Here's another terzanelle. It was written (surprisingly) quickly when I saw a man place a bouquet of white roses on the stoop of an abandoned building. I wrote the poem when I passed by the building a week later and the roses were still there.
Still Life on Stairwell
He placed the roses down with so much care,
their breath became the sunlight, fading green,
which left a tender shadow on the stair,
and gave a final stroke of tourmaline
to soft, forgotten petals, velvet white –
whose breath became as sunlight, faded green.
I pause to mourn – no fragrance reunites
me, in my bitter tea-stained reverie,
with those forgotten petals, velvet white.
I know that future’s roses, meant for me,
won’t keep that heart of green and drip with tears.
I slip back into tea-stained reverie.
He walks away in ashen atmospheres,
the light shrinks from those blossoms, now sad gray
No longer white and green, they drip with tears.
The wilted stems and ribbons swept away,
where once he’d placed those roses with such care
the light shrinks from the blossoms, sad and gray,
and leaves no trace of shadow on the stair.
14 Mar 2004