Elegy for the Luminous
pink roses remain dewy—a few weighed down
by headiness. You'd like to inhale the golden-orange freesias: not a scent
of turpentine. Crocuses open beaklike, snowdrops droop,
colors swirl up Rembrandt tulips,
persimmon lilies arc
backward in the vase aswarm with flowers
of every season—combinations
no gardener ever saw.
In your garden one loveliness replaces another
or shoots drown in their roots in an eyesore
patch of earth you can't paint over.
Winter gessoes your canvas white.
You sketch on it with a stick
and dream of seeds—their hidden pigment. Eternally pink
petals collect at the bottom
of this Dutch Still Life,
where grape hyacinths spike up, and higher—star delphiniums.
Poised leaflike on a stem, the subtle butterfly’s beyond delirium.
Despite the museum window’s darkening landscape,
despite the pithy insights on the painting's placard,
you don’t notice—farther down the wall--
the framed timepiece, mirror, skull,
but admire the lushness of the peony,
the creamy yellow strokes of composite,
the unblinking delft verbena.
lolling in the shadow, deepened by age,
takes in the viewer who, forgetting the reaper, gleans
the moment, and wanting all bounty, all seasons
at once, loses sight
of the heavy frame.
This poem appeared in Bookpress Quarterly and in Like an Index of the Fragile World, as well as in Laura Glenn’s first book of poems, I Can’t Say I’m Lost, published by FootHills Publishing. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including, The Antioch Review, Boulevard, Cortland Review, Epoch, Green Mountains Review, Poet Lore, Poetry, and Smartish Pace. She is working on a second full-length book of poems. Glenn is a Pushcart nominee, and the recipient of a CAP fellowship in poetry as well as a poetry grant from AE Ventures. Along with other poets, she is currently presenting a multimedia ekphrastic show at various venues. Also a visual artist, she lives in Ithaca, NY, where she works as a freelance editor.
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