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).