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


55 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

  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. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    The Napa Green Scene

    A flame-tinged, soot-singed, woeful stone château
    Slumps gutted in the Glass Fire afterglow.
    An ash-kissed rose has lost its lush bouquet
    To choking smoke and smuts that snatched away
    Much beauty and such fruity revelry
    With haughty hands of eco-devilry.

    As Bacchus bites the cinder-crusted dust,
    He slams all whiny warriors as unjust
    For treading grapes down Pinot pathways paved
    With piety. Shiraz cannot be saved
    With catastrophic cant – ‘twas virtue’s spell
    That torched the vineyard on the porch of Hell.

    A ban on keeping underbrush at bay
    Fills blistered vats with bitter Charred-onnay.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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
    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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  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 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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 ignores what’s true:
    A rose though burnt remains a rose

  39. Sumit


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

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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

  49. 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.

  50. 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

  51. 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.

  52. 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.”

  53. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Ode to Chateau Boswell

    You loom in sooty gloom and tombstone grief,
    In dusty shades of faded yesterdays.
    One withered witness speaks of fever’s 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 pastel 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.

  54. 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.


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