Delores Gauntlett: Two Poems
The Watertank Revisited | Sonnet
The Watertank Revisited
Without the weight of what then seemed important,
I return to the house under the hill
with its old unfinished watertank, limned now
with shrubs, its bank slippery as papa's dream,
and scattered with tins whose razor tongues
reflect the sun's.
In its grave, the ants haul their loot.
Bees, wasps and butterflies are feeding, crawling.
It was my father's job to lift the line
in the wind before the clothes swiped the dirt,
to split the wood and start the new foundation
for the watertank: the watertank which now
reposes in the scheme of things
exactly as it pleases, half
-sunk in the soil like a stubborn stare
is the reason I expected more than his best,
gone to weed, too, now, gathering moss.
I ask myself: what does it matter
that piped water was forestalled?
Besides, what's the past but a rainless day
with dry bush rustling in the hill,
and a no-longer-flawed perfection
awaiting another dream to beam from a window,
my father's, mine;
and flow like rain guttering in song from a roof
to a tar-glazed water drum planked on flat stones
overflowing to a river no one owns?
At the window where our two reflections
meet, pulled as to a magnet to the rhythm
of Zamfir's panflute whistling its seduction
Love, love changes everything.
Sometimes the body needs to set itself on fire
to consume the dry leaves and twigs, as if swept
by a magic wind to a new view of desire,
barefoot, heart racing from the outset,
flayed like an upheld palm in the rain.
Then work defers to moments that assume
good reason to be here and love, not live in vain,
gauging time like an echo in a vacant room.
We, once strangers on the eve of first sight,
blush through blue August, whispering goodnight.
Delores Gauntlett was born in St. Ann, Jamaica 1949, studied Accounting and Business Administration at Dinthill Technical High School and was for many years employed in the manufacturing sector. Her poems have appeared in Byline USA, Sisters of Caliban Anthology, The Sunday Observer Arts Magazine, The Sunday Gleaner, Three Candles, The Caribbean Writer, Bearing Witness, ForPoetry, and to appear in Konfluence Press. A multiple winner in The Jamaica Observer Annual Arts Magazine Awards and the JCDC, a recipient of a commendation by National Book Development Council/ Una Marson bi-annual award for her full-length manuscript Freeing Her Hands to Clap which was also a semi-finalist in the University of Wisconsin Poetry Series, a Writer’s Digest award for her poem "Yellow Poui", and winner of the 1999 David Hough Prize of The Caribbean Writer for her poem "Blank Verse On A Day Like This". Freeing Her Hands to Clap was published in 2001 by The Jamaica Observer Limited.