This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Ian Dieffenthaller Poem
Natural histories

40 sunny years then exiled to this northern room, my
clock is losing time. But that’s ok, it isn’t my time.
400 people murdered in a year, or thereabouts, but most because
of gangs and drugs, so that’s ok, which leaves a brace of proper
killing – always good to shake the shrugs from Trini postures.

Miles of Parian coast is under oil where ordinarily it might be over.
But no one’s slick enough to note the tar will cause another lesion
in the nation’s lungs. Besides, a lime at Granville isn’t safe – the
400 refers – and fish are had from up the islands, like coconuts and
other rarities, so who needs work and sand and sea. Not me.

Today, 4000 miles away I’m writing in the shadow of these old
brass arms that still refuse to take me back; the squarish, pallid
face that tantalises with the oddest missing minute of its Trini
time. Chiming island in an unfamiliar storm, this kind machine
translates old meanings for these lines hard wrought from less
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