Ray Osborn

Four Poems


For Sam Hotchkiss
“…but also the Honeysuckle symbolizes
trotting around the forest at my brother’s heals
seeking out various flowers to suck dry...”
I’m ashamed for unity in love left me dry,
desiccated as the stained leaves of parchment
that have no maw to carry them to eternal
youth: is this a Honeysuckle? No, no,
that is not a Honeysuckle; however, if you
promise me one thing: that this hue
should never leave your lips, then I might
resolve to dry and rescind these glottal drops
of the imagination which leave us in no place
with no food other than that bawdry ictus,
then I might bring back what was lost betwixt us.

For Elan Reisner
Not to be crude or elude the question
but what exactly does “Hosta” mean?
The answer is self-immanent;
If I may, I’ll draw you a sepal, some petals,
maybe even a stamen or two and with this,
my response, let you soak up what bits
of carbon dioxide and iron you might need;
the Hosta is from the Lily family
and originate primarily from Asia though,
and all English mothers hold their tongues,
are common to most Mid-Western gardens,
a failsafe to be sure;
to please and make you welcome
though I might add their medicinal qualities
are not so common or lax in their value
as panacea they are odontalgic and even
have something of the charm of the Toothfairy
if you chew on the roots like many voles
might have done before you in their devotion.
I aughte mention that in 1817 the Germans
christened the plant “Funkia,” though this did not hold,
no one knows why.
Come to think of it, the plant symbolizes,
“mystery” in general. Also “good health.”
The purple of the flower certainly is
a healing color; however, I am confused:
the root does not perform a root-canal surgery
nor does it remove the aching tooth
but simply asks the ruminator to continue ruminating.
Forever. And that is where we come to the last
definition I have found for “Hosta”;
it is a flower, like the Honeysuckle, that asks for
the holy and limitless devotion of lovers,
that after much tribulation come to know
that the meaning of the root means Nothing.

Pink Powder Puff Flower
For Michael Kinnucan
“…it has recently been shifted into the mimosa
family.” So now a toast to your prickly pink animus,
for I’ve, intoxicated, seen you on the Internet, family
we are not, and lover you are not but you, stoically,
endure my twisted ventures of madness in mass clumps
into The Everglades where you sit in your spiritual cave.
You are of sharp, witty conceit and question my passes,
or rather attempts, to forsake grammar,
forsaking what I might term “crassness in
poetic license.” Rather redundant but
free to roam the river of crassness in Florida
on a ship tacking from anima where
your neon puff will keep me safely afloat
in my wandering on the Myakka, intoxicated.

For Caroline Lemak Brickman

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