What We Need
Why shouldn’t flowers look like clam balloons
on strings, like coral fireworks surrounding
blue eyeballs? Why not golden strawberries,
a yellow sickle on a bed of maroon?
They don’t exist, Madame Hohnloser said,
but who died and made her god of all things
growing? They may not yet be discovered,
or evolved. Perhaps we may simply need
them to exist in the face of so much
sorry predictability, so many
machines, so little room to walk freely.
Maybe this is why the Samurai
on the vase is smiling. Surrounded
by colour, he refuses not to dream.
J. Stephen Rhodes
Poems by J. Stephen Rhodes have appeared in over fifty literary journals, including Shenandoah, Tar River Poetry, and Texas Review, as well as several international reviews. Wind Publications has published his two poetry collections, The Time I Didn’t Know What to Do Next (2008) and What Might Not Be (2014). He has won a number of literary awards including two fellowships from the Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences, selection as a reader for the Kentucky Great Writers Series. Most recently, he won First Prize in Still: The Journal’s annual poetry contest. He holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine-Stonecoast and a Ph.D. from Emory University.
The Ekphrastic Review
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