Guest Poet R. Rene Pengra

Flower Boxes

I'm a happy handful of posies -- geraniums or petunias, maybe.
Warm, colorful, folksy flowers.
I can cheer you, darling, but in the simplest ways,
	like the smell of chocolate chip cookies
	or the glow of gingham;
A handmade flowerbox on the edge of your windowsill.

What do you truly admire, deeply desire?
Fragile, lovely, long-stemmed beauties.
Roses and irises baring their sweet interiors, spreading a ready, heady
blossom for your delight.
I find them decorating and scenting every room in your house.

In your gathering, pray, remember one thing --
The more elaborate the beauty, the more quickly it wilts.
My love, in its humble flowerbox, is perennial.

October, 2000

R. Rene Pengra's Questions:

(1)  Titles are always the most difficult for me "Flower boxes" is a placeholder.  Any suggestions?

(2)  Is the subject matter too one-dimensional?


Is your cactus as small as I disremember?
I felt the tiny thing,
	rolled it amazedly between my fingers.
My blood lay glistening on its taut, dark flesh.

Is your cactus too old? Has it bloomed
	its creamy blossom after too many
		summer thunderstorms?
Does it sadly shrink and shrivel,
	sapped of its strength, its youth, its juice?

Perhaps you have not tended it well.
In such a rich, lush soil
I should think I'd find a saguaro
	not this sad little houseplant.

October, 2000

R. Rene Pengra's Questions:

(1) Suggestions for a title?  The ones I have thought of are too blunt.

(2) Is the imagry too direct?  I don't want to give away the joke in the first stanza of the poem if I can help it.  Is it perfectly obvious what I'm talking about from the start, or do I manage to keep the joke going for a while?

The Albany Poetry Workshop