Ekphrastic Contest: Write a Poem on This Photograph The Society October 8, 2020 Culture, Ekphrastic, Poetry Contests, The Environment 148 Comments See the winners here. Above is a recent photograph of Chateau Boswell, a winery, vineyard, and tasting room located in California. It has suffered terribly because of the recent “Glass Fire” in Napa Valley. Write a poem based on the above photo and post it in the comments section below. You will then be considered for the $100 prize. WHEN: Now until Sunday November 8, 2020 midnight EST. Winners Announced November 15, 2020. ENTRY FEE: None WHO: Anyone in the world, any age or background, may participate. From within the Society, anyone, including Advisory Board Members, not involved in judging the contest may participate. (If you are outside the United States, you will have to have a PayPal account or a bank that accepts U.S. checks to receive the prize money if you win.) WHAT: Each entrant may submit up to two poems of any length. Entries are expected to be classical in style, meaning that they must have a regular meter. Rhyming and other traditional techniques are of course good as well. WHERE: Post your poem in the comments section below. PRIZE: $100. JUDGE: Evan Mantyk CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 148 Responses Alex Andy Phuong October 8, 2020 “Only in Name” A French castle Or Chateau Being a male lover Or a beau Courting women wearing bows Namely Names are simply identifiers Even Juliet knew this Because a rose by any other name Would still smell as sweet Thompson Emate October 31, 2020 Chateau Boswell in its Shadow It stands destroyed, indeed charred and burnt down, A home, shadow of the former past days, Struck down, stripped off its essence after fiery days, The wine vineyard and the winery all gone, Plethora of them with sweet exotic flavours, So much to give lasting feel one savours, Wild fire didn’t leave any of its kind just alone, Losses are the aftermath clearly ever seen. Thompson Emate October 31, 2020 An Unexpected Call Nothing much left of its splendid splendour, The mastery and skillful ardour, The very reason for its existence, Made worthless by a fire so intense, The vineyard and winery in ruins, Can call to mind its labourers’ melodious tunes, As they move across the field in column and row, The wine stored in crafted bottles for a show, Chateau Boswell a shadow of its old being, Let’s pool resources to bring it back, To the way it has indeed been, Even adding more with nothing in lack, As we earnestly hope and pray, That further occurrence is kept at bay. Nikita Jain November 1, 2020 I was looking for a home When I stumbled upon you Soon, I knew I won’t be able to afford But it’s an open house Thank Heavens I can stroll anytime I want And so that’s what I do Maybe, if I make an offer You will let me in but I can’t maintain it Plus I’ll mess it up And it’s too beautiful to get messed up So, I would be walking bare feet Around the torture and the treat Touching the walls and everything Leaving just when I am about to ruin The vibe with my sin Let me know when you find someone suitable To hold you intact and incredible At least, a chaser deserve to know When the prize has been taken James A. Tweedie October 8, 2020 How Quickly As dew-clad spring renews the thirsty land The live oaks stand serene on green-grass hills— A rolling landscape shaped by God’s own hand Where golden poppies dance with daffodils. The summer leads to fall, as contoured rows Of vineyards bear the fruit of nascent wines. As dry hills die, each grape and cluster grows And ripens on the gnarled vintage vines. Above the aging casks of Chardonnay And Pinot Noir the Chateau Boswell burns— Its legacy consumed and swept away; Its vine-clad walls now crematory urns. “How quickly,” Jesus said, “as in a flash, “Are lilies of the field reduced to ash.” Norma Okun October 8, 2020 A Winery, a fire, and an old rose Upon a time came grapes They were green and red They grew happy and Turned to wine. On an unexpected day A wind so strong with Red and hot fire Burned the winery The old barrels The thing that stood Was the entrance to the winery It had a rose bush And the rose colored Bricks to this day stand together Brick by brick Waiting to see the return of the winery The folks who owned and loved her will bloom with hope As the summer returns And the earth brand new Will give birth to new grapes And the winery will again Be a place of birth, joy, and great wine. By Norma Okun October 8, 2020 James A. Tweedie October 8, 2020 Though Charred and Wilted as a Rose The Silverado Trail on fire; The Chateau Boswell in its grasp, Stretched out as on a funeral pyre As flames inhale its final gasp. Though charred and wilted as a rose— Its beauty scarred and etched with pain— Within the stem, a new bud grows That, phoenix-like, will rise again. Shola Balogun October 8, 2020 Rosebud What thunder grace safely sweetly wrapped is this I see in the flash essay shock proem of your eyes, Prized Orb, a bushel from your kiss, While I drink in your liquid skies? You spinning rain sun dance subtlest alchemist, The telepathic crystallographic mitzvah flights Lifted in the ninth biosphere mist, And your beads colour blinding lights Binding me to your astral body beats, Spark-tossed, unruffled multiple deepening ballet quantum leaped rhythms Into the space of you far beyond mathematical feats. I taste your voice in my midnight dreams And the liquor fragrance of you is dearer. You colour me with your poetical eyes of thunder. Alec Ream October 9, 2020 A Rose Lament I bowed my head, when sad I felt, The burn and singe, which had been dealt, In tandem with redemptive love: Far worse was suffered, far above. Sarban Bhattacharya October 9, 2020 The Burnt Chateau of California (A Mythological Interpretation of the Glass Fire) Apollo rides the chariot of the Sun, Full gay and melodious is his song, September halts his wain and stops its run, The dying summer dupes Apollo’s throng. The Muses follow him and love his lyre, But they are jaded by Sun’s gloomy rays, While Bacchus, god of wine, fumes with desire, In Chateau Boswell spends his tipsy days. His turquoise eyes and corrugated hair Attract the frenzied ladies to a sport, A game of youthful passion in his lair, Which makes Apollo envious of some sort. The Muses have forsaken long his trail, While his half-brother danced with ladies’ train In the plush grapevine of the Napa vale, So well nourished by Californian rain. Apollo brandished thus his bow one day, And aimed a burning arrow at the green, From Helicon he launched his lethal flay That kindled thunderous fire unseen. The serpentine flames poached the Rose’s life, She dropped her charred red petals in death-throe, While the vineyard that the other day was rife With purple grapes, is struck by a god’s bow. The elixir is dead and now forlorn Within Boswell, smouldering, effete, What if a new hope springs from death, reborn, From nature’s cradle yielded to defeat. Terry L. Norton October 10, 2020 On the Glass Fire and the Chateau Boswell Winery If with a firm assurance I could state Those now scorched roses will come back A brighter red and those stones now charred black Will look as clean before a mordant fate Conspired with wind and fire to conflagrate Your vines in blazing storms of hiss and crack, The claim would any worthy meaning lack, No sparrow spare, nor set the crooked straight. Although they sometimes cast a magic charm, No words can conjure pleasure from past days Or undo heedless nature’s wayward harm. No rhyme or well-turned providential phrase That might by an auspicious chance be mine Can with pale lilac soothe a burned-down vine. David Watt October 12, 2020 The Rose of Mourning Walls of stone are much more prone to fire than fragrant roses, Though one is soft and vulnerable: the other’s strength imposes. For when the rose’s scarlet clothes give way to black of mourning, We know in spring new buds will bring fresh flowers with the dawning. The walls, of course, have no recourse to self-regeneration, And every crack beneath the black begins a degradation From which there is no turning back without the intervention Of masons with a mortar mix for crumble circumvention. So view anew the rose which blooms from scenes of conflagration, Without the slightest bit of help, in blatant celebration Of Life and Love, blue skies above—whatever takes your fancy While sipping True Course Chardonnay beneath walls slightly chancy. Carol Connell October 12, 2020 Standing Still Within your frame, my mind supposes, were spent countless days of wine and roses. Upon your verdant, well manicured grounds, delighted patrons have made their rounds. O Chateau de Boswell, of strongest stock, with skill you were hewn from solid rock. Though by fierce flames you’ve been impinged, your stalwart visage now scorched and singed, one gaze upon you, our hearts still inspire. You have withstood your trial by fire. 10/11/2020 A Grumpy Rat October 12, 2020 a will to live Rose comes four seasons, Rose blooms striving in no need of one’s impression, Rose lives tasting lush as wine & scorch as fire, Rose withers but is stubbornly scarlet even beneath the ashes, so goes Rose— whispering: it feels great to be alive, again. Katy November 7, 2020 Cool poem. Ernesto P. Santiago October 13, 2020 But I Swear To Stand When in love fifty ways my flesh could bleed, like grapes loose grapevines thresh, and Good God knows the dead don’t bleed what life I am striving afresh. For gifts and praise, don’t miss, don’t miss— a heart ablaze, remate to peace full of footsteps with spring rebirth, a sacred bliss like a soul kiss. Unlike roses that overlook their prickles, I care to unhook by hook or by crook the color of my thirst from a prayer book. Feel it, feel it, Bartimaeus— that particles of light so pious; when lingering summer’s divine, let your senses be not confused. Ο, of old castle and fine wine, the impatience of fire that whine like lust, but if I must pick one— you, I pick for I charm what’s mine. In me, you free peacock belike; what your love anthology like I really don’t mind, and it can not change what it is—what I like. Whisper what womb am I supposed to pledge my seeds if as lost cause I am marked by self-blinded fool, yet to woes I let none expose. hunter lynn October 13, 2020 this is the wall that haunts the maiden this is the wall of thee of horrors come lords torments for never end seldom have crossed in peace come forth, dear one as your bravery shall ring true though i must warn you must come without hopes of won for only the weak ones break through this is the wall that kills the girl for she, is the almighty her resistance is honored though her rebel belongs to another world the dream that let’s her dream face this wall without obedience for that gift is never free defy the dead they prize wither not, great one run long away, this way Toni Newell October 14, 2020 Chateau Boswell A withered rose crowns a stem, Having seen far better days, Erect standing proud behind, Chateau Boswell clear of haze. The sandstone bricks emanate, Timeless beauty of an age, A rounded doorway now burnt. Making news on the front page. The structure was