"FOR YOU: ANTHOPHILOUS, LOVER OF FLOWERS"
By Reginald Dwayne Betts
For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers,
green roses, chrysanthemums, lilies: retrophilia,
philocaly, philomath, sarcophilous—all this love,
of the past, of beauty, of knowledge, of flesh; this is
catalogue & counter: philalethist, negrophile, neophile.
A negro man walks down the street, taps Newport
out against a brick wall & stares at you. Love
that: lygophilia, lithophilous. Be amongst stones,
amongst darkness. We are glass house. Philopornist,
philotechnical. Why not worship the demimonde?
Love that—a corner room, whatever is not there,
all the clutter you keep secret. Palaeophile,
ornithophilous: you, antiquarian, pollinated by birds.
All this a way to dream green rose petals on the bed you love;
petrophilous, stigmatophilia: live near rocks, tattoo hurt;
for you topophilia: what place do you love? All these words
for love (for you), all these ways to say believe
in symphily, to say let us live near each other.
How can you write about flowers? You don't. The flower writes the key notes of your soul.
Something about sharing all this beauty in one place and then being a part of love.
........How about having a Briar Patch in the middle of baseball field, with thorny little yellow plants and wooded houses with wild ducks walking all over the place.
Or perhaps a floral scene with a little English tea with clotted cheese and scones is more to your liking, sir.
I ALLOW MYSELF
By Dorothea Grossman
I allow myself
the luxury of breakfast
(I am no nun, for Christ’s sake).
Charmed as I am
by the sputter of bacon,
and the eye-opening properties
it’s the coffee
that’s really sacramental.
In the old days,
I spread fires and floods and pestilence
on my toast.
Nowadays, I’m more selective,
I only read my horoscope
by the quiet glow of the marmalade.
MORITURI SALUTAMUS: POEM FOR THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLASS OF 1825 IN BOWDOIN COLLEGE
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"O Cæsar, we who are about to die
Salute you!" was the gladiators' cry
In the arena, standing face to face
With death and with the Roman populace.
O ye familiar scenes,—ye groves of pine,
That once were mine and are no longer mine,—
Thou river, widening through the meadows green
To the vast sea, so near and yet unseen,—
Ye halls, in whose seclusion and repose
Phantoms of fame, like exhalations, rose
And vanished,—we who are about to die,
Salute you; earth and air and sea and sky,
And the Imperial Sun that scatters down
His sovereign splendors upon grove and town.