Transcendent Rose

There is so much to field these days. A poem might assuage the soul ….

Transcendent Rose

A single rose is blooming

            in my hillside garden

It opens to the sky

            as if it’s early May

            instead of late September

The rose, lavender, and sparkling

            is like a palimpsest of all flowers

It’s like a vestige of an English garden

A remnant of the countryside 

            where John Keats might have wandered

A purple rose also bloomed late 

            in that little fenced-in field

It shone in the angled sun 

            near the shade of the plum tree that sheltered him 

            as he conjured “Ode to a Nightingale”

That rose was an efflorescent companion

            to Fanny Brawne

Early in the morning

            she relished its rich intoxicating fragrance

            kissed by cool pearly dew

John made only brief and desultory visits

            to the garden

He hardly noticed the haze of purple 

            or the atomized liqueur

            pouring forth from the single rose

Still, it connected John to Fanny

            and as she inhaled its aroma

            it consoled her

            while he was preoccupied

            with the persistent verse of the bird

The nightingale had put him under a spell

But despite its melodious call for a mate

            neither Fanny’s fresh smile

            nor the balm of the quintessential bloom 

            could retrieve him

He could not stop listening to the winged creature 

            belting its song

The nondescript bird 

            fanned a different kind of fever in John

As he sat underneath the branches of its tree

            he desperately fought to sing

            his own song

            a song that would accompany him

            through fleeting


            tender and solitary