touched by fire, Surrounded by burned terrain, Wonder if the rose will live, And produce flowers again. Roy E. Peterson October 15, 2020 Vines Still Have Their Roots and Stems Once there stood Chateau Boswell now in ruins burned away; Private estate of vintners of Bordeaux and Chardonnay. The steep hillside vineyards of volcanic soils, ash and clay are next to Glass Mountain where three fires joined and burned today. No one knows the cause, but they say dying vegetation promoted the “Glass Fire, “ and the chateau devastation. The Chateau Boswell legacy will outlive the fire. The healing vines of time with lava soil will soon conspire. Vines still have their roots and stems; The soil was made more fertile. The chateau roof will be restored. Sturdy walls remain the girdle. Burning has never conquered What the rest of nature does. Vintners will restore Boswell To the glory that once was. A half-burned rose in front of The chateau is half alive; Symbol of the soul of mankind That staunchly will survive. Roy E. Peterson October 15, 2020 Napa Valley Vineyards Cringe in Terror Napa Valley vineyards cringe in terror. Consuming blazes racing down the hills. Harvested grapes in vats of the vintner Dissipating drops as each barrel spills. Chateau Boswell feels the wrath of nature Untamed because of man’s mismanagement. Vegetation dried the greatest danger Feeding a conflagration imminent. Bordeaux bottles burst as do cabernet; Favored by the sommelier tasting set. From roots, vines regenerate some spring day To face again California’s threat. Undaunted stands the half-burned rose in pain Surveying destruction as fires wane. Jeff Eardley October 15, 2020 I am the man who bred the Rose, That by the Chateau Boswell grows, Obliterated by the flames, While my creation there remains. This Englishman of wealth and fame, With many letters to his name, Produces roses, strong and bright, By growing in Vermiculite. Or “Hydrous Phyllosilicate,” (It’s proper name I have to state) As used in many industries, For fire-retardant properties. This rose, I called, “The Desert Star,” The finest I had bred so far, I tried to light it with a match, But not one leaf or bud would catch. So now the wine has ceased to flow, And connoisseurs refuse to go, While all around is ashen blight, My “Desert Star” is shining bright. Thomas Lindsay October 15, 2020 A Fiery Kiss A fiery kiss did this No this was no union of bliss A place where wine and taste did exist There came an unwelcome guest with a fiery kiss The house the vineyard dear lord there’s no quick fix Let replanting begin from the destruction of a fiery kiss Thomas Lindsay October 15, 2020 The Wine Glass Shattered The wine glass shattered The people of Napa scattered By a fiery wall they were battered The joy of wine and song indeed mattered We were made sad as the wine glass shattered Nanditesh Nilay October 16, 2020 Nanditesh Nilay 16-10-2020 Oh Grapes , dear grapes Your green cover Your black cover , Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes The fire around The fire outside You tasted both You tasted might You burnt within You lost the sight Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Your green cover Your black cover Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes Your green cover Your black cover , Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes The fire around The fire outside You tasted both You tasted might You burnt within You lost the sight Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Your green cover Your black cover Why undraped Why looking fade Nanditesh Nilay October 16, 2020 Nanditesh Nilay 16-10-2020 Oh Grapes , dear grapes Your green cover Your black cover , Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes , dear grapes The fire around The fire outside You tasted both You tasted might You burnt within You lost the sight Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Your green cover Your black cover Why undraped Why looking fade Oh Grapes, dear Grapes Nanditesh Nilay October 16, 2020 Nanditesh Nilay 16-10-20 Bring that rain Chateau Boswell Not looking well The winery The vineyard All looking pale The Napa Valley Disrobed again Inside the door The lonely den Tasteless and dry Listening to your cry But emerge again Which brings back pride And cools that pain Oh! Napa Valley Bring that rain Kelly Okoniewski October 16, 2020 Rebirth By Kelly Okoniewski A door I open to a better version Of the greatness we have lost To this task complete immersion Of my heart, my sadness tossed My flower singed and drooping But my stem is strong and steady Gather myself; regrouping For rebuilding, I am ready I look through a broken window-pane And see the vast potential down below From this loss we will gain A new love that we will grow Shola Balogun October 16, 2020 Good morning, Frankincense I think of you, of fields of roses, and brooks of undiluted wines, Of new seasons, of poets and lyrical splendid lines. I think of your luster form, delicate spells, the rubric lights, the eyes Of graced, rainbow nectars and the thunder that fill up my skies. In a throbbing verse, of mild pomegranates, becalming winds and soul flights There I hear a woven jazz fluttering in sheer delights. I think of galbanum, of that unfolding scent, the falling rains, the screen movies Of our loud longings, of spinning body musical scores, and climatic kiss. I think of that mirthful summertime touch, and the vine-dews You formed as you pulled aside your clothes and your sacramental self melted away my flues. I think of that poetry, of those easeful words, and I know The same many passions of the piano. I tell you of granaries; I speak of wines (and brooks bubbling more) Of jazz, and poetry with no broken score. Kathleen Farrell October 16, 2020 Lamenting Chateau Boswell Red was the rose, blushing and perfuming. Choice was the wine they were consuming. Sad was the day winds became unruly and flames torched the vines with a fury. Nature unleashed a season of pain. Now only silence and secrets remain. Paul A. Freeman October 16, 2020 Chateau Boswell – Napa Valley (2020) The trees become complicit once the flames with tinder and the swirling wind are fed; an ash-and-smoke enveloped skyline frames the mountains and the hills which men have fled. The vineyards are a battleground unused to Nature’s rage, for newly in the fight they fall before a fire that’s amused how feebly we can douse its orange light. A bastion to Bacchus is no match for blazing, seething heat that cracks its stones, that chars its rose beds, burning plants like thatch, or acid stripping melted flesh from bones. Such scorched earth conflagrations are a test to see Mankind’s resilience at its best. Linda Atkinson October 16, 2020 Chateau Boswell A chateau scorched, as was the rose, singed by a wall of heat and flame. The fire ignited — no one knows how or why or who’s to blame. Both blighted by the blaze and heat born on the shifting wind the blew became ravenous fire’s meat broiling the roses where they grew. The cruel nature of the fire wildly snatching as it goes — a door, a window — on the pyre– a woods, a winery, and a rose. All Napa glowing orange-red smoking up the fruit-filled vines tearfully the lifeblood bled toasting on the Boswell wines. Proud beauty more than forty years she stood with roses ’round her grown. She will not now sink down in tears tho’ all be burned except the stone. Linda Atkinson October 16, 2020 Chateau Boswell A chateau scorched, as was the rose, singed by a wall of heat and flame. The fire ignited — no one knows how or why or who’s to blame. Both blighted by the blaze and heat born on the shifting wind that blew became ravenous fire’s meat broiling the roses where they grew. The cruel nature of the fire wildly snatching as it goes — a door, a window — on the pyre– a woods, a winery, and a rose. All Napa glowing orange-red smoking up the fruit-filled vines tearfully the lifeblood bled toasting on the Boswell wines. Proud beauty more than forty years she stood with roses ’round her grown. She will not now sink down in tears tho’ all be burned except the stone. Cindy Hill October 16, 2020 Climate Fire Charred brown stone. The odor of burnt roses, red and lingering over desiccated stems, dead leaves, its beauty scarce abated, even as its essence decomposes, dissipates into the smoke that poses as a summer mist, a scene created as a reverie so long awaited, castle where a shattered dream reposes. This is how it is when fire rages in a nation’s soul. Denying facts kills just as surely as the woodman’s axe, and yet despite the evidence, naught changes. Perhaps this is the future we have earned, where castles, vinyards, rose gardens can burn. Widaad Pangarker October 17, 2020 Temple Torch On star-strung bead of rosary a lumen light profane Repent in pose placebic rows in temple tomb arcane Ensnaring fevered frond afroth on kindled carousel Of bole and branch implore celestial spires shivered knell Lo trespass of unwholly soil once verdure vestal voiced Enshrined in azure symphony on wings seraphic hoist When flight and flame and orbic rain of elemental mar Besiege the viridescent verge by mortal vultures scar Harmonic hymn in terror toiled with venom vapours whelm Betouch by babel blistering an erst idyllic realm A sanctuary to leaf and loam to wild untethered beast Through teeth of ruination torn unhumankind unceased To sky with limbs in arabesque a yearning cry recourse Surrender sylvan sacrament when raked of verdant force A flickered fang aflame on skin of sapling writhed in vain In embers bake the bones of earth amidst assassins’ reign Those palmers praise to heaven sent now sunder world apart Renounce remiss to resurrect and reason a restart Enwrapped in woes of squandered deed while naught for Nature weep Who lonely in her ashfill crypt through ecocide asleep Brantley Aycock October 17, 2020 If you look closely you can see Shadows of what I used to be But now I’m broken, bent, and burned Is this the point of no return? I once stood proud beneath the peak Adorned with steel and roses meek But now I crumble at your feet Struck down by smoke and reckless heat The world around me, still it spins On ignorant and careless whim I mourn my glory on my own Graveyards of ashes and of stones I wonder if it’s worth the try Or if the good things always die Victoria Garton October 17, 2020 Chateau Boswell Burnt in Glass Fire Don’t cry for drooping blackened rose or for the chateau’s scorched stone or for grapevines in flattened rows or for the bottles shattered on stone. or for Dionysian afternoon long gone in burnt-out tasting rooms or for lost bees and paths flower-strewn or for oak barrels fire consumes. Cry, if you must, for 2020 vision lost, for smoky taste in wine after a burn, for beauty the rose no longer hosts, for grief ignored by need to soldier on. For spilled sun like wine on black terrain. For ashes, estate of man in ruin. Talbot Hook October 18, 2020 Human ardor, human dreams — And all around us Nature teems — Reified in stock and stone, What’s lost in flames shall be regrown. Carole Mertz October 19, 2020 Chateau Boswell Stands Alone What volumes written into reddish stone The turret stands