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Guest Poet Caroline Seagle

to change tempo

Light illuminating chloroform.
a trellis overhanging,
entangled; wisteria, rose,
grapevine, the soft murmur of
lavender, curl
gently together,
modest for gold.

autumn: ripened fragility in
pungent chestnut, milky birch,
sanguine maple-
transcending silence, radiance
resonating the music
of misty morning haze,
spreading its thick fingers
over and within
fertile, green valleys:
rising ghosts of wet earth.

Underfoot, beneath
the ethereal, beneath
the viscous morning
trudges a brilliant
orange head
proudly to stream, intrepid
half-shell encasing
thinned, wrinkled flesh,
while, its placid companion,
purple newt, tantalizes
a dreaming bed
of green moss.

(we have all done this before)

I want to smash it
against the wall:
this greedy metronome,
hurrying sweet smells
of damp soil
and lilac, soft
sighs of tulips
upon awakening.
I want to hold
in my very hands
what I cannot, for
a very long time.

September, 2002

Caroline Seagle's questions:

Is the imagery successful?

does the poem seem jambled or too wordy?

did you think turtle in the third stanza? I didn't
want to actually use the word, turtle. but perhaps
it's not obvious enough.

do the line breaks make sense?

is the title appropriate?

thanks very much,

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