In the Garden

In Paradise there is a place
where ruby-colored roses grace
the trellises of precious pearl –
so splendidly their buds unfurl!

She and her Child oft’ wander here
among the flowers they hold dear
and with their sacred presence bless
each fragrant bloom with tenderness.

Ever now in heavenly light
because they were denied the right
by we who would their lives destroy
to be a little girl or boy.

No matter how we misconstrue;
indeed, we know just what we do.


I Hear the Sparrows

No harvest moon, this morbid orb!
All that is warm, it does absorb
and now it eyes my frosty breath –
this pallid harbinger of death!

My frozen heart for summer grieves
as day breaks on dead winter leaves.
Their presence I cannot abide –
too long my patience they have tried!

These early shoots, well they portend!
This frigid grip is near its end
and none too soon; I scarce can wait –
for taste of June I salivate!

No measure for the joy they bring,
each time I hear the sparrows sing!


Tis Better

What is there that is not divine?
And so this life, it is not mine
but gift indeed, meant to be shared
and from this calling, none are spared.

So answer with no thought of cost;
to hesitate is to be lost.
Open your hearts and they will fill
with treasures that enchant and thrill.

Neither to hoard nor ours to keep;
the good is here for all to reap.
What you bestow, He will restore
with best of measure, running o’er.

Live by His words; in them believe:
“Better to give than to receive.”



Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

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10 Responses

  1. Peter Hartley

    I particularly liked the middle two lines of the first verse and the “pallid harbinger of death”. All three short and sweet, with a strong punchy moral well expressed in each.

  2. Amy Foreman

    So great to see more poetry from you, Joe!! It’s been awhile . . .

  3. C.B. Anderson

    You have a nice touch, Joe, and, in my mind, your work gets better with every posting. What you have done is learn to express sentiment without excessive sentimentality, which is important.

    In “In the Garden” (stanza 3), if lines 2 & 3 ended with a comma, then I think the idea would have been clearer. As it stands, clause is piled on clause, and though most readers will figure it out, it’s not a bad idea to save them the trouble.

    It’s gratifying to know that the free hours of your retirement are being put to good use. Alas, my own retirement seems far away, so I must steal time from my lifelong commitments in order to engage with poetry.

  4. E. V.

    Joe, these are a pleasure to read! And, I agree with C. B.; your work keeps getting better and better.

  5. David Watt

    Joe, all three poems display elegance and clarity. I particularly enjoyed the lines:
    “My frozen heart for summer grieves
    as day breaks on dead winter leaves.”

  6. David Watt

    In regard to C.B.’s punctuation suggestion for “In The Garden”; I believe his point has merit. However, the message in each poem is expressed very well.

  7. Monty

    I agree with all the other Commenters: Your work has become pleasingly light in touch; and much more measured. I can’t pretend that I understood the last 6 lines of ‘. . Garden’; and, regarding line 4 of ‘. . Better’, I believe that I HAVE been spared! But, joking aside, these are 3 very presentable pieces.
    It would’ve been nice if you could’ve found a way to split the Forms up, instead of not only 3 consecutive Sonnets; but 3 identical Sonnets.
    Spread ’em around . .


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