we planted flowers
we planted flowers in the garden bed
they’re already coming up
too late for spring,
just in time to be wilted by summer heat
when we planted flowers it all seemed so real
like seeing them grow was inevitable
and now,
I’m here
and they’re growing
and I can’t figure out why you’re not
you’re like the bees
you buzz in and out
I feel like I need you
or I’ll wither
but maybe you’ve already
done for me what I could not do for myself
and now I must bloom
and die back again
and take this energy and store it up
because i’m using too much
chasing you around
stuck rooted here
turning toward the sun and asking
where’s that bee?
and he won’t answer me back
he just shines on,
slowly creeping west to avoid the answer
great, more avoidance
more pain
if only someone would come and snap me up
put me in a bouquet
where I could shine as part of a whole
and then wilt
having brought joy to someone else temporarily
but I remain


POETRY: Roberta Pantal Rhodes – India




Seventeen zillion, twelve

gazillion, one

trillion, sixteen

billion, three

hundred thousand?


No one knows

for sure

how many people

Inhabit India.


Scared cows

wander into

traffic.  All movement




The Bengal tiger’s

stripes blend in

with tree branches.


Women peek

from behind veils.


Pink blossoms line

the path,

and float in a

nearby fountain.


A dead dog drifts down the Ganges.


Pink, yellow, orange, crimson,

rose, purple, violet, gold,

magenta, scarlet saris dot

the landscape.

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