Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, ed., Books and Culture. / New at patreon.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Black Flower


Photograph:  courtesy of Ula Kapala
of Wroclaw, Poland
and
sxc.hu


























THE BLACK FLOWER
             Iris Chang, author of The Rape of Nanking, 
                died on November 11, 2004

           
1.
Sick to Death

At dead of night she woke, unmoved
  By the crickets, moon, and stars;
From old they sang or shone above
    The fire and rape of wars.

Then pity was a crumpled child,
  Kindness a battered womb,
And all the world one genocide,
    The grave her living room.


2.
Iris

The iris by my walk is bold,
  Its purples almost black,
And stems and petals always bleed
    Before the sheathings crack.

She took her life to lift the veil
  Of grief--and still, I’ll bet
That most will never remember
    What Iris could not forget.


"The Black Flower" originally appeared
in
storySouth and was reprinted
in
The Throne of Psyche(Mercer University Press, 2011)

***
Available via your local bookseller
or 
Amazon and other online sellers.


2 comments:

  1. I didn't remember that one from the book, Marly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I suppose 106 pages is a lot for a book of poems unless it is a "selected." But yes, you may find it on page 28.

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.