Diane Hine

Silver Star - 4,143 Points (25 July 1956)

Sestina: Captain Bryce In The Amazon* - Poem by Diane Hine

Beneath Buriti Palms, my outstretched hands
caught fruits macaws dislodged from high leaf fans.
By carolled forest choir, I set my fire
and watched as stars illumed its thin smoke gyres.
A tree branch held a nimble-limbed Margay.
Invasive bugs inflicted nagging pain.

My anger was an anodyne to pain
and powered the machete in my hands.
When evening fell again, the sleek Margay
was watching parrots’ vibrant feathered fans.
I turned; a jaguar’s eyes were sulphur gyres.
It leapt and streaked my skin with liquid fire.

We spun as one and sprawled across the fire.
The jaguar fled; my body blazed with pain.
Unconsciousness forewarned with nauseous gyres.
I dressed my bloody wounds with shaking hands.
In darkness, insects swarmed like lovesick fans
and watching all was silver-eyed Margay.

The distant yet companionable Margay
was witness to my trial by fever’s fire.
By dawn my skin was flushed with spreading fans.
Infection weighed my limbs with drubbing pain.
The strangler figs closed in like murderous hands.
I pressed on through lianas’ tangled gyres.

Then madness pulled me down in drowning gyres.
I tripped on buttress roots and found Margay.
It spoke and stroked my brow with soothing hands
but all around the forest crackled fire.
A spray of water cooled my world of pain.
I walked into a waterfall’s limpid fans.

I woke and felt a palm leaf’s gentle fans
within a woven home’s ascending gyres.
The voice which broke my shell of muted pain
belonged to Edelweiss and not Margay.
She smiled and said my wounds were cleansed by fire.
L’s looking for Hope, she said, patting my hands.

In dreams, Margay and I raft river gyres,
cut thorny vines with hands which feel no pain
and plunge through flaming emerald fans of fire.

Topic(s) of this poem: friendship


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Poems in this series are marked with an *
Edelweiss Petty and Hope make a Seaside Discovery
Captain Bryce in Tasmania
A Letter to England
Edelweiss finds L. In the Amazon
Hope (a rondeau)
Sestina: Captain Bryce in the Amazon
Lucretius and the Anteater
Hope and Edelweiss
Lucretius Mud

Comments about Sestina: Captain Bryce In The Amazon* by Diane Hine

  • (1/24/2013 1:30:00 AM)


    About time Bryce arrived on the scene. Don't have a lot of sympathy for him, personally but you have to make do with whatever heroes you can get. He hasn't fallen for the Margay, has he? One would hope it's a lady one. (Report) Reply

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  • Valsa George (1/22/2013 9:56:00 AM)


    Oh what a place to be in! A place of waterfalls, palm trees and mangroves inhabited with a variety of creatures like the jaguar, margay and macaws! ! Hope the pain in your hand caused by your adventure with the jaguar has subsided! ! Through your poem I am getting familiar with the flora and fauna of South America! Great WRITE! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (1/21/2013 8:34:00 AM)


    A very complicated poetic form - you are very clever Diane. Another excellent write. (Report) Reply

  • (1/20/2013 6:44:00 PM)


    Poetry too, 'an anodyne to pain'. Who chose that route, amongst adventurers, explorers? (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 8, 2014


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