beleaguered and alone And near the charred and heart-red savaged rose A line of time and beauty surely flows Time’s author spelled the heat of fire’s rages It licked the land and slurped the vineyard’s wages White of dust, or reddish, darkly jaded Bemoan the hour: Boswell’s been invaded Paul A. Freeman October 20, 2020 I put my sonnet in the comments section on the 16th, but it has not yet appeared. Could one of the competition organisers help me out? When I tried to re-submit the sonnet, I was told that it had already been submitted. Moderator October 20, 2020 Done! Sorry for the delay. BRIAN YAPKO October 20, 2020 MOURNING TINTERN ABBEY The flash of flame, the searing of the soul The wrath of Nature mocking what men build; The bricks, the rose, the dreams devoured whole… O, who can measure grief for what was killed? I think of Tintern Abbey lost to time. The ocean floor that is Titanic’s home; The dreams destroyed, the works of art sublime Entombed beneath Jerusalem and Rome. As dies the rose so must we face our fate: Our days of living are so very brief; The winds of change come hard and seldom straight — Singeing beauty, singing us to grief. To tame the world comes at a dire cost — Tears of ash which baptize what we’ve lost. BRIAN YAPKO October 20, 2020 IN RUIN THERE IS BEAUTY STILL In ruin there is beauty still Not just the stinging sense of loss for what is gone: the trees, the hill, abodes of brick and leafy moss; For mourning need not break the will Of life to overcome the cross. In ruin soul-wrecked pain is wrought. Sad-silenced is the beaten heart The battle that was nobly fought Is lost, the castle torn apart. But banish dark despair from thought! Death’s victory shall cleave apart! From ruin life begins anew Grieve not as doors and chapters close! These woods will thrive as they once grew The land is rich, the brook still flows… Despair must not ignore what’s true. A rose though burnt remains a rose BRIAN YAPKO October 29, 2020 I made a typo on the second to last line. It should read “Despair must not ignore what’s true.” Thanks. Mike Bryant October 29, 2020 Fixed-Mike Sumit October 21, 2020 Beauty How to Choose? To live in Stone Or to die in Rose Both form Beauty of their own, kind Paul A. Freeman October 21, 2020 Chateau Boswell – Napa Valley – Sonnet II (2020) A regiment of flames converged to gauge an architectural misfit from beyond a continent, an ocean and an age of yore that brought to mind our Old World bond. So Chateau Boswell stood its ground alone as flames descended from a glowering hill – an Alamo of glass and slate and stone, at mercy of the wind’s capricious will. The swiftly-marching conflagration breached the vineyard ere it razed the famed estate; consuming grape and woody vine it reached the winery and clinched the chateau’s fate. And through the smoke the shattered walls still stand, a monument to Nature’s callous hand. Hilton Johns October 21, 2020 Charred with wilt, with stones unbuilt Yet door and root remain intact. Chateau undone, it could not outrun Fire that paints in black. A damaged rose, but it still goes, the way of all things living. It must fall, yet I am in awe, That life brings new beginnings. Here’s to hope and to open doors That fire can not keep closed! Here’s to health to you and yours, And to a trellised vine that grows! Sharon R Dortch November 2, 2020 This was beautiful! Good Luck Jamie King October 22, 2020 Beauty meets Beast the Hindenburg crashes the spectators clap; it all ends in ashes Beauty meets Beast blush burning her cheeks, giddy with Stockholm syndrome The story’s the same each loop around, an endless palindrome Unbomb Nagasaki unburn the castle restore the forest unfight the battle The asteroid strikes and unstrikes the Earth the dinosaurs return extinct in reverse Beast reverts to Prince to beast volcanic landscape gives way to the sea Randy Lee Gross October 22, 2020 Red, Red Wine Forever Flows Red, red wine forever flows, Inside deserted sandstone chateau, On a bleak horizon, one red rose, A fire of glass, heartache grows. Inside deserted sandstone chateau, Stories remain behind doors closed, A fire of glass, heartache grows, Smoke replaced by shattered Bourgogne. Stories remain behind doors closed, Nothing black or bleak to a Pinot Noir, Smoke replaced by shattered Bourgogne, New “flutes” to flame and play sweet scores. Nothing black or bleak to a Pinot Noir, On a bleak horizon, one red rose, New “flutes” to flame and play sweet scores, Red, red wine forever flows. Gary Kent Spain October 22, 2020 Old Vinyard The rose grows to be mournful, not austere, the edifice still standing that it served, in need of patch, its equity unnerved; they beckon with the opposite of fear to embolden what as other each holds dear: strong roots, the ground around them richly turved, with each of them a face still gently curved; more hope attends them than it might appear. These days have come to test their will to stay the thing they are, these weakened sun-scribed arcs just tentatively strung from night to night that even doubt moist weather’s erstwhile grey for fear to brace a threat far worse than sparks: to be abandoned by the rays of sight. Tessa Morgan October 22, 2020 The orange fruit dove who perched upon an untouched sea of grace Whistled gentle knells of vapor that ascended into space By the time her prayers reached heaven, her home had burnt to ash A hollow shell of dreams that now will never come to pass The rubble stone that once had forged a mighty wall of gray Now shattered into vagrant ruins mulled and swept away Not long ago the pediment was hemmed with Grecian vines Whose skeletons now waste away like spirits lost in time And though she mourns for what she’s lost and for what may have been The orange fruit dove will take to sky and start to build again For creatures live a thousand lives and she has come to know Through soil bathed in somber tears, new life begins to grow Sally Cook October 22, 2020 Reminiscence Cowled shadow-shapes in dim doorways, prescient, Observe burnt roses, ochre stalks, all bent Yet still recall how ordered living was. Sharp odors from the burning, and the buzz Of hungry bees, who search and fail, then sigh Along the grapevine, now all charred and dry, Where graceful gladioli climbed to Heaven, Like medieval ladies, in jeweled hennin; When bells chimed over shattered glass, poems rhymed. Cory Gage October 24, 2020 Trapped deep within a fortress sieged by flame, This lonely, blazing sanctum will not die. From Screaming Eagle to a lesser name, The vineyard’s heart will live to see blue sky. If not in mortal form then in immortal minds, These shimm’ring vaults of nectar shall be saved. For time is ever-razing and unwinds, And yet one soul can douse the fires depraved. If but a single bud survives the blaze, Then time’s unyielding rage is not the end. With passion shining through the smoky haze, The spirit of the craft shall still transcend. So long as those who hold it don’t concede, A brand new vine will blossom from the seed. Brian Paul Boma October 26, 2020 Cheerio, Black We dye skin? And peaches to the brim That test we skimmed Too close to the rim Did you buy your vim? Maybe you love Jim? But do you hate your kin? Like you do your limb? Blood by a dead pin Should we dine with some gin? Maybe call for a din? Tell me close, I’m grimm Jay Rohr October 27, 2020 “Opportunity in Ruins” A green barrow grown to mourn A baked apple tempting to a thorn. Slip a sip by the pin tip Feeding a root ownership, A simple proof dripping merciless Against a brick’s permanence. Hints of charcoal licorice. Pale fire bounding tigerish – Paw prints in black currants Evidence this infernal occurrence, A crimson tongue flaked in gold Leaving darkly glass and ashes cold. Yet wait on tears to pour. Some tomorrow making more. Another act in Napa opera Only degrees bad as phylloxera. All kingdoms rise and fall. Hush and hear the ghosts they call. Mouths melting glass blow a sphere Another world growing clear. Brian Paul Boma October 27, 2020 Moved by Equidifference I pressed the door open and you came forth. Background, we saw was stark; foreground, two gowns. Static vision I said we saw twice more. To draw, we did. Unwell, too frail, get hail. Tomorrow, with sorrow, we share the curve with towns. We must take turns to screech glued joints; we’ll prowl. Admire us fired, hot pyre, under tyres; we doth. Doth it; the trick of wet attire; all guns. Give it the heft, that zip, holy dipped; with gall. End me, end us, doth it; feel us, we’re froth. This thing, this dream; this shine we see brings downs. Too here, too good; this thing we see at fore. We must, we should compare this day to jail We’re stuck; equal, we march. We’re sole in towns Write here, take this, let this; this pape’, your oath In time, they’ll know; we’ll show, we’re one; no more Tianna Haas October 27, 2020 The Lees-Soaked Ground With translucent clutch, Glass lifts to lips warm. The first tasting touch Swiftly turns to harm. A flare of licks sops Wine bulbs on their string, Desiccating crops, Accolage singeing. The thirst spreads beyond Vino’s sumptuous rows. Glass opening yawns On brick patios. An iron door warps As it is swigged down, Sealing vineyard’s corpse In the lees-soaked ground. Rhonda Haas October 27, 2020 The Charred Cherish Outside a vineyard charred from fire A withered rose stood all expired. She looked and saw within the door An image she had seen before. Battered like her from flames and smoke Just standing there and ne’er one spoke. The sentry at the entryway Was glad to have her there that day. Then softly said she, “My time’s done. They’ll deadhead me, then there’ll be one.” He gently said, “They’ll take me down, But you’ll still grow within the ground. Till then we together wait, Knowing what will be our fate.” Susan Jarvis Bryant October 27, 2020 Ode to Chateau Boswell You loom in sooty gloom and tombstone grief, In dusty shades of faded yesterdays. One withered witness whispers of a thief Who snatched tomorrow’s purpose and its praise: A portent torched the sultry evening skies – ‘Twas Sirius who scorched then stole your soul. The blaze of mad dog days razed grape and vine, Left sylvan sprawl as dark as raven coal. One parched and brittle rose blooms in the eyes Of ghosts who sing of merriment and wine. They sing of ripest flesh and plumpest fruit, Of sun-dipped sips and crystal-clinking toasts: The aria of ambrosia in a flute That floats on claret clouds as twilight coasts Beyond the pyre and mourning’s sear and sting, Where dreams of Dionysus deign to dance. I taste the spill of harvest’s luscious splash. I feel the thrill of summer’s giddy glance. I see your bonhomie in feathered wing – A phoenix breathes beneath your shroud of ash. Santanu Das October 28, 2020 It was many and many a year ago, Beside that ravaged wine cell, That a rose there lived whom you may know As the lover of Chateau Boswell. Akshaya Pawaskar October 29, 2020 On that fateful day in September The wine was boiling in bottles. Vaporous, it swam in the hot air. The blaze was drunk on its own prowess, it was a dragon’s lair. The castle, poised like a lioness but could not swallow the flames Yet the singed