Monday, November 25, 2019

Have I Loved Life?
















I was a Blue Rock Thrush that sang outside
the Louvre, for the art made my throat swell
and the Boreal Owl descended well
into night. Bohemian Waxwing bride
flew a trousseau the size of lengthy wide
medieval tapestries. Dotted with miel
were croissants at the long table; the belle
danced under the long windows of Versailles.
We sang a tune, a lyric of her best
versified Monday morning room lightened
by the sun through the olive velvet drapes.
The library met her moments in rest
with long-dead poets and dames to brighten
the dark--lit wax candles, 'neath my landscapes.

Emily Isaacson

Millefleurs


The alpine meadows are spun with millefleurs
and forests of pine, beech, and poplar rend
all of France fragrant, now nuanced, and send
my poems like tiny birds heavenwards.
Wrought iron slants in afternoon and mars
the manicured green's magic haunt, lend
me the whisper for a moment of a thousand
prayers 'round the property's pristine scars,
the battle wounds have gored the trench:
there are cold gashes in the weathered wood.
Light through old lace at the windows' black frame,
the thunderous sky's tenuous grey drench
down clouds scuttling past--broom-coloured oak stood
on hillsides, a missive of gated fame. 

Emily Isaacson

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Wild Grass of France
















I collected the wildflowers and sent 
them in letters to my love long lost,
I was a soldier in France, grass in frost
froze in all withered directions, bent,
there was a wind that with it, fragranced, lent
its luminous hue, its sharp brittle cost,
and to its tune a piper's pentecost--
its denial of any resistance.
It bent the winter trees, they greenly sang,
it bent the nectar spring in maritime,
it bent the gardens of Primrose-blue fleurs-- 
wind, the sea roared, the salt, the sanguine rang;
it braved the Charente coast of ocean's thyme.
I guarded your heart like an art oeuvre.

Emily Isaacson

Have I Loved Death?

















It is true I loved my enemy death,
black to my white, the err to my person,
the assailant to humanity's son;
my grievance with death is it only perfects
those it loves--makes them pale, protects
them from the harsh rays of the yellow sun,
never shall they burn, cripples those who run,
all you held dear will then calloused defect.
There is a burnished French Horn at the end
when you reach the Hallmark mansion, the lake,
and the Canada geese's wild call to you.
Here you tidy rest, hands folded you bend
to the one faded cloth copy of Blake
on the table, the piano is tuned.

Emily Isaacson

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Morning in the Burned Cathedral
















The light streams through, alas it is morning--
I cannot bear the truth in its meaning,
for I have lost my life's most precious thing:
and with it I am wrought 'till evening.
I bear the brunt of tragedian's telling,
I'd not want to be the soul's recounted fling
with crown jewels, and buried sages' grieving
over lost moments, proverbs still singing. 
There is a moment when I contemplate--
and all meaning fades in the trenches of France,
and all I love resounds, hollow as wine
no more in a chalice, bread on a plate.
My breakfast, ashes of Petite Pervenche:
wildflowers over the fields of its kind.

Emily Isaacson

The Lost Church


Where have you gone, my little flock of sheep;
have you dispersed over the Vosges's pass?
Have you stayed to another river's glass?
Have you fallen down a gully so steep?
Where is the sacrament that with you keeps
you from death's harm, and with your greenest grass:
a pastureland of Liseron des Champs,
the pleasant place where White Asphodel steeps.
I wish you had waited for your shepherd,
I, standing in the ruins of the lost, 
did not see you go, nor will you to leave.
The procession for my missing, a dirge,
I singing, naive of the wind's frost
on the autumn backdrop of burnished leaves.

Emily Isaacson

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Mentor's Last Rite


















My long ornate arms stretched to take you in,
hands welcoming with hospitality--
into the realm of Christ's divinity.
You put your two coins in the church of tin.
I ran the race of life to gaining, win,
you ran beside on personality;
tell he who made the robin and the tree
there was one more touch of madness or sin, 
you would walk no more, nor wing-truant fly;
your vestal wounds had all been scavenged, seared,
there was little left to love but a shell.
Priests would say your last rites lest you faithless die,
though the church's holy altar once was feared,
you walk into Christ's silvered arms full well.

Emily Isaacson

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Proverbial Contusions
















Dance, dance as though the world had played a card,
we are one body, one corps the wind moves; 
we ascend when we succumb to the grooves
of higher beings, engraved oils of nard.
The precious tree became the oil and hard
as diamonds the covenant makes deep blue,
my skin has turned as cold as the dead's hue,
and still I am steaming your dark Swiss chard.
There was a moment when I doubted you:
I saw you as a distant politeness.
But now your hand has clasped my arm in life
and I die no more, I lie in ruins too:
you are my golden child of plaid kindness--
and I rush on, rising amid the strife.  

Emily Isaacson

Song Of The Volta



I was divine and now I am far gone:
burned beyond recognition and accused,
left for dead as once broken and abused,
I am left with the carcass and the stone.
The chalk of my skull likely stays beyond
the years of torment and the hours of pain,
the old earth never washed away by rain,
the ancient sin not acquiesced by blood.
My innocence never belonged to me--
so can it sin? Oh can it anguished burn?
I thought to be a lovely lamb, as snows;
spring in the dun heather and the moss peat.
My towering hulk flew toward skies and churned
that the red blood has frozen in my rose.

Emily Isaacson

Monday, May 6, 2019

Notre Dame's Last Singer
















Our Lady, you are our noblest hero,
we swing our incense smoke for your reply
from the paradise in which you supply
our needs and our commands, how blithely so
do we insist on our own proven low
calculations, buying time on earth by
earning sterile bleak favours from God. My
home torn asunder with each gothic blow,
I was on my knees now to watch the fire
bludgeon the sky with inhuman cruelty.
We sang as city incarnadine burned,
with its altruistic Catholic spire;
we wept as Christ's face in ash was beauty,
as against us the broken stone face turned.

Emily Isaacson

Thursday, May 2, 2019

From the Ashes of Notre Dame













I crossed myself and stood at the altar,
eternity wound around my finger:
the crushed moment of my solemn singer
was the moment when the burned stone faltered.
I cannot ask for more from Gibraltar,
but for one of these little ones, ringer
of the bells that call them home, rise linger
on the sweetened isle, fading light loiters
as the peals repeat and resound, silence
breaking at the notion of sound's fury.
The burnished cathedral has fallen, died;
attic to cellar smoke with violence,
the steeple tied to the dead we bury
when the beating steel heart of Paris cried.

Emily Isaacson