Walcott in Nassau / heather l. thompson

A lion roars
claims centre stage
then coughs
admits frailty
is acknowledged
as king
despite infirmity
of tribe and age

shakes his mane
ready for a slow kill
content to maim
rattle the cage
where art is never
simply understood
and the masses
are consigned
to their darkened huts


Heather L. Thompson is a lawyer who writes poetry as time permits. For the past 3 years, she has attended a workshop at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival and has been published in tongues of the ocean.


  1. You have summed up that wonderful evening so precisely in this poem. Also, your metaphors fit very well. I enjoyed reading this piece.

  2. Thanks for capturing a great presence.The complexities that exist if you are, indeed, a genius.This is admiration without a sentimental strain.Which is what anyone would want from their true followers.
    I already am a fan of yours for your “Aunt Jemima” poem.
    Nancy Anne Miller

  3. Thank you both so much for this encouragement. It gives me the impetus to press on through the doubts.


  4. Your Derek Walcott poem is so very successful. Most successful of all is your having captured that frail element, his vulnerability in contrast to his being so thoroughly intimidating. You show that that, after all, is largely or is a large facade. The subtlety of this contrast or of that contrasting element is the art of your poem.

    Fellow-poet, Philip Armbrister and I discussed your poem for the longest on our way to Popop to attend Olive Senior’s reading, Sunday past. Not until we were leaving the reading, heading home, did it hit us – the thing that was the heart of your, “Walcott In Nassau”. How thrilled we both were for you and over our delightful discovery.

  5. Congrats, Hens – it really reads well – I wasn’t at the Walcott event but I can just see Walcott in that first line – not sure I agree with Obediah about the facade bit – I see it more as as aspect of the complexity – and humanity – of the man.

  6. Heather: this is a really insightful piece. Your analogies are ‘Walcottian” and yet so apt to describe him. Well done! And soon the book!

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