red petal survived in the thinning woods, it claimed. The leaves curled, papery dead where the bark was eaten down The metal knocker also burned, glowing till, a ferruginous brown. Spot fires joined hands they say. They were hungry, and untamed, ran by the road to glass mountain wrath of this element, thus named. The chateau now sleeps, drugged with an unfinished poem in its wall. The valley waits for it to wake up to a song, filling up its empty hall. Jamie Clay October 30, 2020 The Last Taste After bottles of wine and tears that refuse to run; I can finally accept the fact that I am all alone. I never knew how hard my tears could fall. I never knew at all. I do not know how to fall out of love. I never knew how to stop the tears once they fall. I never wanted any of this pain; I never wanted any of this, not at all. Now when I try to sleep, all I can dream is of the chateau that lost you and me. You said you would give me, and I was to receive; the vineyard, the ocean, as far as the eye could see. Now I see nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing in front or behind me. Nothing at all. The tears just stopped. What does that mean? Am I okay now? I take comfort in the fact that I will not drown. Are blooming fruits in front of me? I cannot yet see. Darkness and silence are consuming me. I lost the light and I cannot breathe. At all. My cheeks are as dry as the wine. The tears forgot how to cry. I forgot love. I feel nothing. Nothing at all. I would have loved you until death. Now I cannot live my life. I cannot live at all. But tomorrow is a new day. The sun will shine a new ray. I have no other choice than choosing to be okay. My tears will no longer fall as I welcome a new day. You will be but nothing one of these days, Nothing… At all. Jamie Clay October 30, 2020 Dust Love, loyalty, respect and honesty are free. If you take me for granted it plants the seed. The sun no longer shines on us, but the plant still grows. The plant that was seeded with love has become an illusion. The seeds of mistrust, uncertainty, fear and confusion have laid the foundation of growth. What once was bright and full of life withers with neglection. The plant thrives in the dark; all alone, under the waning moon. Upon reflection, the seeds were planted in soil with oppression. Established by infertility we repressed how beautiful it should be. Nothing can survive when starved with rejection of affection. The flowers of conversion have begun their bloom. Lost in a void we thrived too soon. Eclipsed by the irony that we started off as friends. I can’t move past what could have been. I thought we would ascend. Instead the flowers turned into fake feelings playing pretend. You never know what nature intends. The leaves of memories are filled with dreams of what we once were and strived to achieve. The night storm whelped what we had grown. All hope of patience is withering like a cyclone. From the thorns I bleed. This should not sting. Along the way you became a part of me. I pull away and push out the pain. The scars will always remain. The stem was the weakest of them all. It was the first life from the seed. As it grew it forgot to breathe. With no saturation or air to grow, the mirage of emotion begins to show. There is so much I needed to know. Shadows cast doubt on our fantasy. Reality was the death of that growing seed. An oasis of words having gone unsaid. Life cannot sustain without growth and trust. During extinction all that remains converts to dust. © Jamie Clay James Hancock October 30, 2020 Withered Behind locked door she hides Cruel world void of love Warm afternoon strolls forgotten Loss overrides, and grounds neglected The garden weeps The rose withers and longs for her return Sobbing in the cool moonlight Tears fall behind door and walls The pain of betrayal cuts deep She hides ‘til silver-haired Tall grass and brown rot Flowers die, as does her heart Portly Bard October 30, 2020 Remembered Taste Steadfastly here still stands the stone that perseveres as if the bone of perished flesh that nature’s pyre has turned to ash and dust of fire that devastated hope and dream for forty years well yoked as team to reap from nurtured, fruited vines the press of yields becoming wines distilling essence craft creates of love that labor cultivates as sweetness and as dryness found uniquely to intrigue so bound it lingers as remembered taste of all that passion bravely faced. Crystal N Hoffmeister October 31, 2020 Dreams Visions in a dream revealed to RTB of a wine glass filled. A tower but no castle seen was standing on the Napa green. Bounty flowed in a continuous stream, until flames took this golden dream. Gates built by passion and imagery were closed by 10 20 20. The truth of years now smoke and ash as the tower dream dissapeared in a flash. Toni Newell October 31, 2020 A Rose at Chateau Boswell A rose who has no offering, No perfume or regal display, For that was taken from her, When the fires came her way. Singed and stripped of beauty, For she was beautiful and fair, A remnant of her former self, Now in pain and total despair. Her spirit has been hardened, Yet she will grow once more, Bringing her beauty back to life. Her reserection an encore. Toni Newell 31st October 2020. Tom Hicks October 31, 2020 Who set the flame To the heart of the oak? That ravaged rose. Daniel Skaggs November 1, 2020 Not for Long In death you stand erect, punctured by heat, A skeleton of memory stripped bare. As barrels wait expectantly beneath, Entombed in darkness, wrapped in cooling air. Outside with grace a rose prepares to die, Each day it cries another shriveled leaf. Smoke hides the gaze of smiling sun in sky, Life’s strings lay severed, wilting into grief. But grapes will grow again from richer ground, Old charcoal spirits sapped for sweeter ends. Begin again! In budding shoots be found, For seeds will sprout and wounded walls will mend. So tap old barrels, sip from simpler times, For soon we’ll taste new pleasures of the vine. Court Reinland November 1, 2020 The Great Renewal It opened with a thunderous roar And from the fleeing wind, it tore Those autumnal leaves whose tinder there Drew soot black lines of ink in air The sky did crack and with arrow taut Did Nature draw and with quiver aim And laid in wait for the foes she sought To dust from dust, and ash from flame “To my hills unbidden,” the grandson cried And as he watched, his grandfather died But why, cried he, what crime have I That I might face such penalty And when the fire had set and done When the night had laid its quiet claim It’s infernal course had finally run No sound came forth, except the flame And in the branches of the blackened vines The angel’s harp did weeping pine But not sweet melodies as before But a parting song, called A Closing Door And the mother joined, and the father too The tears like a flood, a weeping vain And his little sister, what could she do? She cried, but could not move the flame But this little one, she crept outside She spoke to the trees, and vines on their sides And she spoke to the walls, to the birds And even these, with lament, answered her calls And her father came, and he also cried Head held in his hands, crying, “Who is to blame?” Pacing round, hands in his pockets, then again at his side And he shouted aloud, saying, “Who can stop the flame?!” And he said, “Speak to me Old Ones, as you once did.” But their tongues were still, their faces hid The echo spoke no more Only the parting song, A Closing Door “It’s too late for me,” cried the rose, as her merlot petals fell And sank into the smoky haze, or ash, the same The earth too weeps her last, yea she wept upon the knell Saying, “What have I done? In anger I brought the flame.” And so, how does this end, the o’er ripe gourd to rot The fowl and fauna weep of their lot The choking weed to rise and vine to bend The once sweet grapes are crushed, the laughter ends But the father said to his little child, as she hid in her mother’s skirt “You shall rise again, my sweet, like a poppy on the morning plain.” When all the ground is ash and these black days have turned the earth And all the people weep, but know, that too shall pass the flame And so the song played, A Closing Door And the sound of flame was heard no more The stone was scrubbed – the soot was ground, but not quite gone The rose had died, but the seed lived on Mika H November 1, 2020 The Resilient Rose Embrace by embers grace Tinged with slight flame center untouched Guarded by fate Reminisce of the wild fires remain Stained upon more then just wall, door, forest, vineyards and chateau set engulfed Was someone livelihood that turned to ashe Hope with in this rose Still remained There are some in life who are also liked to this rose. Seemingly burned on the outside but soft and untouched at the core We may have been shaped by the wildfires of life but as the is roses resilience remained. So to do we have the choice to forge our won resilience in the flames. With the blessing of the Venessa Miler November 1, 2020 Time will not pause for me The rose will fade to be replaced This is how it should be They once built in stone to show their might They started an empire of a thousand years Over in a blink Shattered in the fire of a thousand red hot suns or Maybe just a brush fire And then there is nothing but the roses Weeping and shedding their own lifes blood As all that is left of the memory. But they did not go gentle, they stood defiant against the shadows of the sky When its my time I will walk along the beach. Stand in the shallows with my skirt tucked in my undies. Let the incoming breakers skittle cheerfully over the sand. Until a big one gallops up and splashes me full on, so I have sand and salt water everywhere. Sea foam in my hair. I hear the mermaids singing each to each So I will leave the beach and swim out to join them. My recently dyed purple-red hair will fan out behind me like a unicorn’s mane. My hair will tangle with the sirens as we wheel ecstatically down. Looking up I see bubbles between me and the moon. I will grab my memories in my fist and leap defiantly into the mouth of the Kraken. They will not weep for me. I forbid it with all of my fierce heart. Go with a bang. Not a whimper. Dalip MacCune November 2, 2020 WISDOM SPRINGS I have parked my soul outside the city To find if there is enough space for me To breathe with dignity in burnt Chateau Boswell In the ruins half way through I step over sleeping stories of the past Testimony of wine In me sinners and saints meet To manufacture fantasies Fire tarnished all assumptions Destruction dethroned Wine and vineyard Now hope lingers on clueless walls Hopeless road leads to the native land Of burnt roses Where birds fly across the face of logic and rationality Clarity dissolves Existence invites texture of life Butterfly shall emerge from a cocoon What unstable world brings Out of nothingness wisdom springs Benjamin Thomas Cepican November 2, 2020 “Do Flowers Burn?” “Do flowers burn?” my daughter said With innocence writ on her head. At first the question seemed silly But she did not relent her plea, Her face now flushing angry red. Our supper ended; all were fed. The