Tangled amid thorns and branches,
surrounded by moans and sighs,
a twig cracks, splits, oozing red
down gnarled bark.
“Why have you torn me?
Have you no pity?”
in a chloral haze.
Io fei gibetto a me de le mie case―
the peacock’s cry,
Seven years, her copper hair
filled the coffin.
In the lantern light
of the pilfered grave,
her face, laudanum pale
What of her glass without her …
A decade of betrayals
of the mistress’s
of a stillborn
At Tudor House,
wombats, a kangaroo,
rapping from beyond,
her voice incarnate
in a chaffinch’s song.
Fanny installed as housekeeper,
and Jane Morris, a dark-eyed
Was not your grievous condition of weeping
Sunlit copper halo.
wont one while to make others weep?
Love holding her flickering flame,
And will ye now forget this thing
a white poppy
because a lady looketh upon you?
the red dove.
Quotes in italics are from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's translation of Dante's La Vita Nuova, from Dante's Inferno, and from Rossetti's "The House of Life 53: Without Her."
Richard Buhr’s poetry has appeared in the New York Quarterly and The New Renaissance and his essays have been published in Comparative Drama, the Midwest Quarterly and English Literature in Transition 1880-1920. He lives in Maine, where he has worked over the years as a journalist and public relations professional.
The Ekphrastic Review
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