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Pentecost

Better a jungle in the head
than rootless concrete.
Better to stand bewildered
by the fireflies’ crooked street;
 
winter lamps do not show
where the sidewalk is lost,
nor can these tongues of snow
speak for the Holy Ghost;
 
the self-increasing silence
of words dropped from a roof
points along iron railings,
direction, in not proof.
 
But best is this night surf
with slow scriptures of sand,
that sends, not quite a seraph,
but a late cormorant,
 
whose fading cry propels
through phosphorescent shoal
what, in my childhood gospels,
used to be called the Soul.

Other works by Derek Walcott ...



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