|Reading at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2012|
Last summer it was reprinted in the collection The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press, 2012.)
Since it is Holy Saturday, or Black Saturday, or Easter Eve, I thought a poem involving the curious items of the Devil and repentance might just be in order... Enjoy!
|from the back cover of THE FOLIATE HEAD|
Artwork by Clive Hicks-Jenkins
(UK: Stanza Press, 2012)
The Magnolia Girl
She climbed the great magnolia tree
To learn the ways of bird and bee,
And there the Prince of Darkness came
To tempt her with delicious shame.
He bore her up and bore her down,
He let her try his royal crown
While leaves went clattering-a-clack
Like gossips warning at her back.
A burst of starlight from his face,
His every move a sigh of grace—
Could you resist his lightsome wiles,
Or stop the arrows of his smiles?
What was a tendency to hiss
When set beside a glowing kiss?
In long-ago and far-away,
She danced her dance the livelong day—
She showed him all her naked skin,
And what they did was mortal sin.
When boredom dulled his passion’s rage,
The Serpent Prince desired a cage;
He jailed her in the blooming tree
And spread a lie that she was free.
Addicted to the streaming light
From which her lover once took flight,
She now repents those leisure hours
Misspent among magnolia flowers.