowsprit, I bless every town,
the blue smoke in hills behind them,
and the one small road winding down them like twine
to the roofs below; I have only one theme:
The bowsprit, the arrow, the longing, the lunging heart—
the flight to a target whose aim we’ll never know,
vain search for one island that heals with its harbor
and a guiltless horizon………………
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 of archipelagoes of stars.
My first friend was the sea. Now is my last.
I stop talking now………..
……………and the moon open
a cloud like a door, and the light over me
is a road in white moonlight taking me home. 

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