By Thomas Page
The Purple Blossoms of Late Summer
In the plot by my porch purple flowers have bloomed During the Roman’s esteemed month To speckle the onions and the leeks Looking as clean as the weeds In the summer’s rains and shines. How pleasant are these surprises of nature Which see the green thumb supplant the scythe In the garden plots as savage as the hyena Filled with casket-clay and rot-rock And the gnarls of the roots. A finger guided by eye points at the swatch of purple In the fields of green invoking memories of Monet That we often see in museums and hospitals-- A sense of comfort in the unease Of what it all tries to be. I am no steward, I am no gardener Who can summon the fruits from the seed Or the blossoms from the buds. However, I can enjoy the bounties That grow when there is a will in the air To poke out of Bryant’s Lethe And look at the sun.
There is no shock quite as vivid as the first blossoms of spring; A time for the patient man to wait out the cold breath of winter-- The headlights plodding in the tunnel under the Baltimore Harbor; Trapt like the obscene condensation on my windshield-- I shiver to the same shade of fuschia as the jacaranda dropping petals Softly as the midnight snowfall.
I might as well be a bust based on what they can see of me With my monitor titled back so that I can see the screen So that the glare of the lights doesn’t dim the picture-- Fifty percent seated. Some look just left of center at the chat logs Or the captions filling in the spirit to the soul of it Trying to not look each other in the eye— Twenty five percent present. There is a thousand answers to a million questions Coming in through the cracks of the dam Never knowing when the water droplets begin to leak— Thirty percent responded. Session after session is done as the battery dies My eyes and my carpals droop like the willow. The leaves brown at their temples
Midnight on the Moon
If I asked you tonight would you dance with me midnight on the moon? The air would be so lovely mixing with space midnight on the moon. We would watch the continents fade into the ocean midnight on the moon. And wonder who would watching us in the sea of tranquility midnight on the moon. Seeing faces and jills among the craters smiling down at them midnight on the moon. Will our feet float above the rocks like the seahorses midnight on the moon?
Even in the miasma we can take gentle pleasures Such as a walk in Windhill Hill When the sun is shining And the butterflies float about the flowers Intermingled with the weeds Near the shorn grass And the parceled shore Where the people walk about in the madding crowd Enjoying the few hours between showers Of deluge and misinformation and fear.
I dreamt I saw you in Perseus’ mirror Beneath the window-paned garden Telling me who murdered you Before the hour of morning seven Just before the iris and the pupil Drew in the light that came from the mind’s heaven. I dreamt that we were walking along the promenade When you showed me your hand of aces That showed that you knew all of my shadows Obscuring the sight-lines of the faces That I playacted in the traditions of priests and prostitutes On the stages of gods and commoners with maces. I dreamt that we were bowing before a match And you pointed out that I was hideously underdressed I hid in Adam’s Shame from all of the eyes of the fighters Darting across the stretch-marks of skin abreast Making as much sense as the pen Of French cartographers in borders guessed. I dreamt you were kitty-corner from my head Holding a trombone while I was asleep And you began rehearsing Giant Steps Right in my ear as if the horn of a Jeep Were blasting my eardrums into oblivion But I couldn’t move to stop you, Creep. I read that Julian of Norwich once had a terrible fever And saw Heaven in the groove of a seed As she sweated in her dream But I only saw you.
One thought on “The Purple Blossoms of Late Summer and Other Poems”
Thomas Page’s poems are quite vivid: “The headlights plodding in the tunnel under the Baltimore Harbor . . . “”I might as well be a bust based on what they can see of me . . . ” “We would watch the continents fade into the ocean . . . ” These are some of the lines that I found to be as realistic as photographs, lines that could be discussed at length by readers studying poetry. Frank Kowal