Late July neoGenesis:
yesterday, sun scorched, nut brown earth shards;
today, in profusion,
Lycoris squamigera –
Three months ago,
malachite strap leaves adorned this parchment plot;
with the solstice,
they became forgotten, dessicated tendrils
scattered by winds of dying spring.
Now, against all reason, a roseate nosegay rises –
borne aloft on pencil-thin petioles
(daintily defying the drying dust of Shenandoah midsummer).
Any of the town’s walnut women –
birdlike, pruned nonagenarian relicts –
will divulge with twinkling obsidian eyes that these miracle flowers
are more commonly called ‘Naked Ladies’,
recalling in the same breath
(with anachronistic maiden flush)
genteel archaic terms –
veranda; julep; gentleman caller.
If, with their florid airy terpsichore,
these seraphic heralds of autumn
can revivify parched earth and wizened crones,
--Rich Follett has recently returned to writing poetry after a thirty-year hiatus. He lives in the sacred and timeless Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he joyfully teaches English and Theatre Arts for high school students. His poems have appeared in Paraphilia, Calliope Nerve, Sugar Mule, Four Branches Press and Counterexample Poetics, for which he is a Featured Artist. He is the co-author of Responsorials (with Constance Stadler) and the solo collection Silence, Inhabited (NeoPoiesis.)