The red horse dances hours in the sun
rehearsing two steps left, a bow, a stretch.
Three wading birds make no tracks as they walk
across dried mud. It’s hot in the Camargue.
I take the heat and watch the dancing horse.
The horse nor I will try to ford the mud.
There’s no one here, forever, in this heat.
Flamingos wade the water, browsing gunk,
and muskrats gnaw the cane grass. I am home.
‘The Black Book’ — Durrell’s premier published work —
lies where I dropped it, Tarquin’s tortured ‘lorve’
no match for red-horse dancing. Egrets fly
around flamingos, muskrats, horse and me.
I think how Durrell’s ‘Quinx’ taught me the tales
that brought me to this flat and open space:
gypsies in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer.
That town’s now filled with tourists, but out here
the red horse dances. Alan has come home.
I saw this horse, free and loose (across the mud flat of the Mudflat Bat), dancing by himself for at least an hour. I’m couldn’t really stay there forever, although I was tempted. I don’t think you can be home in any one place when you are an Earth Tourist.