“Final Flourish” and Other Poems by John Muro

Final Flourish

May’s final flourish and the lilacs
have given up their priestly purple
for a crestfallen brown, colors lifted
and carried by minstrel winds to beds
of irises, allium and meadow sage.
With summer’s cruel advance, I imagine
the hoarding of their fatigued fragrance
in the tangled thrust of roots, abiding
a cooler darkness until the earth first
warms, breaks apart the frost, and calls
upon the miracle of creation so they can
once again extend their lazy heave of limbs
and their heavy heads, daubing the air
with the gifts of color, odor and light.

 

Incense

How souls
achieve thrust

on whorled,
tortuous

wings; coal
finely crushed.

Each powdered note
fractured only just,

arabesques that float
and appear brushed

into writhing cloud
of candle-dim gust.

Air’s unfolding
all about us,

and what once
was nebulous

becomes a slow
spill of varnish

in thick scrolls
of cursive

folding
light into dust.

 

Clothesline

Bodiless but bound,
they waited out the
weather, suspended
in weightless scatter
until a burst of wind
burrowed deep into
the down-turned sleeves
and pockets so that they
filled, like coves or
tributaries, rimmed
with a luminous blue-
white frost. Everywhere
the soap-scented air
pushed through thickets
acned with color before
the wind once again
inflated globes of gingham
into one voluptuous
undulation followed by
the slow, inverse puckering
and collapse of cloth –
the sequential lilt and
fall of blouses from
billow, and the crueler
convulsions of flannels
as all garments suddenly
slushed to a brighter stillness
and a reconciliation with
indolence or ghostly grieving.

 

—About the Author—

A lover of all things chocolate, John Muro is a two-time, 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee.  His poems have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Barnstorm, Euphony, Grey Sparrow, Penumbra, River Heron, Sky Island and Vita Brevis. His first volume of poems, In the Lilac Hour, was published in 2020 by Antrim House, and his second volume, Pastoral Suite, was just released. You can reach John on Instagram @johntmuro.

Read more of John’s scented poems, including “Harboring Hyacinths” HERE!

Image description

Photograph of a clothesline strung across buildings as seen from below with lots of sky above. It’s hung with a flourish of colorful billowing garments. From Pexels.