Father-Daughter Dance by Patricia Karamesines

baroque staircase Amsterdam

(For Clinton F. Larson)

How long did I look in that face, admit
that voice? He left his door unlocked to me,
kept ice cream money in a drawer. He fit
his office to my urchin company.

Those years I spent his foundling, each day waking,
I toyed on his baroque and spiraled stair.
“Look, here is Milton. See this sentence snaking?
These coils bend on forever. Do you dare?”
Continue reading “Father-Daughter Dance by Patricia Karamesines”

The Orchid Grower

(Clinton F. Larson, 1919-1994)

He sought to grow rare orchids up bright air
On theory they were closer to the sun.
Such trailing gardens of the blue compare
To virga with refractions overrun.
And since these curious blossoms manifest
Some edgeless artifice their vines conceal,
All fanciers must their clayey stuff divest
To see what Sol his tropic buds congeal.
His mazes trellis on the light’s pure ease,
Where petals, nearly colorless from glare,
Distill all hours estranged eternities
That tease the tethered eye’s myopic stare.
Such speeches of flower to heaven’s plots aspire,
Bind root twixt worlds and hang exotic fire.


First published in Dialogue (Winter 2005): 201.