Two Poems

Egret flying over blue water with it's reflection beneath it
Photo: Daniel Simon


The bird was just searching
for food not metaphors –
or taking rest from a day’s flight

It was dusk after all and its ancestors
who might have crossed the Middle
Passage, crossed the Kala Pani on flotsam
or a ship’s mast long forgotten

We freight this flying feather pen
with a history we cannot forget, Dutch
ghosts or jumbies prowling the night –

No wonder the bird takes fright at dark
and huddles in colonies – unshackle
this gauling Mr. playwright-painter
let it fly off your canvas tomorrow
into our blue-domed temple into indigo light


Memoir: Mother of My Mothers

Ah, Mr. Walcott, four years after
Forty-Acres, after we cried
some in joy and some in rage
and the world said: America
you’re truly great, truly

Had we gathered those million
tears we’d have had a new sea
as sparkling as dew on dasheen leaves.

Ice caps still melt.

The oceans still rise. The Midwest
still plunged in drought
the economy a fish in a cast net
being hauled ashore. It wasn’t me

It wasn’t me. But if you give me another
term, I will give you The Great American
Memoir: Mother of my mother’s mother.

And some would nod: Mai, Mai, Mai.*

* Mai – Hindi-Bhojpuri for mother. “Mai, Mai, Mai” is also a story in Jahaji: An Anthology of Indo-Caribbean Short Stories.

Photo: Denise Noone

Sasenarine Persaud is the author of twelve books of fiction and poetry. He defines his aesthetics as Yogic Realism. His most recent book is Love in a Time of Technology (2014). Persaud’s next book, Monsoon on the Fingers of God, will be published in 2018. He lives in Florida.

World Literature Today
630 Parrington Oval, Suite 110
Norman, OK 73019-4037

Updated by World Literature Today: [email protected]