Posts Tagged ‘Marly Youmans’

A May Flower

July 7, 2008 8 comments

Dorothy May Bradford drowned in Provincetown Harbor
while the Mayflower was at mooring, December 7, 1620.

In green-shot bays my sweetheart sleeps;
She pierced the shadow of the boat
And disappeared—still I must keep
My courage safe from fear she floats
With staring eyes into the deeps
Where liquid devils jeer and gloat.

Did sharp-fanged woods spur Dorothy
To drink up death? No way to gloss
Over trials, nowhere to flee…
Her heart could augur only loss.
Whoever thought the changing sea
Would alter crossing into cross?

We pilgrims in the wilderness
Must curb our fancy’s imps and ghosts—
A penitent, I here confess
To glimpsing her along the coast:
I meant to say, God’s peace and rest,
But words fall dead when wanted most.

by Marly Youmans

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Categories: Water Tags:

Self-Portrait as Dryad, No. 5

February 8, 2008 7 comments

After Andy Goldsworthy’s
Sweet chestnut green horn
continuous spiral
each leaf laid in the fold of another
stitched with thorns

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton
9 August 1987

   Thorn-pinned, the leaf horn
Sang of silences to trees,
   Praising blossom-blow,

   Calling green-lit morn
And me. Song was meant to please
   Yet to let me know

   He who made the horn
Played to pluck me from my tree.
   The carrion crow,

   Creaky as a worn
Hinge, cawed as the canopy
   Quaked and let me go.

   His limbs are hawthorn
Flowers, white, a bed of ease.
   Mine are melting snow.

   Now that dreams are shorn
And heartwood betrayed by leaves,
   Only grief may grow:

   Better never born
Or dead than severed from trees—
   Breathless in barrow.

by Marly Youmans

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Categories: Hidden Messages Tags:

Ekphrasis 9: Laura Frankstone + Marly Youmans

April 3, 2007 3 comments


“Face 1,” by Laura Frankstone of Laurelines


A sketch after Botticelli by Laura Frankstone

This head’s more proud and sparkling than the one
Sandro painted—something like the sun

Blossoms in the face, as if acclaim
Five hundred years to come could flare as flame

In him; he is a mirror reflecting lights
From God and Medici, a moon on nights

When mythic paintings char by his own hand,
Jumbled with lutes, rouge pots, and gilded fans

In Lenten bonfires of the vanities.
And yet the face that’s swerved toward us espies

Neither magi, baby, nor company
Of nobles near the girl—he turns to see

In dazzled eyes across the near and far,
His picture glowing like the Christmas star.

by Marly Youmans