stairs, to sleep, the fam’ly tread. My daughter would not let me be: “Do flowers burn?” The thought I now began to dread That even beauty winds up dead. I looked upon my frail Lily; Her loving eyes glared back at me. I told her, planting her in bed, “The flowers burn.” “Have You Strength to Drink of the Cup?” The memory remains despite the fire Of fertile hills and clustered purple grape; (A kingly sign for consummate desire) The Everlasting takes a stricken shape. So strange that suffering would paint with grace And set ablaze the petalled flames of flow’r. A Burning Light came to that darkened place, A garden where the darkness had its hour. Now hangs a rose outside the wine’ry walls Its color blackened like a bloody bruise. The nat’ral thing submits to nat’ral laws: A kind of Calvary it did not choose. A bitter vintage pressed, the cup of strife: The seed must die to yield abundant life. Daniel McCrory November 2, 2020 The raging fire fought Dying hungry embers Still quenched the grape But ah! the vine remembers Emilia Rosa November 2, 2020 Castle Here lies the fierce castle that begot my ancestors. No wooden drawbridge unites its innermost with the outside: Time has eaten its shape, rain has dissolved its hardiness, sun has broken its strength. No more arrows fly from deserted arrowslits— these long scars in the rough walls— to reduce and dispel ranks of foes. Only stones remain, and many gone to patch houses, walls, wells. They became tombstones, grounded ships never meant for land’s inactivity. Only wind walks through its broken avenues, softly, like a maiden hand’s caress; and when riotous, coerces atoms of stones to join its hallucinating cavalcade. The wind crafts sounds that mimic the past and I hear them all so well echoing in the silent night of my days: dogs howling, men’s voices, horses hooves, the sweet sounds of a dulcimer entwined with my lady’s voice… The rose garden gone her memory stayed behind and courts me at every step I take from within the past. Richard Gid Powers November 2, 2020 I love it and I hate it, and you ask, how can this be? I really don’t know, but Christ, it’s crucifying me. Maryanne Frederick November 2, 2020 Glasses It was our future once winery, flowers, tours. But the fires ended that with flamed-blackened décor. It was our future once. Modest dreams. Hope de jour. Yes, the fires ended that. No whining- we’ll endure. Claire A Murray November 2, 2020 The Rose Sheltered in stone, no longer bone, He stares with unseeing eyes at the rose before him, Unable to descry the billowing smoke, Nor feel the heat as flames licked the ground, All that remains, are brick and mud, A sign, some leaves, a single rose. Nicole Townsend November 2, 2020 A single damaged rose Waits to be picked, Waiting outside castle walls Beautifully it sits. Though charred, there remains An eerie beauty, Captures you almost Like a line of poetry. What wine-filled memories Those burn walls must hold, How many fingers Must have traced this rose. Oh, Sweet chateau I shall drink to you, For only the best glass of red Within your walls were brewed. Lauren November 2, 2020 Beauty may be scathed But nonetheless remains. Just as life on Earth Is threatened but remains. It’s the everlasting piece of vibrant life that keeps us holding on. As the rose survives the fire, So do we. Allegra Jostad Silberstein November 2, 2020 Pantoum for Boswell Winery One burnished rose speaks of hope Within the root the will to rise To future with a new born scope Held within the heart’s comprise Within the root the will to rise Where dreams of life still grope Held within the heart’s comprise Where vines and people seek to grow For dreams of life still grope The past a stalwart for the wise Where vines with people grow Held by faith that will arise The past a stalwart for the wise Who look ahead with wider scope Held by faith that will arise~ One burnished rose speaks of hope. Jaya Avendel November 2, 2020 No Loss Alas for the sparkling wines I am too young to drink O tastes that I will never know Tears not for me to shed Alas! The pleasures of Paris are Weak in the shadow of these doomed walls Dionysus in his fury Cleansed the land of this impurity Clarity in the roses. Laura L. Olney November 2, 2020 Sonnet for Chateau Boswell, Napa Valley by Laura Olney The blocks of stone hand hewn still standing tall Her soldier half has perished, his helmet gone Her body scorched she mourns the fruits of fall The babies of the fields and a little one An injured owl who nestled beneath the eave Watched folks below taste grapes and fill the kegs She kept him safe so he could one day leave With mended heart and two strong skinny legs Her manly metal doors and gates so fine No longer welcome guests or watch the wine. The mother’s tears cry with the rain to see Her beautiful dress in tatters down below Dead roses and black bones of mighty trees But worse the news she does not want to know As night grows cold, she mourns what she loved best And dreams of beating wings in soft night glow A beautiful owl come home to check her nest Spring babies up above and down below What is this sudden warmth on a winter’s night? The owl, returning home in the pale moon light! Donna J Lamarre November 2, 2020 Ellonie Lamarre November 2, 2020. A Votre’ Sante Farewell ami, we’ll cherish thee, ever forth our memories shall bloom. You’ve fed our souls with hymns of love no fire could deplume. Beneath the earth your heartbeat dwells, these vineyards ever hallowed. Time remember thee my friend for as long as you lie fallow. Endearingly your family waits and once again in time, you’ll be our blend of loveliness that grows upon the vine. Laura L. Olney November 3, 2020 OOPS! It seems I submitted the rough draft, rather than final. Please forgive! Sonnet for Chateau Boswell, Napa Valley by Laura Olney The blocks of stone hand hewn still standing tall Her soldier half has perished, his helmet gone Her body scorched she mourns the fruits of fall The babies of the fields and a little one An injured owl who nestled beneath the eave Watched folks below taste grapes and fill the kegs She kept him safe so he could one day leave With mended heart and two strong skinny legs Her shadow still brings coolness in the morn She waits for buzzing, busy bugs to stir And wishes that another child be born In need to look so lovingly at her While manly metal doors and gates so fine No longer welcome guests or watch the wine. The mother’s tears cry with the rain to see Her beautiful dress in tatters down below Dead roses and black bones of mighty trees But worse the news she does not want to know A helpless child she shielded many days The wounded wing was on the mend it seemed Another child to die with loving gaze Not coming home to nest as she had dreamed As night grows cold, she mourns what she loved best She dreams of beating wings in soft night glow A beautiful owl comes home to check her nest Spring babies up above and down below What is this sudden warmth on a winter’s night? The owl, returning home in the pale moon light! Ojonugwa John Attah November 3, 2020 “Of broken glasses and spilled wines” Your colourful presence was never in doubt Your vineyard was fruitful in and out Wines flowed from the crushing of grapes And were drunk by those in special capes The world knew you and revered you It took one terrible light to disfigure you A fire to burn the glasses and shatter the winery The vineyard, once beautiful, is no more Wines of centuries before Wines of centuries to come All spilled with no respite Chateau Boswell becomes a name in history A place now shrouded in mystery Of broken glasses and spilled wines Ojonugwa John Attah November 3, 2020 “Broken but standing tall” Many things have been broken in history Some have remained so Others have stood tall Chateau Boswell was one of the broken ones One lighted flame brought it down to its knees It has remained a place once known for wines It remains known for its lush vineyard Its glasses have been shattered by the flames Its gardens have been torched But it stands tall as always For cowards are not remembered But the brave stand tall because no one forgets them Benedict Danor November 3, 2020 “Oh Chateau Boswell The Glorious One” As the sun rays shone to kiss your petals Radiating glory you spread to kick men like pedals Perfect colour dished out to glasses We could only pray for more to fill our glasses Swiftly did the odd days blew Dark vapours coming out of the blue Side to side, shade to shade, all laid to waste Just as the fiery flames rage to wage Oh Chateau Boswell the glorious one Charred bricks and ashes – you were torn In the lips of men you shall be endured From the ashes a budding shall be ensured Benedict Danor November 3, 2020 “Chateau Boswell The Great” Chateau Boswell the great Your grapes spawned out gold Your exquisite drops quenched the taste of noble men The insiders you provide with shelter The outsiders you provide with ecstasy The young men and women celebrate your flavours Even the old adores your colours The world renders an applause Now, you can’t hear them Pristine taste tossed to the floors The wine that opened up doors Strong and fierce you were, now broken Now broken by nature’s anger Fair colour melts to ashes The scents that called out names Captivating but now a shadow Alive but stands delusional Draw nigh, I say to the day you resurrect Jane Dougherty November 3, 2020 The bird the rose and the turret A bird was in the turret in the wood, Where tangled briar rose climbed, barred the way; I heard the singing falling where I stood At dusk, as golden light faded away. I heard the sweetness falling, saw the flight, Brown-feathered flutter of the slender wings; And at the failing of the dusky light, I heard the song the turning season sings. The bird has flown, and through the window bare The north wind blows, the only gold the leaves, Yet still the rose climbs red to scent the air, And for the turret’s faded glory grieves. Craig Cruise November 3, 2020 Chateau Boswell The taste of sweet Now is dry We will not retreat Or say goodbye Fill the “glass” Of charred remains This soon will pass With winter rains Think back, old times Memories keep Beauty refines Remember, don’t weep… Craig Cruise November 3, 2020 Gordon McLaughlin November 3, 2020 A Stone’s Throes If I could weep, I would have wept such tears, At the site of her withering, The flames approaching, That they would have been quenched. If I could remove myself, From this responsibility to my caste, I would have rushed to her, To be found in harm’s way, So she would have been sheltered. She who gave her beauty to me, Upon a summer’s morn, Her fragrance embracing me, All stoic and crusted, With nothing to offer her, But silent adoration. If I could speak, I would have told her, From my vantage, Upon this wall, She will ever remain in bloom. Amrita Valan November 3, 2020 Chateau Boswell Sweet scorched rose singed to its withered heart Blackened in grimy soot these staunch ramparts Once dewy pride of beige unflinching walls Your crimson allure courted nature’s call Green grew lush vineyards of chateau Boswell Till fiend fire dubbed ‘Glass’ torched heaven to hell Alas! Our