Three Poems

by C. K. Tower

Dreaming Grandifloras, Again

"...I saw within her eyes,
before they answered, slow entanglements of roses..."

-- W.F. Lantry

I must have dreamt her again-- the roses
have surrendered their spiny axis. I am impatient
recalling their fragrance as it split through fog
every morning in July. And the dew,
how it settled into each petite crevice of green, swelled
on each damask satin shell. One by one,
a perfect moment carved into dawn.

The damascena will return, hewing aurora
with its redolence. My retivity lies
in the withering remembrance
of her skin; impressible petals rising
out of a sun beloved valley, halfway between
Sofia and the Black Sea: Loose clusters blooming
at the tips of stems. Hidden inside, hips turn red,
yellow, or black at their peak.

On the rim of her hip, my lips left a secret,
giving rise to the full double flowers every lover
or gardener praises-- I must have dreamt her again.

Of Two Minds Left Undone

Maybe there's a secret to untangling
misplaced endearments: consider rose hips
from The Grasse, and Roman chamomile; the latter
carried a hundred miles by a Saxon priest, chanting
maythen. Perhaps it's some arcane ingredient:
five grains of sand from Cronos' hourglass or an inch of thread
from Lachesis. Possibly the enunciation
of a Siren's midnight confession: a translation from papyrus leaf,
scrawled down while she dreamt of a forbidden lover.

If I knew the secret, every arcane ingredient,
each word patterned in gossamer trope, both
or anything, I could diminish the remembrance:
your presence lingering inside each veiled chamber,
leading toward my center. But if I indulged
in our undoing, I'd be left with yet another space
to fill, with rose hips, chamomile and siren song.


"...I've got it all here in my heart...I know the truth
of course I know it..."

-Henley & Silbar

It was strange how we both glanced up
at the stars, rushing past
another awkward moment: You crying, my hands clenched
over yours, my head braced against your arm. It's always
that song doing us in. Later,
when I had the stage to myself, I practiced various faces
I'd need when we rehearsed the scene again.

Once upon a time you were me, or it was
just tonight, as you admired
my endurance, and I just counted. First the stones
lining the path to the door, then the squares in the
door, then anything my eyes could hold, until
I could subtract myself from the scream pushing
against the back of my throat.

Who are you when you remind me you aren't as strong
as I need you to be, so I can feel comfortable?
You break the secret with your silence and deep sighs,
before winding that character back inside
for a later engagement; tuck her away,
the withered mother who needs a moment
to confide in daughter. And she/I
count flowers or trees or any scenery readily available,
always, always gritting teeth, wanting to be the star, again.
We're more comfortable when I 'm you playing me...
aren't we?

I think of all the movies we've seen, the songs
we sang in the car. My hand always finding it's way
to yours. You think it's me who's acted
my way out of those blues, flown past the
tragic ending. But oddly, I am more satisfied with you
playing the hero.

CK Tower was born on July eleven, nineteen seventy, in Santa Barbara California, though she has resided in Michigan (presently Lansing) for twenty five years. In the Spring of '98, CK plans to transfer to Michigan State University, where she will continue her studies in literature and creative writing. CK has seen wide publication of her work in print and electronic journals, some of these include: "Poetry In Motion," "15 Credibility Street," "Brooklyn Poet," "A 2River 'View," "Artisan," "Ceteris Paribus," and "Poetalk." CK is a member of the National Poet's Association, and a founding member of the Internet Writers and Artists Guild. In addition to working as Poetry Editor for "Recursive Angel, she is also Managing editor for "Conspire Poetry Journal," and Associate Editor for "The Black Swan Review." Aside from writing, CK enjoys reading (especially lyric poetry and work by The New England Confessional Poets), expanding her book collection and raising Rottweilers.

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