by David Sutherland

In bright halts of petals and wreaths
in a palanquin's sleeping cargo
we bound madly in half embrace
trade downhill with up.

In bright halts of petals and wreaths
a vivid scene of floating calm
twists on a reed's helix of turns
and rolls across subtle, imageless thoughts
into gravity's journey downhill.

In vivid halts of petals and wreaths,
in each breath we exhale,
speak soft in warm ennobling cadence
for a world descends in perfect grief.
A perishing vision sees
what can't be seen, as I envision
these startling petals and wreaths,
retribution failing to flit its harp
or stage its muse. Here its mimic,
an imperfect order draws darkness
over no less profound a heart.
What will not burn, we set to fire;

what can't be held send
into sleep, into turn by gentle turn
of ring worn age, covetable grace
beauty and sadness as you spread
over this air-woven awning of clouds
to defy life's strange author
whose groves we supplant
with unchallenged wind.

In brights halts of petals and wreaths
what can't be tasted, swallow
what can't be said, speak.
Sow only shadows into moonlight,
plant only love, as regret
starts each day at sunset.

About the author:  David Sutherland has been widely published, with recent pieces appearing in The Hollins Critic, The Northern Michigan Journal and The Reader. He also serves as editor for a publication called Recursive Angel. His collection Between Absolutes has recently been published by Menace Publishing of Alexandria, VA.

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Copyright 1998 by David Sutherland