Just out: The Book of the Red King, a collection of poems about the mysterious Red King, the lunar Precious Wentletrap, and the transforming Fool (Phoenicia Publishing.) Illuminated by Clive-Hicks-Jenkins. "A must-read and a distinctive, evocative voice. There is no one like Marly Youmans" -Kim Bridgford. Please check out the link above for news, review clips, and more!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Black Flower

Photograph:  courtesy of Ula Kapala
of Wroclaw, Poland

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

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.


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
storySouth and was reprinted
The Throne of Psyche(Mercer University Press, 2011)

Available via your local bookseller
Amazon and other online sellers.


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

  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.


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.