These climbing roses, floribunda, red
and cream, through shades of multiwhorled blush
should not be blooming now: a month ago
a herd of deer had grazed along the fence
consuming every leaf. Since then, the slow
process of renewed growth built to a rush
of blossoming, so now, the branching stems
bear up a myriad of living gems
whose color changes often: if I gaze
near evening at one, I can’t recall
how it began the day. Its opulence
must change, scarlet to white, quickly through all
the intervening shades, so if I praise
the ruby glow of buds, before I’m done
each petal will be transformed by the sun
into some other jewel tone. And yet
perhaps that change should be our vision: when
we focus on their vibrant transience
we may see something more than what had been
or what will be, we may even forget
Autumnal clouds advancing overhead.
W.F. Lantry, a native of San Diego, received his Licence and Maîtrise from L’Université de Nice, M.A. in English from Boston University and PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. His poetry collections are The Structure of Desire (Little Red Tree 2012) winner of a 2013 Nautilus Award in Poetry, and a chapbook, The Language of Birds (Finishing Line Press 2011), a lyric retelling of Attar’s Conference of the Birds. Recent honors include the National Hackney Literary Award in Poetry, CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize, Crucible Editors’ Poetry Prize, Lindberg Foundation International Poetry for Peace Prize (in Israel), Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, and in 2012 the LaNelle Daniel and Potomac Review Prizes. His work has appeared widely in print and online, in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Valparaiso Fiction Review, Asian Cha, Descant, Gulf Coast and Aesthetica. He currently works in Washington, DC. and is an associate fiction editor at JMWW. More at: wflantry.com.
Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz writes stories, takes pictures and makes teddy bears by hand.