Friday, October 28, 2016

Rose With Stars And The Turning Year

Rose With Stars And The Turning Year

The stars mind their own
business. The wind runs grasping
up and down the night

arms stretched,
thrashing the impassive trees
with its flapping desire.

Here below: only a bickering
of whelps, the sinuous peristalsis
of the snake, the mechanical revolve 

of all his poison-spitting brethren  
churning and contracting,
knocking the Parthenon down

and your hand, poised, your voice
whispering, your eyes that watch and shine
on every petaling memory made

of the rose under windy stars
pinning the mind 
close to her fragrance by her thorn.

The year turns
with a flash in darkness,
an onslaught of velvet;

a last
loose ruby shut away
in a box.

~October 2016

Image Public Domain: Roses, 1871, by Henri Fantin-Latour. Manipulated


  1. Magnificent work, Hedge. You have the perfect balance between the personal and the sense of global chaos, such a deft hand at making metaphors do their work. This is a wonderful thing to read at the end of a tiresome week.

  2. You weave such wonderfullness with your words. So glad you are back!

  3. Well woven like the gems calling at the end

  4. So beautiful, Hedge. Always wonderful to read you.

  5. Oh dear me. This ranks with your best, Joy. I'm knocked back on my heels by this. I could rave about the entire thing line by line, but will try to restrain myself to a few points. The opening line, with its personification, grabbed me right at the start. The colon in the second line is unexpected and perfect. "Sinuous peristalsis"...good grief. Stoppittttt. Then the softness of the 5th stanza, followed by a return to your original images. "Onslaught of velvet" knocked me over, that's what poetry should be. But the very best, most satisfying thing, is the ending, and the poem's overall effect. Just stunning, beautiful, careful writing, Joy. Stunning.

  6. A great poem for St. Oran's feast day, surrendered to and sundered by winds that are a heaven's will, if only because they rule the higher firmament. As Eliot would say, that is not our business, down here amid the coils of the snake. The second person in the fourth stanza allows the speaker to distance from her position, to step aside, a form of surrender which allows the poem to shine, to exist forever and truthfully without having the burden of taking possession of it. We are nature's mirror, not god's: song is breath enough. Anyway, truly enjoyed, hope there are more things down there in the peat bog for us to revel in.

  7. also for me, the 4th verse, the startling image of the Parthenon - how you deftly weave in the ache and loft of that edifice of history with the gut of the great xian boogey-snake - the not-quite-weary, but perhaps fatalistic narrator. then the penultimate stanza - I wish I could write like that - and the turn to the closing box.

    damn. ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats