Mary Ann Moore

No Paradise Here

In the refuse pile behind the taverna, what is discarded and forgotten,
a snake appears from beneath a flattened cardboard box.
No paradise here, where tomatoes rot, geraniums spring from rusted olive oil tins.
The snake had green eyes like yours I tell my mother later.

I dream of fire and a horned devil; snakes around my feet of stone.

In Herakleion, cats under the small blue chair and at my feet,
I sit at a table eating calamari and squash blossoms surrounded by women
calling ourselves Minoan priestesses, cats on our heads,
snakes spiralling skyward in each of our hands.

I dream of bulrushes in water, priestesses wearing long skirts,

I cannot describe the shedding of my conventions,
what is underneath,
what is revealed in the alchemical transformation.
What clings ferociously to my naked skin.

I dream a skin casing hanging from a tree.


Mary Ann Moore is a poet and writer from Vancouver Island, B.C. whose work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies,
and several chapbooks edited by Patrick Lane. Her collection of poetry is entitled Fishing for Mermaids (Leaf Press). Mary Ann
has been leading women’s writing circles for over twenty years and offers a mentoring program called Writing Home: A Whole Life
. She writes a blog at

To view other content published in this issue, 11:1, please visit Vallum’s website.

Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!

Download the FREE APP and FREE SAMPLE EDITION for your tablet, kindle or smartphone through PocketMags OR iTunes.