Until it grew so
That all my
Life had Entered it
Emily Dickinson


The Garden

It was a dream we had, a dream of green,
green to the point of vertigo.
Like a berylline sea with a lilac
scent, turning sand
into grass.
We had enough of grey shores,
we stayed too long at the east of eden.
We could hear that dream saying :
Now, it’s my turn.

And truly it was such a curious one,
not afraid by its own improbability.
It started to grow one root in the ground,
the other in the sky,
and before we knew,
trees were caught up in constellations,
stars pealed like icy bells.
From dawn to dusk, waves
unfolded petal by petal, changing
from emerald to coral.

We forgot about death.
We forgot everything on this earth
was hard work.
We just sat and watched the bushes
scatter news from life
like little pieces of their hearts.


The Oak

He slept, almost insular,
in a warmth of thorns,
coiling years in his center
as if he were a chronicler.
Higher, heavier than the snow
that once killed all widlflowers
or the heat that burnt the ferns.
Waiting for the mauve dawn
of heathers he saw in his sleep
to break.

He, without a word or an I,
became such a presence to us,
such a call. Not that he
was a greater miracle
than elephants or whales,
in their architecture of bones,
for whom children open
their mouths and eyes.
But his body had the bare shape
of memory.

The stylus of time, core-tied,
pursued its ring dance,
like a wish, like a litany,
to let him delight in rustling
forever, and when our minds seemed
to collapse under their own weight,
a string of notes waved.

Birds of all kind dangled
in his net like souvenirs
from a blue land we left behind,
singing how every one of us now
had nothing more to lose.



Mauve, lilac, purple, pink.
They bloom, oblique
like amethyst crystals
turning from stone to flower.
As if color could no longer
rest, only burst, only burst
into irrepressible laughter.

It’s a thin, silly message
every bud unfurls,
it claims Love
is a lust for wings.
It rolls along bare legs
with a touch of feather
and the unexpected
crackling of fire.

There’s no silence
in flora, so silent.
Grasshoppers whip
leaves like tiny flames.
Butterflies, dragonflies,
flap their skins of bronze
or cellophane, and bees
whirl, drunk on gold.

Now the shadows of summer
can’t believe their inks.
Violet ones, velvet ones,
like those filling Monet’s eyes
to the brim, like cups.
Heaven comes back,
for a moment, fragmented.
Black doesn’t exist,
there’s only light.



The earth secretes veins of milk.
The earth swells warm
beneath petals and dew.
Its white pulse runs along twigs,
denuding fat opals,
from egg-size to chalice,
which pop then clot like sugar.

It is April’s sole harm —
Sweetness. As the moon lacquers
facets dividing their globes,
beetles, punctual as pollen,
sink into lactescent wells
almost too candied to breathe.
— Air itself is a love-charm.

In this phosphoric quiet
blue spruces get bluer,
roses on tightropes sigh
and the creamy plumage of dogwoods
sways as if echoing tides.

Magnolias pregnant with light
do not hope the world to end.
They secrete no Revelation.
Their blank pages, tinged with blush,
let believe earth, is the right place
for grace.


Water Lilies

They come in flames
over the ponds,
pointing their tender blades
at an orange sky.
They are like psalms
written before water
divided from fire.

Clear-cut as jewels,
they open in the early heat
to attune light and shadow.
Each flower crowning
an islet of green umbrellas,
each leaf its dark pendant,
perfect yin to yang.

This is where the sun
bows down. Not to
the willow-leaved magnolia
sheding its smell of lemon,
not to heathers and pines
feigning a mauve Provence,
not even on the red carpet
of fallen needles.

There, to the tiny star
of summer, rosy
upon the caress of water,
whose delicate geometry
hides a life more full
and clement than can be.
There, to the true
eccentricity of beauty.


The Roses

Get lost. Unlearn the way back.
Supplant thoughts by feelings.
Some scents need you
to be more vulnerable,
more gone, wanting
their music more.
Some scents are siren songs.

They call at night from the labyrinth,
their red lips in a perpetual opening.
They seem to be made of pure silk,
each of them a perfect tangle
of Ariadne’s thread, circling
a truth. Listen to them.
Go inward to find the way out.

It’s simple and clear like perfume.
It’s an open heart in the open air,
freshly cut, chanting,
I am lost.
I am lost.


The Second Blooming

Time was all our dream needed
to undream itself. It ceded
to the wind, to the chill of reality,
leaving its red heart just in sight,
unwoven, bare, as one should be.

The sun leaned its arc on the trees
blowing out flowers like candles
until the berylline sea, too receded.
The whole sky began to pearl
as mirrors blur, reflecting nothing.

We thought llfe might be leaving us.
Hypnotized, we watched her
drape a flaming scarf over the twigs,
but felt no death in her kiss,
it was simply too rouge.

The first snow came, unwhite,
from maples, walnuts,
burning bushes fleeing themselves.
Their tiny souls slowed
and swirled in the silent air,
bright and vital as blood drops.

Surely this was the other life
we were meant to live, full of joy
and fire, surely the sound
of creased paper was just that
of our sins’— Oh, it is.

To lay our bruised selves
upon leaves,
and sing. It is time —