Vahni Capildeo: Water / Ice Cream in Hyde Park with NikkiPosted: August 31, 2012
I. Cold Hands
There is a moment when
the water seems as if it might be warm.
wash your face
in the illusion
II. The Atlantic. Like
Putting a handspan square of glass
flat on the sea, thinking I see
something. That’s the sky.
Calling the colour roaring grey
heard in December, when the tide
discourages. That’s a lie
III. Opalescent, Crystalline, Amethyst. And Dark
The sea is.
In my mind I never left you.
Place-holder, holder of a place:
Who can hold to this? A causeway.
Essential ground for memory.
Twig-runes dust the shore with bird-tracks.
And the wind
Swans and rain and swans in rain
Swans and rain
. . .
Ice Cream In Hyde Park With Nikki
Time flies / she’s a dancer / seagulls & eagles
we’re watching walkers’ & cyclists’ ankles
straight up & down as posts! / larks & starlings
they ain’t / that’s Time / stopping & starting
singlescoop chocolatemint slipup
delicious / xylophonic strip / perfume-smelling forearms
vintage gardenia topnote soprano orangeblossom
she swoops / she sings / Time high-steppng
to her Lambretta scooter!
New York, hold your sidewalk breath
[From Utter (completed 2011; revised 2012. Forthcoming.
‘Water’ is taken from ‘December’, in the 14-month ‘Winter to Winter’ calendar,
Undraining Sea (Norwich: Egg Box, 2009)]
. . .
ABOUT THE POET
Vahni Capildeo (b. Trinidad, 1973) went to the UK as a student in 1991, completing her BA (Hons) (First Class) in English Language and Literature in 1995 at Christ Church, University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholarship (1996-99) enabled her to pursue a doctorate in Old Norse at the same institution. After a Research Fellowship at Girton College, Cambridge, Capildeo worked for the Oxford English Dictionary on Etymology and quotational research.
Capildeo’s three poetry collections are: Dark & Unaccustomed Words (2012); Undraining Sea(Egg Box, 2009); and No Traveller Returns (Salt, 2003). Her poetry and prose have been widely anthologized, most recently in The Best British Poetry 2012 (Salt, forthcoming). She has been Highly Commended for the Forward Prize (individual poem category, 2009); shortlisted for the Guyana International Prize for Literature (2011).