Sunday, June 28, 2020

The Rose In The Maze

The Rose In The Maze

From night's peak the color-thieving haze
came blowing down just before the dawn
pulled hissing thru a deep brown camel's eye,
desert's shifting face deskinned and drawn
three thousand miles across the sea to daze
anew the eyes already fey, to grey each face,
salting every indrawn breath with lye,
hiding the rose in the center of the maze.

No different than the incidental drape
of caustic fog upon the casement of the times,
another baffling slap to the heart's blind bird
whose only instinct ever was to fly
uncaged, to make her thousand mile escape,
to give her feathers to the wind to break
or hold, to find somewhere a living branch unburned
and sing to the hidden rose no one can take.

June 2020

posted for

Process note: There is a massive cloud of Saharan dust covering a large portion of the southeastern US and other areas at the moment, causing hazy skies and respiratory problems for some. Here is a link to some info, and pics of how it appears in the Caribbean, from BBC.

Images: White Rose in Pink Smoke, artist unknown, courtesy of Sunday Muse   Fair Use
A stylized textile book covering from the Netherlands, circa 1615-1650, depicting a rose  Fair Use


  1. This is beautiful beyond belief. Your imagery is wonderful, especially that heart's blind bird, who only ever wanted to fly. Sigh. Exquisite writing, Joy.

  2. This is a poem that breaks the heart, but slowly, almost kindly, whispering "I know..I know..." as the fissures appear. The notion of a rose in a maze at first put me in mind of the maze in The Shining movie, but your ending is very different from that. It is a Mecca or at least a refuge for that struggling, bewildered bird. Your poem brought tears to my stony little eyes, dear. As Sherry said, exquisite writing.

  3. "color-thieving haze"!!! And this: "another baffling slap to the heart's blind bird", so, so good.

  4. Just as the desert dust and haze can be breathtaking so are your beautiful lines! This is stunning poetry Joy!

  5. You have captured this dust plume to perfection. Loved the heart's blind bird that only wanted to fly, uncaged and sing to the rose that no one can take.

    1. Thank you Truedessa.Still hazy here as I write.

  6. The pacing of this poem left me breathless ... as though I existed in your cloud of Saharan dust.

    1. Thank you Helen. These days I fear we are all in a cloud.

  7. I love this. For some reason it took me to my childhood connection to roses. I remember my grandmother's funeral. The air was thick with the scent of roses. For so long I connected roses to death. It wasn't until I was a teenager I was freed from my pain and dislike of roses. I can see myself pulling the rose out of the smoke and cradling it as treasure.

  8. Seems like we can only err from dragon to dragon - wildfire, pandemic, permamelt, drought-dust, locust swarms: 'tis all just one swirling maze, camera obscura to the rose. You gave this furze of dust a same. Ten days in Florida without rain -- teeth of the rainy season and all we get is vague sky and eternal heat. (Topping out at 100 this afternoon). Glad it now has a familiar. Well done. - B

  9. Love, “the heart’s blind bird “ and “color-thieving haze”.


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

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