Breakfast On Mustique
Ghost koi, their sunflower-yellow button eyes Unstitched, weave shadows in the morning sun And suck on moss-backed stones. The tree ants run Amok, their only thought to tyrannise Some hapless aphid. Scab-red dragon-flies Patrol just out of reach, jaws poised to stun Their careless prey and drain them, one by one. Night lilies fold away amidst the cries Of Bequia-sweets at table, sword-sharp beaks Extended — each scrap of food defended From its neighbour. A tortoise heaves and wins First prize: hibiscus flowers! Our kitten sneaks Some bacon. The hungry night has ended; Another day in Paradise begins.
Mandalay, Mustique January 17, 2002
‘Ghost’ koi are are a pure silver-white variety of ornamental fish. The Japanese call them Hikarimono or Ogon. The fact that mine have startling yellow circles around the eyes makes them ‘mongrels’ to koi-fanciers and virtually worthless for breeding purposes. Bequia -sweets (Quiscalus lugubris) are a form of Carib Grackle, common throughout the Lesser Antilles. Sharp-eyed, bold and abusive, they squabble interminably. Bequia, an island close by Mustique, is pronounced ‘beckway’.
Poem Published in the following books: A Glass Half Full