In these islands old men find repose in dusky limbs
or long walks skywards on the mountain tracks.
Between the coconuts strident monoliths shrill back the sun
and Jacob's Ladder twists between blacker rocks
the precipices already hung with eyries.
The silken sea is their exotic shroud
where great fish like living coffin nails silver the twilight.
Horizons limitless limit their horizons
to imaginary games picked up in India,
the long meditation and the vacant mind
etched like a lens by occluding fungi.
Here no man dies, old soldiers
live again under the skirts of creolines,
some make pretence investments on the stock exchange
winning millions in capital gains,
some move seaward ever trailing the questing line
while others drink their bored delight away
where sunlight glitters gold on sand and palm
unknown the workhouse or the cold socialist ward at home.
In these islands most of the birds are extinct