Lanthanum 3.11


A single dark red rosebloom opens
in the center of the old backyard. Rhodos,
Rhode Island – little city-state, microcosmos –
Blackstone's, Williams' hopeful Providence.

Under an arch of Westerly granite, the schema
of an early settler stands facing west, toward
distant plains. On his shoulders, word
of renewing gospel, manifest – pleroma

of the seeking soul – its end, its day –
imprinted as with graceful characters
reflecting steadfast light. Beyond all powers,
overweening lords of seasonal round (their clay

glory). Active sponsor of intelligible freedom –
image of the Maker, come to break and bless
and be amongst us. . . lift us to the nest
of everlastingness. And this same kingdom

(at the font of Time) imparts equality
as principle of human justice – the law
of freedom rooted in a sense of awe
and gratitude, kinship and mutuality.

So this married pair of principles –
the sacred cherishing of limitless grace
and secular chartering of liberty – formed
this place, this Providence – municipal

refuge for an ancient light. Old rose
that balances on thorny stem, opens
to summer's radiance... dark ruby lens
to gather more light (unto summer's close).


Lanthanum 3.10


Hobo, with his halting heart, inches toward summer.
Lonely (without his little tree of Jesse
planted in mind) he looks to the peony's
lush purple sphere, in its backyard cloister.

His rusty railroad ties, his crown, askew...
a derelict King Dave, without a Shulamith.
Mumbling his way to happiness – a river-myth
swollen with sighs. When the singer threw

himself from the gilt-woven bridge, into
the stream of Ocean – it was a baptism
in reverse (a divination of the salty womb).
I woke from a St. Louis dream, not long ago :

the Gateway Arch (lanthanum highway-brow).
Hobo would understand. His hungry song
for Helen hale and whole (or Mom) flung
harmonies like peonies from distaff soil. Pow-

wow of primal mundus-mound – cathedral pile –
ultra-calibrated (Finnish) tail-spun steel – O
vain little man (with humming hammer-wheel)
triangulate your clover now – and stay awhile!

The heart's bleak poverty consigns its prairie
prayer. My love will have an answer (O
) – the fateful rhythm of the river-
flow (an exhalation of the soul's

glory, Hobo). By the gate of mourning,
morning. On the ridge of the plateau
of Providence, where grows the pennyroyal
monarch's mint (square root). A kingly thing.