Guest Poet Paula Grenside

VALLE'E DE MAI ( Praslin's National Park- Seychelles)

An oblique light cuts,
with spades of sun,
cathedral palms.

Stony paths wind up
primeval forest
through clattering leaves
and fronds that hold their breath
at our stepping on
her browinish scars.
The air is  listening,
hidden in swirly shadows,
to the black parrot's call
echoing off orchids,
green geckos glimpsing
on impassive granite sentinels.

The day rattles, slowly retreats.

Mossy fingered fans
ripple streams that whisper
-Alas! They are coming.-

We try to catch reverberations
that fade away, we strive to tie 
ribbons of time, plea to Eden 
to leave the door ajar.



The sun rises his head up from
a waterpillow of blue,
unties white crests to dress the sky in light.

Sedate and sleepy
- recoiling wet memories of impetuous caresses-
- tide after tide-
the beach lays her sandy whiteness
like a woman's body still dreaming
the foaming thrusts
of her roaring lover
possessing her
with a thousand lapping tongues.
While  subsiding , then, he skimmed 
ivory skin, left shells like jewels
on his glittering bride.

Dramatic greens
of palm and hibiscus shake in wonder,
the breeze picks up purple flowers
to drop them into the honey cup
of the new day.

August, 1998

Paula Grenside's Questions:

Do the poems succeed in creating the atmosphere of a forgotten Eden, where humans have to tread carefully to be accepted, readmitted to a primeval world they have buried under strata of artificial paradises?

Correspond with Paula Grenside at
with your ideas about these poems.

The Albany Poetry Workshop