“Epiphaneia” and “Dead Reckoning”

Poetry from Survival Kit # 2, presented by the NGC Bocas Lit Fest

Two poems from Epiphaneia, by Richard Georges
Winner of the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature
Published 2019 by Out-Spoken Press

 


 

EPIPHANEIA

How else do we know that we are alive?
Channel a way for yourself through this world;

warm your bones; make life amidst the strife.
What are poems but prayers? An unfurling
of hope, wonder — the words come like a gale
about my head. And then the waves of tributes.

Another gone.
………………….Now Shabine, make your books our gaol.
See the streaking swift, hollow your canoe.
Out there on the blue, good poet, dance.
I’ll stand here, my hand shielding my eyes from
the reddening sun, until the old man’s
salted head slips under the horizon.
What am I to do with all that you give,
except to fight, to work, to love, to live?

 

*

 

DEAD RECKONING

They say birds always find their way back home
but home is a nowhere — a memory; a never was.

Do wings remember spaces in the air
the way we might a place? A field of rice?

How do you fly back to that? Away from
………………….a tomb of fears, this place yearning for you…

Some years ago, I lay bright flowers on
my grandmother’s grave. Years before, I saw

my grandfather’s ashes taken by the
furrowing wind in the Bocas islands.

I am not myself nor have I ever been
something apprehending the sun

and other bright celestial objects
thinking: this is a tapestry in orbit
 
around me. I am completely convinced that
we were the last creatures to discover

how to be in the world. My beard grows wild.
My children brush past me in the darkness.

Their chattering voices fill my ears and
then my chest and I cannot hold it in.

I am always coming home.

 


© Copyright 2019 Richard Georges

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