Island traffic slows to a halt
as screeching gulls reluctant
to lift heavenward
congregate like mourners in salt-
crusted kelp, as the repellent 
news spreads to colder shores:

Sir Derek is no more.
Bandwidths, clogged by streaming
tributes, carry the pitch
of his voice, less so his lines, moored
as they are to a fisherman’s who strains
in the Atlantic

then hearing, too, drops his rod, the reel
unspooling like memory till
his gaped mouth matches
the same look in his wicker creel,
that frozen shock, eyes marble
a different catch.

Pomme-Arac trees, sea grapes,
and laurels sway, wrecked having lost
one who heard their leaves’
rustic dialect as law, grasped
their bows as edicts from the first
garden that sowed faith—

and believe he did, astonished
at the bounty of light, like Adam,
over Castries, Cas- 
en-Bas, Port of Spain, the solace
of drifting clouds, rains like hymns
then edens of grass,

ornate winds on high verandas
carrying spirits who survived
that vile sea crossing,
who floated up in his stanzas,
the same souls Achille saw alive,
the ocean their coffin—

faith, too, in sunsets, horizons 
whose auric silhouettes divide 
and spawn reflection,
which was his pen’s work, devotion
twinned with delight, divining
like a church sexton.