Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Trumpet Rose

A rain of light falls, sharp electric forks
like bullets shot from battles in the sky
or brassy notes from jazzy sax or trumpet.
Ozone taints the air. A mass of roses
clings for shelter to the garden wall,
their stems entangled, roots in fearful knots.

Deep in the garden, I resolve to not
turn back. I have no fear of paths where fork-
tongued adders lie at rest. Confining walls
cut off horizons, cannot hide the skies
above the stubbled fields where starlings rise
like clouds of smoke awakened by the trumpet.

They call this poisoned flower “angel’s trumpet”.
“Monkey’s paw”, the name they give this knot,
recalling charms that made a dead man rise
as bare and innocent as mandrake’s fork.
They feared his presence, walking under sky
and sent him back to stare at earthen walls

forever. But there is no mortal wall
that can withstand the final shock of trumpets
ringing from the bursting-open sky.
That day will see unbinding of all knots
and every winding path reveal its forks:
the grand design complete, the compass rose

in symmetry at last. Till then, each rose
must climb down, solo, from its natal wall
and walk the twists of mad blind fortune’s forking
paths beneath the shade of angel’s-trumpet—
the swinging shadow of the hangman’s knot—
to find a place where it can see the sky.

They said we were not meant to touch the sky
because we fell when other spirits rose.
They bound the wind with hairs in seven knots,
surrounded us with seven brazen walls
surmounted by angelic guards with trumpets
or caricature devils wielding pitchforks.

No charm of knotted hair can bind the sky
and every wall conceals a tongue that forks
and every rosebush hides a deadly trumpet.


Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Cloudscome said...

Wow! When I saw the poetry stretch I thought of the sestina form too. You did an amazing job here.