For the Rowan Bard
Words in proximity to one another
take on another meaning…What you
hear at a given moment is a refraction
of what’s gone before or after.
Glorious clumps of crimson berries,
brilliant in long September light.
Sorbus domestica, mountain ash from
the prolific rose family.
“Rowan is the tree of power, causing
life and magic to flower. Not to be
forgotten, set aside, or ignored.”
The Celtic Tree calendar’s second
month. His jewel a garnet and flower
cottage pink dianthus or carnation.
Quicken Tree, the high-strung race
horse called after a folk name for Rowan.
Along with Delight of the Eye, Quickbane,
Ran Tree, Sorb Apple, Thor’s Helper,
Whitty, Wicken-Tree, Wiggin, Wiggy,
Wiky, Wild Ash, Witchbane, Witchwood.
Ogham alphabet’s second consonant, Luis.
His planet Mercury, his element Fire,
clearing the mind to open inspiration.
John Ashbery, dead at ninety:
July 28, 1927— September 3, 2017.
Language the legacy he left.
Reading is a pleasure, but to finish reading,
to come to that blank space at the end,
is also a pleasure.
May his death have been such an ease
The poem is sad because it wants to be yours, and
Lines in italic by John Ashbery.
Published on http://tuckmagazine.com/2017/09/05/poetry-991/.
More of my poems are up on http://tuckmagazine.com/tag/penn-kemp/.
Penn Kemp is an activist Canadian poet, playwright and editor. Her latest works are two plays celebrating local hero and explorer, Teresa Harris, produced in 2017 and published by Playwrights Guild of Canada. Recent books include Barbaric Cultural Practice (quattrobooks.ca/books/barbaric-cultural-practice/) and two anthologies edited, Women and Multimedia and Performing Women (http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/livingarchives/). See www.pennkemp.weebly.com.