Two poems

By Vladimir Lucien


Even Here

Why does it not surprise, that even here, even now,
there are things that must be left unsaid.
That in the linked letters of our cursive fences,
we have found ourselves on the outside of ourselves.

Even here, alone in the one-roomed page, where
the light never goes off, these words are only pieces of our broken shadows.

There is a silverfish in our heart, leaving spaces where
there were things it was not correct to feel for, where our words are buried
in that deepening hole in the pages of the book of life
under the elegant sepulchre of poetry.

Even here, there are things that must not be spoken of,
and even that must be done beautifully.

The Nobodies of Never

To the water’s edge you come, in your lowest
of times. The tide brings its glad tidings where
flotsam stays afloat on its faith in salt.

You must enter now. But you cannot swim merely by faith
in salt, but in arms and legs, in the constructed
religion of bones. Against sounds of this man-made

quiet, you hear yourself, your breath in the ebb and thrust
of the sea. Under your swimming body is the drowning shadow.

Soon it must come, useless as the lament of wind,
that grief for those people you never were, for the gone
and unborn nobodies of never.

We are drowning here in the depth of our air
(or the air of our depth), within ourselves, and the sea
is eternally leaping to rescue us
from the death of which we were unconscious;
the death of the self unspoken for, the nobodies
we never cared to know.

And in all your alacrity to love everything, her,
the sea, distance lying flat on its back
upon the horizon, you never noticed the offering
of rumpled spume at your feet like an unworn wedding
dress, like a love that was supposed to happen, but didn’t.


The Caribbean Review of Books, July 2010

Vladimir Lucien is a writer from St Lucia.