winery’s perfume wafting sweet Turned swift to fumes of orange heat The heroic men steadfast fought hard at last To save what now remains of glory past And now reader raise a glass to toast The ravaged remains of Napa’s boast The glass you raise of sweetest wine to taste Become lips of prayer, savour my best. © Amrita Valan 2020 Anita J Peiffer November 3, 2020 Out of the Past Anita J Peiffer November 3, 2020 I stood there in her shadow Beneath a pillar tall and proud She sat silent and alone Yet her echoes cried aloud She filled my head with visions That never belonged to me The sound of days gone by Drifted as laughter on the breeze I heard the pop of corks And the clink of many glasses Conversation that was lively Amid cheers among the masses A melody in the background Seemed to say without a word Stay here with me awhile Where such joyfulness is heard Inside was the candle’s glow The sun was bright outside Colors were soft and subtle The richness of wine aside I saw myself about to sit At a table dressed and charming When a bird flew high above His cry both loud and alarming He pulled me from my reverie From the beautiful and the grand The sky was gray with smoke Desolation was here at hand I looked upon her stone facade Saw the pride beneath her scowl Pain she simply could not feel I felt deep within my bowel Between her youth and older age I felt her agonize and struggle She had no wish to give in Nor lie amidst the rubble Just as I searched for meaning Amid the smoke and fallen ash She too would beg to question Was I not built to last? I am a place of dreams Of heart and grace and soul How can I lay defeated And let destruction take its toll? I turned as if to answer Amid the blackened bit of cinder Where once there burned a flame No one could manage to hinder There within the hopelessness I spied the greatest wonder A rose with petals gently singed Burned not completely asunder A curious sight it was indeed This reminder of life’s duality That in a world so unpredictable One could overcome brutality Ah, appearances do deceive This life was at its end No, but have another look Perhaps it was about to begin I don’t know how I knew As I stood below in awe The picture wasn’t of the past In the vision that I saw It wasn’t an end at all Or days of old gone by It was a whole new beginning She’d hinted of on the sly This remnant of time and stone This was not to be her end Somehow I knew in my heart Chateau Boswell would rise again Laurie-Lynn McGlynn November 4, 2020 The Silent Weeping When yellowing pulp turns to black not at once but in stages the sick have time to set a trap in hope to seize salvation bones are hollow brittle and dry lungs have turned to jelly some of us may wither and die and glorify the telling Laura L. Olney November 5, 2020 Love this poem, Laurie! Short and powerful and captured my soul… Laurie-Lynn McGlynn November 6, 2020 Thank you Laura, I really appreciate your feedback! Hope you’re taking care and stay safe. Cheers LL Laurie-Lynn McGlynn November 4, 2020 What Happy People Used to Do Please come in and sit down Forgive my haphazard scattering of kitchen witch twigs copper pots and cauldrons that swing from savoury sprigs they bind me with twine so blood tight around my finger reminds me of the mossy brine sipped from silver birch The kind that doesn’t leak Please watch your step As I sweep away the light dust of nostalgia The tea-leaves from past romances reduced to rotting flesh Ignore the nosey rubber necks who lurk About the place as if they owned it Their wistful glances speak louder than words Please mind the cozy As it tipples along the toadstool floor Polka-dotted with a high thread count Pine needle sewn with stony sterility Like the gauze that binds the hurt And distracts me from the slow seeping stain Melissa Hammond November 4, 2020 What was Is no more What once grew on the vine Was divine And made wine Now is still Against its will Beyond the window sill Yet there was Just because A story of what was And is no more Tasting of the wine So divine Of the lost vine Time moves on The window gone The rise of dawn Continues on The rose is dead But just ahead Is only dread What was Is no more Frency S. Rivas November 5, 2020 Chateau Boswell Reborn It was known for its beauty When the sun is up The flowers and butterflies Are the fairies that showers you with love Morning dews are like crystals That glitters on the green spread of life And rain is a blessing when the atmosphere is hot. When the sun sets again The house made of stone stand alone It acts like a guard For the beauty that serves as his home No matter how you see the difference In your eyes or emotion It will always remain a beauty That only needs to be reborn. Henry Kalin November 5, 2020 With no words, old tan stone loved by many Filled with secrets, and dark present Though nighttime falls above Fear not, tomorrow comes Night too fades to light Dried walls and dried roses by light revived Light from the soul creeps Creeps onto the ancient walls Illuminates the mighty castle again Grow the grapes illuminated by spirit Stored in barrels to be refined With the tender heart filled with care beside Over the hill and throughout the chateau Grow grapes from spirit and drink to content Filling the soul once more And revived the castle strong Christian November 5, 2020 It was here where I first savored your name And learned that love can either taste of tannins and Tobacco leaves Or licorice and rose petals It was here where I learned that love gets better with age And though Jesus turned water to wine The true miracle lies in watching the evolution from seed to grape It was here where I first became intoxicated on embered romance Landscapes of drunken desires that burn like wildfires in glassy eyes It was here where I learned that too much of something good can become destructive So it was here where we said our last goodbye Laura L. Olney November 5, 2020 wonderful poem. not too much. just enough. lovely. Christian November 6, 2020 Thank you so much Laura! Morgan Strug November 5, 2020 Petals charred Caught off guard Fire’s rage Cannot gauge Damage done In long run Castle stands Over lands Once fertile Now defile Hope remains Though it pains Bridget Gage-Dixon November 5, 2020 The Singing Before the warped carcass of the metal door, where fire whispered its radiant lie to stone, the dead feet of ash speak of how everything glowed before it blackened. Thorns were defenseless to protect petals from the assaulting fingers of flame but every leaf gleamed as it ignited, glowed and sang its own dirge to fill the thrashing air with the timbre of perdition. Flame spoke to cloud, cloud to stone, Everything called to angels deep within the soil. Nothing stilled the forbidden voice of smoke slithering through vines. The strong-throated song of destruction cleaved The silent, dark heart of Chateau Boswell. Katy November 6, 2020 Sunlight on a wall, on scorched roses, stiffened limbs, on a door pulled shut. Mrudula Rani November 6, 2020 Glass Fire A rose wrought of silica and smelted in kiln of raging caladity couldn’t by far describe Its ordeal as ably as one that sited apace with charred ruins of chateau Boswell. Withal owing hues and habit; it virtue evermore noted, impelling pens to scribe, the grief that befell on its precious valley, whereupon fine grapes of wine graced as symbol. Dismal remains of fire-depleted chateaux hint citadels, which endured ultion of wicked. Land and livelihoods undid by Glass Fire, gift to legacy of the year that’s dismal. Yet poise, Valor, promise of future ascribe remnants beholding eclat of preceded. Mary Pacifico Curtis November 6, 2020 Glass Ghazal Night wildfire on the trail to cinnabar and wine, flames engulfed chateau and gardens, but charred the rose. Light scent of tobacco, graphite, leafy herbs – gone, in smoke when blaze ‘roared round chateau, gardens and rose. It took no lives though many fled their home and keep, few stately as the chateau, its gardens, the rose. A blackened turret now opens to sky, no more black currant fruit nose in chateau or rose. Relics offer clues to native tribes who once walked lands, now the estate of chateau, gardens and rose. Wagons, robbers, and miners once traveled the road, volcanic soils held old growth, no chateau, no rose. Fierce winds of wildfire have shaped the next phase after gleaming chateau stones, clipped gardens, bushes of rose. In the wake of dark skies, when glass became deadly, flames destroyed chateau and gardens, but charred the rose. Portly Bard November 6, 2020 Ember of the Hope Aflame Still stands a rose as if it grows yet fragile statue heaven knows becoming shards of its demise perhaps as fertile womb to rise where seed that falls to ashen earth finds cover to await its worth — the destiny it cannot sense inert in hollow of suspense — perhaps the warmth and moistened soil that wakes it to instinctive toil or death to serve a nobler cause as richer earth or fill of jaws or ember of the hope aflame that art for shell of stone will frame. Mrudula Rani November 6, 2020 Glass Fire A rose wrought of silica and smelted in kiln of raging calidity couldn’t by far describe Its ordeal as ably as one that sited apace with charred ruins of Chateau Boswell Withal owing hues and habit; its virtue evermore noted, impelling pens to scribe the grief that befell on the precious valley Whereupon fine grapes of wine graced as symbol. Somber remains of fire depleted chateaux, hint citadels which endured ultion of wicked. Land and livelihoods undid by Glass Fire gift to legacy of the year that’s dismal. Yet poise, Valor, promise of future ascribe remnants beholding eclat of preceded Joseph Paulson November 7, 2020 As It Is The earth will use the ash to build a rose and stones will not be be withered by the heat. Though tragic it may seem, there’s something knows that victory is bound to all defeat. The sky will take on all effects it nears. Appears to catch the flames from tops of trees. Blackens and glows and sparks; inspires worst fears. At length refuses all but blue and breeze. So little the time that we’re presented. So great the speed with which it lightly flies. Nothing should be overly lamented the very least of all our luxuries. Life’s doctrine emerges self-evident. No rose has ever wished things different. Katy November 7, 2020 Hey maybe this is really silly but here goes. A sonnet. Ruined gardens weep like human beings at loss – most certainly – why wouldn’t they? When all they love lies dead or falls away -happiness, supposed meanings of things – and time mocks, and sun or raging flame and soil stripped bare, as dry as stone. No hope. No help. Abandoned and alone the roses gaze, astonished and insane. Who comforts them? Who stands in protest? Who stoops to take the compost to the beds or fix the hose to lift the wilting heads, and spread the mulch and tidy up the rest? Tie up your boots and pull on hat and glove. The garden call you; it requires love. Esther Ib.D November 7, 2020 What is left of thine, Where more than a debris shall dine, Who’d seen thy grandeur as well, If one of one and forty can tell, Wherein grapes were schooled to give its best, Of elegance alone