Queens Park Savannah. Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago.
The Queen’s Park Savannah is Port of Spain’s largest open recreational space. Covered with low grass, the 3. 5 km (2 miles) perimeter of the Savannah, as it is called by locals, is lined with large beautiful samaan and poui trees. Originally part of the St. Ann’s Sugar Estate, the Savannah, now owned by the state, is Port of Spain’s main outdoor recreational park. On weekends and week day afternoons, the Savannah comes to life and is the destination for sports enthusiasts, health fanatics, joggers, family picnics, strolling couples and persons seeking to indulge in the sumptuous local street food served by vendors.
All around, pink poui petals rain upward in the most gorgeous whirlwind that could ever have been. I was gripped with trembling. I was thumping with accelerated heartache Could I stop? For even just a little?
If this is not paradise, then I don’t need to go further. This is enough, I told myself, all I’d hoped for, so much more than I deserved.
In that moment, I wanted to live forever, but even more, I wanted the verses to end.
But then the feeling vanished and I remembered I was on a journey to the quietest recesses of possibility and although there were wonders to see, to hear, to touch there would be no lasting sensations no lasting love or health or distraction no sleep until the final sleep and no true depth until the final deep…
I had waking dreamed, not the sight of the petals but their hope, their light, their beauty More dancing, elaborate illusions following me always from the itching dark
“Still hieroglyphs,” I said to myself, with my fist so tight and my lips mid-plight
There was just something about the way these blossoms from a poui tree at Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, looked, lying there in the drain as if to say, “you see, even drains can be beautiful”. Something about the light and how it felt on my body as I watched these soft petals fill out all the cracks and crevices of a path on which we had travelled so often before yet never took a moment to stop and look. Kendell Hippolyte’s poem, ‘Lines on a Sidewalk’ came to mind where he says: “Where the sidewalk splits…a fault line of possibility where new breaks into knowing / and you sense your eyes warm wider open from, and to, a light / inciting you to, for the first time, yet again, see.”