cover image Under the Sunday Tree

Under the Sunday Tree

Eloise Greenfield, Amos Ferguson. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (38pp) ISBN 978-0-06-022254-3

In the Bahamas, according to this collection of gentle poems, people ``walk together on Sundays'' and stop ``at the place where / two trees arch as one /leaves touching / like family.'' Like Mattie Lou O'Kelley's primitive folk art paintings of Georgia, Ferguson's flat canvases of his native islands are bright and colorful, and Greenfield's simply worded poems offer an enthusiastic tour of island life. ``Look at that!'' the reader is told after turning to a portrait of a woman in a fine blue dress; ``Look at that lady / in the saucer hat.'' Tourists ``fill their bags with fascinating stuff,'' and fishermen haul in yellow fish with bait that ``works a whole / lot better than / a wish / if you really / want to catch a fish.'' Perspective and relative sizes are buoyantly askew in these vibrant paintings where large sea birds hover over milk white lilies and ``sing a song of colors.'' All ages. (September)