A torch pitched to ignite, stands sentinel.
The bracing breeze elicits steadfast grace.
The florid petals: weightless plumaged wings.
Pale green stalks stake up – and tall soldier spears,
lined up like organ pipes, they’re primed for song.
Leaf blades – like sharp swords’ flash – cleave through the air.
Dark tar-tipped buds wrapped up in crinkled softness,
like a white priestly paper, sheathing vows.
The blossom is a lure of pomp, black purple.
Stamens, portcullis gates to inner treasury,
the way is strewn with furry bumble bees.
The slightest breeze rustles in flares the petals.
A proud, enticing queen – skirts swirl in dance -
sheer flair – the fragile bloom defies eternity.
Palm, Poinsettia, Lavender and Pennyherb
The radial palm fronds wave, flapping their semaphore
a green yellowed with sun, burned brown at tips,
a contrast to the greenspiked fishbone leaves
of other palm that stands more still nearby.
Black ash fills fields, stonewalled around with tufa.
The island’s hills are softly rounded remnants
of long ago volcanoes, now extinct.
Concaves in ash for wet-bed blooms of scarlet
like dragon eyes in darkness cooling their anger.
See lavender’s dense bush of mist green leaves,
whose spikey pods on stalks peal joy in carrillions.
On purple twigs grow succulent small leaves
whose buds blink orange-red at passersby,
as though to startle them from lazy dreams.
Thunder! So Stay
Thunder starts far far,
with silver hoof it’s shod,
as heavy thud it falls,
but muffled on the sod.
Darker and louder, spurred,
like a horse big and strong.
As it nears, it grows,
ever more loud it pounds.
Now thunder in sky above
might strike us down to ground,
while the din of its hooves
brings the sky crashing down.
Instances of Abundance
when orange blossoms yield their heady scent,
or saps with rise and fill in early spring
assure that maples will produce their sweet
manifold of reds when autumn comes.
When a full thirst parches throat to desert,
a single mango tree in fruit is blessed.
Or swollen grapes, tasty and purple black,
picked in cool evening dew from vines’ green gloam.
Or dandelion’s poise before breeze bursts
to strew a vast landscape with next year’s seed.
And weeks of sour sweet from yellow grapefruits,
until stray pink in season sugar palettes.
The now and then attracting such peak interest,
like rush of crowded salmon to spawning fields,
not to be stopped until their task is done,
then death shall come, but countless are the offspring.
Only the cat slinks grey along the black
stonewall of tufa, round raked garden ash
where sparsely grow the flowers, herbs and wine stock,
watered from cisterns feeding snake-black pipes.
Flies fret the sun-drenched air, a lone bird warbles,
one butterfly wafts white helter-skelter.
Spiders their threads have spun to sway in air:
a silver tie traversed from plant to plant.
The sea is silent, misty blue, inert,
ultramarine the sky with random clouds.
An afternoon of peace before sunset.
All else is still, far mountains loom like doom,
and when the sun behind their heights does sink,
the flash of light that bursts from dying day
ignites the sky in yellow-gold, vermillion,
brightens the clouds, bathes far horizons rose,
settling serenity on darkened land.
There falls a gradual hush as dusk descends.
Amongst the hills, the house that stands streamside
must find itself down low, flanked by green walls
under white clouds that fill a shrunken sky.
Curtailed horizons grant a sharper focus.
Looking above yields more than grindstone eyes.
Cumulus clouds lift up to cliff’s sunned brow.
Look out to sea between the two high haunches
where horned black sheep stud white the steep-climb pastures:
clouds play in blue’s intense and soundless
stillness – serenity and creativity –
reminding us how nature’s peace and beauty
yield much more gold than workaholics’ dream.
Sometimes the clouds whiz by at breakneck speed,
fly low and chase like swallows when storm starts.
Our thoughts can scurry too if worry’s strong,
or scat like mice who fear the hovering hawk.
Yet those steep banks can hold our thoughts in form,
with substance, loft, support, assuring meaning.
Person and the Journey of the Sun
For evening walk the beach is now abandoned.
Sun sets behind horizon’s strips of clouds,
firing their crest with gold, beyond, unseen,
suffusing western sky scarlet vermillion.
The crescent moon like a compassed line
shines a bright earnest light where cloud is thin.
The rest of heaven’s vault retains a while
the blue of day, except where mares’ knot their tails,
catch the sun’s setting hues in puffy rhythms.
Then rose flushes the sky to end the day
reflecting on earth in wash where wave recedes.
There walks one soul alone in shadow now,
upright and strong, with sure and resolute step,
convinced next morn will flare again ascendant.