"St. Lucia Landing" (excerpt)

These are sections from a poem I wrote in the moment on location during a family vacation in St. Lucia in the West Indies. It was the year 2000. We were fortunate enough to spend time there during the winter for several years returning each time to Windjammer Landing on Labrelotte Bay on the northwest coast. One year I tried to write a long, connected poem in short bursts with as little revision as possible, although I did go back and tweak lines and sections. The composition as a whole remains unpublished, however, parts have been refashioned as stand-alone poems and appeared in print.--PM


Been trying to paint 

palm trees for days--

not so easy---as much

as I look, I'm not

getting the gist--

my fronds look askew,

the trunks not as lean,

my copy not so true


Morning shower,

rain falls in a heap

as if from the unzipped

hold of a fire-fight plane,

sky tankers in Wyoming

releasing a pond's worth--

racketing splashes on 

the torn elephant ears

of banana trees


Reading Josephine Herbst's 

The Starched Blue Sky of Spain

on the terrace till noon--

sky downy, pale,

sharp light coming--

blue atmosphere over

riffled blue sea, translucent

blueberry Popsicle-blue--

liquid blue detergent-blue


Birds ricocheted 

like crazy at breakfast,

word out about our

crumby soup line

causing spats and 

all kinds of chippiness

as feeders jockeyed

for spots on railings


Two yellow-bellied 

small guys popped in

for the treat--got into

it right off, one jabbing

the other with needle-beak--

the brassy red-chested

dark types put up a fuss

when smooth tan fliers cut in


Gray working ship

noses toward Castries

as sun intensifies--

gray clouds sprung,

the beating temp

frying an oiled layer

off all northern spines