Flower Shapes


Flowers in the shapes of cozy houses,
fountains in the shapes of windows
opening onto gardens,
roadways over bridges in the shape of
prancing white horses,
bridges leaping over gurgling streams in the

shape of two people in love gazing into
each other’s eyes over
tea and cucumber sandwiches,

esplanades in the shape of classical German literature,

trees flying upward like stationary flames,
their dark leaves rippling endlessly upward
in the shapes of deep-sea tropical lantern fish
suddenly become Flamenco dancers on a
hot Spanish night in Granada,

the garden itself in the shape of a heartbeat
all alone over the edge of the world, face
to the black night,

the black night itself in the shape of a
garden circling endlessly back
into itself like
circulating blood,

eyes and faces of children from the subcontinent
or from Madagascar, surrounded by
exotic vegetation,

the moment in which the garden is glimpsed
in the shape of all those missed opportunities
or in the shape of a sudden breakthrough in the

the heart of the garden, the voice of the
garden in the shape of an
angel’s wing that opens onto a
stairway within a stairway within a
stairway that leads either

up or down depending on your
preference, or where your

garden-shaped, fire-shod feet have led you in
this life.

6/8/97 (from Chants for the Beauty Feast)

Categories: Poems, Visionary Nature