Donna Denizé


            for baby Landon Travis Fulwider
            “Atoms vibrate in all the schools of the world…

            the pen cannot trace nor the tongue recount.”⎯Baha’u’llah

Every January, we order bulbs
from the nursery, anxiously open
the manual, searching (I don’t know why)
for something new; it never changes, though

all else does. Reading, each year, Caring for
roses: keep it safe, simple, we await
arrival: Begonias, Dahlias, Freesias,
Gladiolus, Lilies, and Roses too:

            To prevent rust, prune out inner branches;

we were watchers (in truth), secret watchers
of bloom and peerless unfolding petals,  
of mead’s florid splendor; majestic work
enamored, captured our gaze, boundlessly

swept us to luminous worlds, different
yet welded⎯mysteriously joined to ours.
And when from soil roses come into their glory,
I take a breath, gingerly

touch your hand, wonder full⎯Colors coming
with their simple shadowing bloom. From sun,
rain, earth, blossoms bid⎯exalt each flower

leaf, branch⎯everywhere flower⎯everywhere
colors: one country, colors⎯one nation,
colors⎯Begonias, Dahlias, Roses⎯
            And then, you arrive, eyes black as olives,

your hair of sable night, and I know
there is no manual for such blooming:
watering, feeding, pruning, and loving
with numberless days of light bring this birth,

fresh from heart-stir, as life-cord is cut, your
name, annunciated to waiting ears,
eyes, and we, speechless, searching no longer.
            (Caring for roses: keep it safe, simple).

As Mystic roses illumine the earth
to speak a common script, atoms vibrate
in all the schools of the world, move heaven

to disclose what had been wrapped, concealed, laid
up in bounty beyond our sight, bounty
every dawn tide, eventide. In each bloom,

the world of being and all therein
Thy heavenly place, river, banquet⎯grace
the pen cannot trace nor the tongue recount.   

  To increase light and air-circulation,
            remove inner branches and lower leaves
            eighteen inches from the soil, feed every
            four weeks, and don’t forget to water.

Petals unclose; we do not speak in this
spot, do not divide air by syllable
or sound. We know only nurture, sense need:

(and there it is)⎯to love one human race
in shades of perfect grace, loving all,
no manual, like caring for Landon:
keep it safe, simple, don’t forget, water.

We think of springs emptying, refilling
themselves from hidden source, then of “we,” born
as one⎯dust, born of a self-same “dust.”
Things stir within, causing us to draw close,
closer to blooms held back no longer. Heart-
soil turns, and we will, Landon, keep you near,

close to earth where all tabernacles rise
as living cups, and flowers waken brisk
breezes, spread splendor, life raised up, and more:
dominion’s sweet scent, creation unfolds

enfolding us⎯all⎯in hidden Unseen.

Donna Denizé
Donna Denizé is an award-winning teacher, former member of the Folger Poetry  Board, and author of two poetry collections: Broken Like Job, published by The Word Works in 2005, and a chapbook, The Lover's Voice



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