Not Blue, Not Yellow
Your virginal roses
white with pinks as delicate
as a young girl's blush
their petals loosening
as we watch
ready to fall
they turn and bow their heads
smiling up at us
from underneath each ruffle
remembering what it took
to come here
out of seed and woody branch
to unfurl each velvet layer
from the tight wound bud
to share their sweet communion
with each passing bee
come here at last
as cut and gathered captives
who yet stir and lean together
ready for the dance--
refusing to be still
Mary McCarthy: "I have always been a writer, but spent most of my working life as a Registered Nurse. I've had work appear in many print and online journals, including 3Elements Review, Califragile and Earth's Daughters. I have an electronic chapbook , Things I Was Told Not to Think About, available as a free download from Praxis Magazine Online."
Lovely, but limp
brown at the edges,
some nodding low
some blooms already fallen
onto the table,
Vincent, are you bidding us
farewell with this bowl of roses?
A still life, still alive,
Joan Leotta has been playing with words on page and stage since childhood in Pittsburgh. She is a writer and story performer. Her Legacy of Honor series feature strong Italian-American women. Her poetry and essays appear or are forthcoming in Gnarled Oak, the A-3 Review, Hobart Literary Review, Silver Birch, Peacock, and Postcard Poems and Prose among others. Her first poetry chapbook, Languid Lusciousness with Lemon, was just released by Finishing Line Press. Joan's picture books from Theaqllc, Whoosh!, Summer in a Bowl, Rosa and the Red Apron, and Rosa's Shell celebrate food and family. Her award-winning short stories are collected in Simply a Smile. You can find more about her work on her blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.com
Still Life with Pink Roses, by Van Gogh
It surprises me to see this canvas
of pink roses, heads bowed almost
to the ground. They are gathered
in a metal pail halfway buried
in the grass. Through Van Gogh’s eyes,
the banal so often becomes
tempestuous and dark—sunflowers
unnaturally bright, throbbing with life.
Twisted trees all unregulated emotion.
But these blowsy roses, petals close
to dropping, faded as old wallpaper
in an abandoned house, seem as calm
as cows grazing in the meadow. Yet
the vivid grass and leaves suggest
an undercurrent of the old mania--
unchecked, burning in the summer light.
Robbi Nester frequently writes Ekphrastic poetry. She is the author of four books of poetry, including an Ekphrastic chapbook, Balance (White Violet, 2012), and three collections of poetry: A Likely Story (Moon Tide, 2014), Other-Wise (Kelsay, 2017), and a forthcoming book, Narrow Bridge (Main Street Rag), which is available for advance sale from the publisher at http://mainstreetragbookstore.com/product/narrow-bridge-robbi-nester/. She is also the editor of two anthologies: The Liberal Media Made Me Do It! (Nine Toes, 2014) and an Ekphrastic e-book, Over the Moon: Birds, Beasts, and Trees--celebrating the photography of Beth Moon, accessible athttp://www.poemeleon.org/over-the-moon-birds-beasts-and. Her poetry, reviews, articles, and essays have appeared widely in journals, anthologies, and other publications.
The Ekphrastic Review
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