Contribution in the Quatrain Project – Gyroscope Review Spring Issue

On February 2, 2019, the staff of Gyroscope Review invited public participation in a giant collaborative poetry effort in honor of their fourth anniversary as a publication. So, they got together to create a quatrain to kick off this collaborative poem. I’m so thrilled to be part of this beautiful quatrain project.

Your obituary in the NY Times twice mentioned rhododendrons
as if to tell the world that you too planted roots in the Appalachian rust
and found ways to bloom over and over again, making your own luck
hard as the gritty dirt encrusting ten-year-old boots and new laces

you were budding, bright, brash but ultimately delicate
Spring is a sad gift to those still living, a reminder
sitting on the shoulders, growing heavy with the rain
and as the rain falls, you were left wondering—

that tending, we revisit all we might amend if past were prologue
or future a hidden refrain, as if every fruit-bearing flower you glimpse
that escaped the seasonal respiration of transitional frost could be
a trivial seed that had once fractured enormous boulders

Containing heart memories, stories of love unleashed
And in angel tongue, in grief language, bargaining in plastic sonic
the future ain’t so far away with bullets at any moment

We will all jerk and dance briefly but with such energy and fire

A double-basket, then, of long-named flowers
With colors in many languages, as you grew
Hearts full, whilst souls ache among fallen petals
That pillow breath against barbed blades of grass

Like a violet fire burning something with pulses on
Your memory gives me solace throughout my toughest times.
But memory if fleeting, like wind through blades of grass
Unless we anchor it with love amidst the sea of sorrow

Unraveling now, we forget the double-knot grandma showed us how to tie
fingers dripping with honey, nails rimmed with moons of gold
That Celtic marvel designed to keep the cord rubbing against itself
as the fragrant petals descend into your boot print etched with falling, windswept tears

rain may muddy your print on Earth but my memory firmly holds
Of your backbone holding my mountain rockslide, our feet in the rhododendrons
your crow’s feet neatly carrying the pain of those times
eager to split into bouquet possibilities

born and raised in the mountains of the east
passing through and entangling these vines and wishes
where does death take its boot heavy grief
There is only what came before, and flowers, always flowers

Contributors, in order of appearance:

Constance Brewer, Joshua Colwell, Kathleen Cassen Mickelson, Constance Brewer, Oonah
Joslin, Marissa Glover, Carmen Maldonado, Juliette Sebock, Sarah Carey, Yoni HammerKossoy, Daryl Muranaka, Jacqueline Bogatek, Myla Grier, Haley Jenkins, Mike Jurkovic, Richard Archer, Caron Freeborn, Cathy Bryant, Helen Rose, Nancy K. Jentsch,
Asim Kumar Paul, Zola Hardwick, Bobby Sheldon, Irena Pasvinter, JC Sulzenko, Toti
O’Brien, R. Joyce Heon, Marcy McNally, Donetta, Charlotte Hamrick, Megha Sood, Thylias
Moss, Jake Cosmos Aller, Dick Hagen, Luke Sainthill, Constance Brewer

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4 thoughts on “Contribution in the Quatrain Project – Gyroscope Review Spring Issue

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