Clare Hornsby

home: poetry


My day in the tropics

For M and A

Wake at four to cockcrow and an early motorbike
As the full moon sets.
At six, open the slatted blinds to see 
The sunlight stripe across the bed
On which I lay, trying to forget myself.

Walk down to the silent kitchen
Green tea and a banana, sit on the smooth
Teak floor planks in my nightdress
First of the heat.

Then a conversation begins:
Hidden birds, a boat buzzing down the slow mud river
A breeze across the bamboo
Sweeping of the paths, sprinkling of the lawns 
Some words between the barefooted women 
The sounds of the day of the house.

A cold beer in the cool interior
Coffee, a cigarette
And back to heat and solitude on a wide stone terrace
High above the garden
Reading ‘Of Love’ and thinking of that man back home.

Listening to what Mozart had to say
(What would the eighteenth century say
To this wanton sun-skin nakedness ?) 
Heat makes endless space for thought 
The less I move, the more I travel in my mind.

By afternoon the moon has surely passed the full.
The garden, sated with sun and water
The trees breathe out the day
Frogs bark, the bats in the porch by the gate
Flap at my head
Dark is down.

Suddenly it's all over.