Pleasures of the Flower Show
Maybe the message wasn’t wholly intentional,
but there it is, in all its suggestive glory:
the program brochure,
color photo of an orchid,
very vaginal, white labial petals
enclosing moist pink inside,
close-up, like those O’Keefe canvasses,
and the title above:
“Pleasures of the Flower Show."
This festival of fecundity,
this flurry of flora and perfumes,
could work its magic, like an ancient earth goddess.
Imagine a Main Line dowager,
her Panama-hatted husband in tow,
browsing the peonies and pergolas.
Suddenly she pulls him off the concourse,
and they clinch behind
the Japanese rock garden.
Unzipping him, she finds his Johnny Jump-up,
hikes up her skirt, and shows him
how much fun an orchid still can be.
- Bruce Niedt
Bruce W. Niedt is a "beneficent bureaucrat" and family man from
southern NJ. His poetry has appeared in Writers' Journal, Red River
Review, The Fairfield Review, Edison Literary Review, Samsara Quarterly, and
Mad Poets Review, among others. He also has won first prize in the ByLine
Magazine 2003 Short Fiction and Poetry Awards Contest. For information on Bruce's self-produced chapbook, A Slip of the Gears, contact him at
Note. Due to the effects of pesticides, peregrine falcon eggshells are thin
and fragile and therefore, often fracture prematurely resulting in the
endangerment of the peregrine falcon.
A woodpecker beats dead oak as I climb.
Boots pound a steel bridge. Iced needles crack.
Frost- burdened branches of mountain ash snap
amid pitch pines on Millbrook Ridge.
While Hudson Highlands doze, Wallkill River stirs.
With wide eyes, I kneel under a stone face.
Wintergreen creeps as I hesitate
in a cathedral of crags and moonlight.
A map points to heaven. When eggshells fracture
black wings spread. A mustached mate soars
As morning empties into a frozen vale.
A red-tailed hawk circles above.
- Rosemarie Crisafi
Rosemarie Crisafi lives in Wappingers Falls, New York. She works in White Plains, New York for a non-for-profit agency that serves individuals with disabilities. Contact her at:
By the Signs
There must be planning,
checking the milk supply,
As the moon is ringed and full,
a portent for moisture yet to come.
Within one certainty, a variability.
What is is probably what is meant to be.
Here, rain, unwavering,
freer of implications.
Home, it will be snow,
silence ominously piling
like castles transformed into museums,
mementos pulsing into artifacts.
This is a mint, I said to Dad
as we walked in his yard.
The stem is square.
The leaf is aromatic
when you crush it.
And its dense, retiring flowers
are almost always shades of blue.
This weed, said Dad,
is Creeping Charlie.
I'll dig you up some if you like it.
It spreads like The Devil.
There's a chemical to slow it.
The mint now sits with my houseplants:
Yard weed, curving like ivy, Creeping Charlie.
Finally, something close
Mowing into dusk.
Mushrooms at tree stumps
shredded into the hay.
At the borders,
- Ann Lederer
Ann Neuser Lederer was born in Ohio and has lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kentucky as a nurse. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Wind, Cross Connect, 2 River View, Kalliope, Moria, Brevity, and others. Her chapbooks, Approaching Freeze, (Foothills) and The Undifferentiated (Pudding House) were released in 2003. Visit her website at: www.geocities.com/annlederer