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.


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 Stories:

148 Responses

  1. Alex Andy Phuong

    “Only in Name”

    A French castle
    Or Chateau
    Being a male lover
    Or a beau
    Courting women wearing bows
    Names are simply identifiers
    Even Juliet knew this
    Because a rose by any other name
    Would still smell as sweet

    • Thompson Emate

      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

        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

      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

  2. James A. Tweedie

    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.”

  3. Norma Okun

    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

  4. James A. Tweedie

    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.

  5. Shola Balogun


    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.

  6. Alec Ream

    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.

  7. Sarban Bhattacharya

    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.

  8. Terry L. Norton

    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.

  9. David Watt

    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.

  10. Carol Connell

    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.


  11. A Grumpy Rat

    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

  12. Ernesto P. Santiago

    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.

  13. hunter lynn

    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

  14. Toni Newell

    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.

  15. Roy E. Peterson

    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.

  16. Roy E. Peterson

    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.

  17. Jeff Eardley

    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.

  18. Thomas Lindsay

    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

  19. Thomas Lindsay

    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

  20. Nanditesh Nilay

    Nanditesh Nilay

    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

  21. Nanditesh Nilay

    Nanditesh Nilay

    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

  22. Nanditesh Nilay

    Nanditesh Nilay

    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

  23. Kelly Okoniewski


    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

  24. Shola Balogun

    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.

  25. Kathleen Farrell

    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.

  26. Paul A. Freeman

    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.

  27. Linda Atkinson

    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.

  28. Linda Atkinson

    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.

  29. Cindy Hill

    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.

  30. Widaad Pangarker

    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

  31. Brantley Aycock

    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

  32. Victoria Garton

    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.

  33. Talbot Hook

    Human ardor, human dreams —
    And all around us Nature teems —
    Reified in stock and stone,
    What’s lost in flames shall be regrown.

  34. Carole Mertz

    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

  35. Paul A. Freeman

    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.



    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.



    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


      I made a typo on the second to last line. It should read “Despair must not ignore what’s true.” Thanks.

  38. Sumit


    How to Choose?
    To live in Stone
    Or to die in Rose
    Both form Beauty
    of their own, kind

  39. Paul A. Freeman

    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.

  40. Hilton Johns

    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!

  41. Jamie King

    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

  42. Randy Lee Gross

    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.

  43. Gary Kent Spain

    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.

  44. Tessa Morgan

    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

  45. Sally Cook


    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.

  46. Cory Gage

    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.

  47. Brian Paul Boma

    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

  48. Jay Rohr

    “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.

  49. Brian Paul Boma

    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

  50. Tianna Haas

    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.

  51. Rhonda Haas

    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.”

  52. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    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.

  53. Santanu Das

    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.

  54. Akshaya Pawaskar

    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.

  55. Jamie Clay

    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.

  56. Jamie Clay


    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

  57. James Hancock


    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

  58. Portly Bard

    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.

  59. Crystal N Hoffmeister


    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.

  60. Toni Newell

    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.

  61. Tom Hicks

    Who set the flame
    To the heart of the oak?
    That ravaged rose.

  62. Daniel Skaggs

    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.

  63. Court Reinland

    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

  64. Mika H

    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

  65. Venessa Miler

    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.

  66. Dalip MacCune

    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

  67. Benjamin Thomas Cepican

    “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.

  68. Daniel McCrory

    The raging fire fought
    Dying hungry embers
    Still quenched the grape
    But ah! the vine remembers

  69. Emilia Rosa


    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.

  70. Maryanne Frederick


    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.

  71. Claire A Murray

    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.

  72. Nicole Townsend

    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.

  73. Lauren

    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.

  74. Allegra Jostad Silberstein

    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.

  75. Jaya Avendel

    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.

  76. Laura L. Olney

    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!

  77. Donna J Lamarre

    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.

  78. Laura L. Olney

    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!

  79. Ojonugwa John Attah

    “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

  80. Ojonugwa John Attah

    “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

  81. Benedict Danor

    “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

  82. Benedict Danor

    “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

  83. Jane Dougherty

    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.

  84. Craig Cruise

    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

  85. Gordon McLaughlin

    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.

  86. Amrita Valan

    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

  87. Anita J Peiffer

    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

  88. Laurie-Lynn McGlynn

    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

      Love this poem, Laurie! Short and powerful and captured my soul…

      • Laurie-Lynn McGlynn

        Thank you Laura, I really appreciate your feedback! Hope you’re taking care and stay safe.

  89. Laurie-Lynn McGlynn

    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

  90. Melissa Hammond

    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

      Chateau Boswell

      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.

  91. Henry Kalin

    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

  92. Christian

    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

  93. Morgan Strug

    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

  94. Bridget Gage-Dixon

    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.

  95. Katy

    Sunlight on a wall,
    on scorched roses, stiffened limbs,
    on a door pulled shut.

  96. Mrudula Rani

    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.

  97. Mary Pacifico Curtis

    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.

  98. Portly Bard

    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.

  99. Mrudula Rani

    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

  100. Joseph Paulson

    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.

  101. Katy

    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.

  102. Esther Ib.D

    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.

  103. Esther Ib.D

    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.

  104. bharti

    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
    Shedding light to the darkest corners of being
    And I, standing naked; wrapped in space
    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

  105. Bianca F.

    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.

  106. Bianca F.

    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.

  107. Lisa Pedriel

    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.

  108. Steven J Garza

    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

  109. Quinn Brown

    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

  110. Joshua Arellano

    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

  111. Natasha Peiris

    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

  112. Eithne Cullen

    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

  113. Samuel Ephraim Edward


    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.

  114. Brittany Hunt

    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.

  115. Ryan Watch

    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.

  116. Monalisa Munda


    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.

  117. Ryan Watch

    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.

  118. Leonora Rita V. Obed

    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.

  119. Ryan Watch

    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.

  120. Maria P. Moreno

    “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

  121. Maria P. Moreno


    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

      *** Sorry last line was lost, here it goes again
      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.

  122. Maurice DeLivre

    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

      The poetic form I’ve used is the Japanese haibun, which is a combination of both prose and poetry.

  123. Jason Brown

    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.

  124. Peter Ibhane Isibor


    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

  125. Lucia Fisher

    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

  126. Tianna Haas

    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?

  127. Beate Haddad

    ‘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!

  128. James Opal

    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?

  129. Adriano Timoteo Llosa

    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

  130. Maurice DeLivre

    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.

  131. Emma J Nokes

    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.