dazzled by men of crest. Oh thou Château Boswell! What more can thou tell? If thou art left standing, Thy walls then do thy biding, Of unsung fire hath thou now drunk, One untamed hath thou sunk. Oh thou Château Boswell! Thy vineyard if thine alone fell, Thy vineyard weary of ardor, Stripped of her youthful splendor, Ravished by Nature’s course, That embarked with no remorse. Oh thou Château Boswell! If thou canst still tell, Where hath thy tasters gone? Where hath thy lurchers gone? On a hope they now do dwell, To see thy graceful state once again swell. Esther Ib.D November 7, 2020 What is left of thine, Where more than a debris shall dine, Who’d seen thy grandeur as well, If one of one and forty can tell, Wherein grapes were schooled to give its best, Of elegance alone dazzled by men of crest. Oh thou Château Boswell! What more can thou tell? If thou art left standing, Thy walls then do thy biding, Of unsung fire hath thou now drunk, One untamed hath thou sunk. Oh thou Château Boswell! Thy vineyard of thine alone fell, Thy vineyard weary of ardor, Stripped of her youthful splendor, Ravished by Nature’s course, That embarked with no remorse. Oh thou Château Boswell! If thou canst still tell, Where hath thy tasters gone? Where hath thy lurchers gone? On a hope they now do dwell, To see thy graceful state once again swell. bharti November 7, 2020 Survival The souvenirs of my past lay scattered on the floor Where plays a melody by a dead musician I search across the length of my room The reasons for me to go on I find gushing rivers and setting suns Falling stars and silent wishes Spread like a fabric made of wool Drape them across my shoulders And now suddenly I am the nature sprinkling fairy dust of survival everywhere I go I find death carrying the skeletons falling out of closets Impregnated with my lover’s dire request to show mercy upon me But all I see is a smiling widow Dancing to the twirls of her red Saree Death like any loner Secretly wishes for life to accept it But here am I Standing on the edge of my artificial being Gasping for the breaths of relief Only to find myself singing to the tunes of kun faya kun I whisper the name of fancy sounding Gods And travel to the end of my darkness Waiting to be released Like water of a flooded dam How do you survive in situations like these Where mourners pray for your grief And then slowly let you go Like a silk thread falling from your hand How do you let your world shatter into million pieces of expensive freedom Under the influence of which you fly high Claiming to taste the grey looking clouds How do you eat sand in the end And remember to chant the name of Allah As your casket is lowered slowly in the ground Amidst the violent cries of your grieving mother I have no answers I have no faith I have no questions to frame anymore But a wish Falling like a coin in a wishing well That when I live I live like a thread lovers tie to the sacred banyan tree I live like hymns of the temples And ringing of the bells Reverberating slowly to form a composition of universe I live like a wish coming true; impending death of star revival of one As the entire sky fills up with Memoirs of past Twinkling Shedding light to the darkest corners of being And I, standing naked; wrapped in space Annihilate Forever Like Shattering of my room’s window To let the light fall Far far away from home On a tourist’s camp; a penumbra of my presence Bianca F. November 7, 2020 Summer falls from above, Blanket for the blesséd. Falling soft and velvet Like a forgotten glove. My sorrowful gaze clings To the wounded garnet Of the blaze incarnate Red rose’s broken wings. Burns in burnt shades of brown Seep through bricks; painful death Blooms through windows, like breath Rises up, falls back down. Nothing left to defend Anymore. This is fine. The air must smell of wine In the hot, scarlet end. Bianca F. November 7, 2020 Heavy sandbags of silence sat on my eyelids slide to my lashes and force my eyes closed in the closed eye of the brimstone storm I found myself meagerly watching. With a touch like water, fluid fingers feel the stone part beneath pristine sullen skies, burns blooming like a warm hug, showing on the skin of the still-standing. Lisa Pedriel November 7, 2020 Boswell’s Plea I may be charred, But yet I stand; To fight another day, In this desolate land; I dream of better times, When the glasses overflowed, When the bushes were clothed, with the finest rose; But times have changed and that is a fact, The vineyards are empty, No one to attract, The climate is changing, Yet, you do nothing, So, I will stand proudly, In my bitter disgrace, As a symbol, that you must take action now, To save the human race. Steven J Garza November 7, 2020 The vintner walks a lonely path With nothing but to mourn For who collects these grapes of wrath Left singed with sour scorn? The trellis bare of sweetened fruit Still stands upon the slope The irony is absolute And offers little hope But even though these days of woe Do haunt the stone and field This quaint and dreamy wine chateau Will have another yield A rose to all who suffer loss By fire’s thorny bane A toast to those who bear their cross And vow to build again Quinn Brown November 8, 2020 Forgotten Worship And on that day Dionysus watched his worship burn From purple-red to ashen grey As castle bricks spat and churned And to Hade’s halls, the vines returned Taking a barrelful of prayer And glasses of Sauterne Joshua Arellano November 8, 2020 Years, a vine had served a castle offered vintage, made it prosper Beaut’s a rose, a lovers’ blossom Years, the kingdom’s yield were wholesome But, there came a new invading fiery vine. It clambered, breaking in the palace, barrels shattered, windows fell, the villain chortled spilled and drank them all the wines Ruins dunned by smoke and cinders Sadly these are bitter times not as that of winey bitters but of falling ashes, charred Joshua Arellano November 8, 2020 the title is “a tale of vines” Natasha Peiris November 8, 2020 Crimson Hope Drenched in the haze of a withering blaze Façade of a legacy still remains Trees weep, roots bleed as the valley bellows But wine scented halls would return once more… Hope still remains, breathing through bruised and charred lips Crimson blossom spared by a monstrous blaze Just as a rose blooms in the dessert A glint of hope amidst a singed maze Spirit of hope continues to linger Walking through walls tormented and withered It glows crimson amidst smouldering ashes Gathering vigour with each dying ember Walls, left defenceless, yet, on solid grounds Speak of a legacy from days bygone Burnt and ravaged yet never forgotten Time will return the glory that once was Eithne Cullen November 8, 2020 Glass fire A glass of sauvignon- rich, velvet, red poured from a bottle – green, smooth made of glass fired in the heat that fuses grains of sand to liquid fire and sunlight, blown to shape and fixed in moulds, house style, to hold the wine. That same creative fire that forms the glass wreaks havoc in the hills and fields below pouring like a destructive libation into the valley from the Glass Mountain to Chateau Boswell’s waiting tiers of vines grapes dried to raisin death on blackened stems blushing roses withering as they bloomed and Boswell’s walls left standing, smouldering reducing it to castellate estate Samuel Ephraim Edward November 8, 2020 THE STINGING OMEN. It stands ripped and desecrated. Like the ruins of Babylon long forgotten. It’s elegance even in a glance cannot be sighted. The worse like the plague swept in unguided. Chateau were is your grandeur? For many years our taste buds you had given succour. We reveled in wild ecstasy; in some otherworldly fantasy. In orgasmic pleasures, the juices from your grapes drove down our bellies like a chaffeur. We wish your sorry state was a mere nightmare. The bitter reality opens up. Chateau standing like an over-roasted corn. The hollow space above licking it’s wounds. The iron door like a prison’s gate locked tight. The lilies before it looking wearied and soiled. Like a graveyard, Chateau bleeds with defeaning silence. The valley death it is and so none would ever tread. Brittany Hunt November 8, 2020 The Photo’s Chosen Rose Fire and ash, of course– destruction in the news! Such power in the force that damaged all the booze. And yet, the sun still tends the bloom apparent there– no smoke-obstructed lens; no gray or ashen air. Nature vents its spleen; engravings stay the same– Like Hardy’s drummer teen*, the place still has a name. *Reference to the subject of “Drummer Hodge”, the first version of which was written in 1899 by Thomas Hardy; not me. Ryan Watch November 8, 2020 Shades of Red A Tanaga by Ryan Watch Red’s a color most divine. Sanguine is the hue of wine. A mass of carmine berries Pairs well with cerise cherries. Pink and damask juxtapose Beside the rufescent rose. Looming sunsets paint the skies With deep vermilion dyes. Now all is splashed in a blood-red As the flaming fires spread. Rufous embers scatter dust And we’re left with nought but rust. Although no blood has been shed, We see the walls smeared with red. ‘Tis a lasting scarlet stain Of burning tinges and pain. Monalisa Munda November 8, 2020 Phoenix O’ lad, look at me thoroughly What do you see? A ruined building or a devastated land A hell’s touch or something so bland? You see I can lament for years… My beauty is lost, my garden is burnt My glorious days, I yearn them so much But time doesn’t flow backwards So I can only look forward Towards a healing path of future My roses are dying but will soon bloom My tears may taste salty now But will shortly taste fine wine The day will come and I will sing merrily again Rather than counting my breaths to die The spirit of phoenix lies within and I meant to rise. Ryan Watch November 8, 2020 Flamma A Rhupunt by Ryan Watch A raging fire Brimming with ire Why set this pyre On the Château? Witness the clash Of smoke and ash. Behold the flash Of flames aglow. A lone rose dies; There are no cries. Under red skies Burns the Château Nothing remains But barren plains. Yet from such pains, New life will grow. Leonora Rita V. Obed November 8, 2020 “Runaway” When I turned thirteen I wore my latch-key as an anklet Because my twin flame would know me by my gait and flat mildewed feet The nights my parents worked late and left me home alone I wandered beyond the river bank To hijack its Ruin A Gothic Hammock for my Sleepwalking soul This is where he parked his caravan A battered VW the shade of mummy bandage He unlatched my latch-key And invited me to that Subterranean winery Look for eyes that glow like sea glass, hair as soft as Moss I am the Crone-gargoyle of patina dreams— Acid-washed and bronzed Not unlike Lady Liberty. Ryan Watch November 8, 2020 A Stornello to Aromas By Ryan Watch The bouquet of wine, the sweet attar of blooms Commixed with ripe and fermented grape perfumes – Are smothered by the stifling flames and its fumes. Maria P. Moreno November 8, 2020 “A Door Is Not a Door” A door is not a door, it is a threshold Infinite sand blown through memory Reminding us part of lost glory And the endless dreams we still behold. A wall is not a wall, it is my holding Against which evil is kept at bay Before me safety and warmth lay With the roof so gently above me folding. A fort is not a fort, it is my heart The keepsake of all which is sacred The guardian burdened with hatred Maria P. Moreno November 8, 2020 A DOOR IS NOT A DOOR A door is not a door, it is a threshold Infinite sand blown through memory Reminding us part of lost glory And the endless dreams we still behold. A wall is not a wall, it is my holding Against which evil is kept at bay Before me safety and warmth lay With the roof so gently above me folding. A fort is not a fort, it is my heart The keepsake of all which is sacred The guardian burdened with hatred Maria P. Moreno November 8, 2020 *** Sorry last line was lost, here it goes again A DOOR IS NOT A DOOR A door is not a door, it is a threshold Infinite sand blown through memory Reminding us part of lost glory And the endless dreams we still behold. A wall is not a wall, it is my holding Against which evil is kept at bay Before me safety and warmth lay With the roof so gently above me folding. A fort is not a fort, it is my heart The keepsake of all which is sacred The guardian burdened with hatred What binds me and tears me apart. Maurice DeLivre November 8, 2020 A News Article Dedicated to Château Boswell Winery The famed 41-year old Château Boswell Winery has been destroyed during the Glass Fire on September 27, 2020. Established in 1979, it was known as one of the minority of private owned wineries in Napa Valley. It served as winery, vinyard, and tasting room that provided both tourists and locals alike a savory experience. However, due to the recent Glass Fires in September, the wintery, along with the Black Rock Inn was among the buildings that perished in the flames. Though only parts of the winery still remain, the damage done by the fires serves as a lasting scar for this once lauded place. The following poem has been written in the Château’s honor: On its charred remains, I can still smell the bouquet Of sweet-smelling wines. Maurice DeLivre November 8, 2020 The poetic form I’ve used is the Japanese haibun, which is a combination of both prose and poetry. Jason Brown November 8, 2020 The Unburnt Rose A roar as soft and gentle as a rose Arose amidst the fire’s growing height As redwood, maple, willow bent in throes The night sky bled in fury at the sight. Those twisting flames, from twisted branches raged Unleashing spite and anger on the vines The chateau now (where all but stone is razed) formented in the scent of boiling wine. But in the ashen morning, ashen skies refuse to weep their comfort on the hill A rose — unburnt, unburnished — never dies The airless valley: silent, acrid, still. Though tears of grief and wine of joy are spilt The unburnt rose will still refuse to wilt. Peter Ibhane Isibor November 8, 2020 CHATEAU BOSWELL’S HOPE Flowing it flared flawless Blazing sparks all men saw Shredding peaceful grape vines California’s bad time Fine grape blackened by red Gave hands no field to tend Gave hands no juice to squeeze Gave hands no skin to feel Gave tongues no wine to taste Now look beyond the blaze! Restore Napa Valley! Environment needs it Hope beams its rays at times This land will rise like tides Lucia Fisher November 8, 2020 A Relic of 2020 I stopped to smell the roses in This double-twenty year When men thought Mars and flying cars Would finally be near But since I found no blossoms nigh I wandered off to search (And though I scrutinized the skies No hoverboards emerged) At length I caught a spot of red Like blood or new-poured wine As I drew near, the sight grew queer Then dismal in design A single rose with head bowed low Abandoned on its stem As if a plague of flow’ry ague Had seized the rest of them Or maybe some strange insects like A murder hornet swarm Attacked the blooms and sealed their dooms In angry protest storms My fanciful conjectures were Arrested by a scent And then I took a closer look At petals black and bent I stopped to smell the roses in The twenty-twenty gloom But smoke and spark have made their mark And masked the bud’s perfume Tianna Haas November 8, 2020 Florid Frame Did a tremor travel your florid frame When you saw the headlands glow? Did you disown your botanical name To uproot your feet and go? Did smoke soon stifle your stomata small, As you wept for your neighbors? Did your sight dim from the noxious pall, No use come from thorned sabers? Did you bat a leaf like a flimsy flue To aid the burning staked throng? Did the wilted canopies spot you, too, And vainly stretch tendrils long? Did grapes burst into a rolling boil, Watering earth with nectar? Did bottles follow suit, drenching soil Like a pelican specter? Did the given juice and wine wind a stream Along their reach to your base? Did you gulp and gasp, your bud with red gleam Preserved in a ruined place? Did you make the escape a fixed pilgrim Above consecrated ground? Did stemware fill again with a singed rim, A glass laden, still, and round? Beate Haddad November 8, 2020 ‘A whole nother world’ by Beate Haddad There are thousands of truths contained in this vine-yard-castle: Behind the iron door is drawing a cardiac muscle. Leaning against it, hearing its beatings- feeling its pulsative heartbeats- cheatings. ‘Let me in’, whining and knocking emphatically. When I first heard the noise of the hidden heart I felt that my own one was flying enthusiastically towards the other trembling hidden heart. Longing for chaste embraces to the unseen booming bust Keeping on repeating the hammering knocks against ice crust. Heart melting possessor of this secure stronghold whinstone, begging you bitterly, menacing this near threshold t- bone. Every single blow of my fists united in the beats simultaneously of the cold fancy vault unseen heats. Pleading you stranger, come reigning in midst of my heart; I want to kiss you with the kiss of your love alert. As you are drawn by your own love, I may force you open sweet dove. As I fuse my hammerings of fists in yours of heartbeats, I’m not sure if my mind myself reluctantly cheats: The iron door is opened widely up, an immense void, all of light comes before my bedazzled giddily astonished sight. In this immense void none can find the extents of the hearts’ height, Or its depth or its boundaries on the right or the left, or those on the back or the front. In the midst of this immensity, in a highest point, I see The most chaste, purest love is waiting for me! James Opal November 8, 2020 Chateau Boswell After the Glass Fire A singed red rose, a deformed door, both stand before a sky of haze— If all burns, what’s a rose for? The crunch of ash is under feet and tells the story of the blaze: the singed red rose, and deformed door. Lovely tinctures were set discreet for divining: wines in display— If all burns, what’s to sow for? I walk the grounds: a game of seek all I find is soot and malaise, a singed red rose, and deformed door. How the ramparts vaulted, brimmed, peaked with bustle, now in refuse traced— If all burns, what’s to grow for? Barrels broke open in last weak gasp, wine untasted, gone, erased; a singed red rose, a deformed door— If all burns, what’s a rose for? Adriano Timoteo Llosa November 8, 2020 Title: Even Roses Know Not even roses have their day. Next to musk of gargoyles tranquiling the air of sodden fallen romanesque castles valued obscolescent by renaissance grandiloquent snobs. Looking to pay a buck for ingenius wit that cometh out their mouths. Their sole humility act to placate, not test the gods and keep the charismatic graces endearing them to the Jasmines of the high courts. And the Pocahontas of foreign Ministry lands. No, sir. They do not ingratiate themselves with abandon until they’ve paid homage to the stone. That which builds their life. The bud that allows them to grow. And wine with the best like in the bygone height of Aux-la-Chappelle. Cause even Charlegmane knew the limits of the best, and the ashes that decored the empire of his roman antecedents. Nice ruins. Ashen and fertile soil for the next power (papels) on the throne. Greatness rebuilds. But even Roses know petals receive red flavenoids deluxe for function and not for them. Not vanity. Not for nothing. But even this must happen for self-realizing. For to like oneself is to use it. At the end of your day, for pedalling autumn And succombing seasons into the fold of the present day Maurice DeLivre November 9, 2020 Ballad of the Deflowered Rose By Maurice DeLivre O winsome Rose of deepest red, Hallowed be thy pure name! Virtue has made you most demure And shielded you from blame. Erubescent shades flush thy cheeks In their velvet softness. A scarlet hue paints thy full lips Which speaks with politeness. Clothed in robes of modesty And decked with jewels of grace; A wholesome creature most divine, Worthy of mankind’s praise. Thy charm and thy unfettered soul – Both enthralled and awed me. For who among the flowers could Match with thy purity? Within thy loftiest Château That overlooks a vale, Thy presence stole the hearts of all The valley’s every male. And there they came, from near and far To ask thee for thy hand. Yet chaste as thou were, ye refused To accept their demands. Disappointed and crestfallen, Thy suitors went away. And thus ye remained unsullied For yet another day. But there was one whose lust consumed His heart in hellish flames. So great was his desire for thee – To him, ye were the flames. When honeyed words failed to take hold, He forced himself on thee. Ye defended thyself but lost Thy guarded purity. The robes of modesty were rent. Thy virtue turns to vice. Innocence shuns her gaze in shame And doesn’t hear thy cries. Why give yourself to lechery? And shy from what is just? Consumed! Consumed were thee by flames! Fires ignited by lust. And when he’s had his way with thee, He leaves thee with nothing. Robbed, depraved of thy erstwhile joy, Thou art a sorry thing. Now, I behold thy present form And pity thy poor state. Thy maiden gaze that once was meek Is blazing now with hate. O winsome Rose of deepest red! Tainted by sin and blame, Thy vestal vow is disobeyed! Branded by sensual flame. Emma J Nokes November 9, 2020 Much more lies, beyond that door. We see the chars and sob, alas the greyish tones of sorrow, such weeping words we speak of, yet, a pinch of hope, we borrow. But what once happened, here, within, what joy, what love, what laughter? For it’s not what it is now, we should dwell upon But on what will come hereafter. Notice how the rose is bold, she says, ‘Hey! I’m still here,’ hanging on with a lust for life, not giving in to fear. She soon will bloom and spread her seed and create a garden, bejewelled. The grass will grow, the trees will leaf with love and with life they will be fuelled. The stone is strong and stands aloof bound firmly by its mortar, remembering how It once kept safe a Mom, a son, a daughter. The stubborn door that guards the way could tell a thousand tales, of passing guests and words exchanged that brought happiness and smiles. So, look again, don’t feel despair or let sadness cloud your awe. For life is itching to begin again, it seems so much more, lies beyond that door.