Tropical Wave*


The coco grove's erratic rattle

signals why the evening tide

brimmed with early whitecaps

is bathing coastal regulars


far above the waistline

splashing worn volcanic faces

with wake-up after-spray.

The pulsing of the strafing surf


all along the curved beach rind

pushes sea-grape bangs awry

but cannot crowd the coqui's throat.

A serpentine train of rain


advancing from the east

scars the sky and scares

a bevy of bananaquits

bouncing leeward on electric air.


A phalanx of friendly crabs

sand-blasted by the gale

breaks loose in retreat, tumbling

upwards toward the tufted ridge.


The menacing lagoon's so smoky

silverside fingerlings look limbo lost.

Trouble is afoot tonight

but my feet won't leave the shore.


*Jouvert 5(2) (March 2001).