Tag: WF Lantry


There are no orchids here, and no long shore

teeming with raucous life, no salted wings

rising above the multicolored boats,

no overwhelming breezes, and no tides

rising, impelling everything that floats

to shore or seaward where no warbler sings,

and no palm trees, waving their endless fronds.

Instead there’s only heat: the algaed ponds

cannot reflect the sky or even trees,

birches grown bare above them, whose bare limbs

are falling constantly to riversides,

and floating downstream where a viper swims

in wait, for me or you, and all of these

impressions have combined to replicate

the feeling of an ever closing gate.

I want to leap it, get away, become

something completely other, changed somehow

just by the landscape, as my life divides

between the endless blossom and the bough,

walking in rhythm to a restless drum

to Panama, Maldive, or Singapore.


It snowed today: at last, I understood

they were not joking when they said mid-May

would still be ice. My tender waterplants

brought up with loss of blood from Tennessee

unrooted, drape the new pond’s depth, and fish

seek what they can beneath the drowning leaves.

And so in Houston: in that summer, I

could not anticipate November frost

and planted tropicals around the ponds.

There’s sadness in a burning leaf, when ice

has broken down cell walls, and loss reveals

deficiencies of structure and design

hidden before by blossoms. I should know

to listen to the voices of a place,

to listen to her voice. But I go on:

tomorrow, miscanthus will line the edge

and give a place to rest, until what sun

this slope can promise quickens my new blood.

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN