This poem appears in the Winter 2017 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
We’re in a private garden—Arcady.
Cool windmill palms, Cape jasmine, climbing rose,
live oaks, a fig, the archetype of tree,
magnificent magnolias: all propose
light, leafy thought, while scattered notes of dread
and pain, remembered, barely interfere
as being spins unceasingly its thread
out of our substance and the atmosphere.
What artistry is on display!—through chance,
intentions, Nature’s talent, which contrive
to model the ideal from circumstance,
the lost originals that still survive.
Contentment, calm, are not mirage. To be
in sentimental misery (intense,
grotesque, or bitter) antithetically
presumes acquaintance with a garden’s sense.
Such dialectic shapes the afternoon—
aromas, murmurs lingering in the grass,
moist air, fresh late-spring breezes, opportune;
yet stillness, even as the moments pass.
We have been happy, you and I! These hours,
a benefit of friendship, time, and love,
hang trellised, framed in foliage and flowers—
the meaning in the manner, hand in glove.