From the archives – Losing the Art of Love (2017) by Ralph La Rosa

Losing the Art of Love (2017)

There was a time when poets sang of love
without embarrassment, when versifiers
happy at their trade were gracious liars
in measured sonnets. They’d imitate a dove,
an owl, perhaps a dawn-drawn bird above,
who sighting human beauty soon desires
to mate his heavenly might with earthly fires
of passion: begets a paradox of love.

But tapping keys that text or tweet romantic
notes is so archaic, old-school, stilted
that songs of love, once tender or ecstatic,
are elegies about the lost or jilted.
Raving in rhyme about a love that’s new?
Postmodern ironies evaded you.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, April 24, 2017 — by Ralph La Rosa

photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Losing the Art of Love (2017) by Ralph La Rosa

Losing the Art of Love (2017)

There was a time when poets sang of love
without embarrassment, when versifiers
happy at their trade were gracious liars
in measured sonnets. They’d imitate a dove,
an owl, perhaps a dawn-drawn bird above,
who sighting human beauty soon desires
to mate his heavenly might with earthly fires
of passion: begets a paradox of love.

But tapping keys that text or tweet romantic
notes is so archaic, old-school, stilted
that songs of love, once tender or ecstatic,
are elegies about the lost or jilted.
Raving in rhyme about a love that’s new?
Postmodern ironies evaded you.

by Ralph La Rosa

Editor’s Note: This delightful sonnet pokes fun at all of us.

Seasonal Cycles by Ralph La Rosa

Seasonal Cycles

Lovers

Spring is spanking new
Summer the hot flirt
Autumn strips for you
Winter’s cool dessert

Trysts

Spring beneath the lilacs
Summer in the clover
Autumn on the haystacks
Winter in the parlor

Relationships

Springtime teases
Summer pleases.
Fall matures
Winter endures.

Songs

Spring eulogies
Summer lyrics
Fall elegies
Winter epics

by Ralph La Rosa

Editor’s Note: Sometimes the mind needs a rest, and poetry doesn’t always have to be  impenetrable.

Twists of Fate by Ralph La Rosa

Twists of Fate

Feverish from dog-day heat,
I drive the five of us through air
so still it feels like death—our father’s
writhing on a clinic bed
and only I know the prognosis.
The sky grows gray. My radio
reports tornados twisting south
along Ann Arbor Road. The mirrors
show one drilling down, a wraith,
its strophic-antistrophic dance
a black ballet that’s catastrophic.
Cursing, I turn into The Inn.
We rush downstairs with panicked guests,
perhaps soon ghosts. The building groans,
wrenched by wind. Its chandeliers
spin, spit sparks like baleful stars.
Cringing from this random wrath,
the others pray and plead. I laugh.

by Ralph La Rosa, first published in Ghost Trees

Editor’s Note: The careful line breaks in this poem emphasize the vivid imagery, and sharpen the emotional difficulty faced by the narrator and his family.

From the archives – The Muse of Concord by Ralph La Rosa

The Muse of Concord

In summer woods, her springtime voice matured
as beckoning notes that mystify—a creature
thrumming when at rest, Tee-chur, Tee-chur,
but sweetly lyrical in flight. A bird
impetuous and speedy, songs assured,
she could elude, confound this woodland seeker,
who sensed the ovenbird was nature’s speaker,
though, he knew, she never said a word.
Until the chill of fall, he would be sure
the warbler calling from its hidden site
was midday’s sonic, acrobatic blur
that chased the sun, then dipped into the night.
Although her voices faded with the fall,
on winter days he still could hear her call.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 25, 2015 — by Ralph La Rosa, from Sonnet Stanzas

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

Indwelling by Ralph La Rosa

Indwelling

Inspiring air animates my trees,
informs their crowns and trunks, their leaves and limbs
when rousing Santa Ana winds increase.

The ancient trunks are limber as they sway
and bow; their scions lunge from side to side,
then pause before they pirouette to play.

Each tree’s a dancer and Aeolian lyre
beckoning me to join them and aspire.

by Ralph La Rosa

Editor’s Note: The iambic pentameter and rhyme lend this poem a meditative slant that complements the seasonal scene.

The Muse of Concord by Ralph La Rosa

The Muse of Concord

In summer woods, her springtime voice matured
as beckoning notes that mystify—a creature
thrumming when at rest, Tee-chur, Tee-chur,
but sweetly lyrical in flight. A bird
impetuous and speedy, songs assured,
she could elude, confound this woodland seeker,
who sensed the ovenbird was nature’s speaker,
though, he knew, she never said a word.
Until the chill of fall, he would be sure
the warbler calling from its hidden site
was midday’s sonic, acrobatic blur
that chased the sun, then dipped into the night.
Although her voices faded with the fall,
on winter days he still could hear her call.

by Ralph La Rosa, from Sonnet Stanzas

Editor’s Note: Sometimes the birds lead us on a merry chase. Who is calling? Where did she go? Such tricksters. Even the sonnet form can’t truly capture a bird’s elusive teasing.