September 22, 2001

Flower faces turned up to the light,
pale pink fine-lined petals
flaring like five-armed Maltese crosses,
emblems of trust, of hope. Do you know
B-52's are headed even this morning
for the Persian gulf? Terrible
are the blossoms that will burst
from seeds of anger, dropped on a parched
land. We have prepared a soil
for monstrous crops. As we sow
our ravenous hate, these simple flowers,
gathered in a rich late summer meadow,
placed in a vase of hammered brass,
now live here on an oaken table, breathe
into the still air of this kitchen,
in the heart of the Catskill mountains,
the fragrant memory of peace. Rooted in darkness,
watered by our tears, peace grows
upward from the earth that holds our dead, our grief,
into a plant that blossoms in the light.

Richard Parisio

About the poet: Richard Parisio has been a professional naturalist for over thirty years, and writing poetry for longer. His poetry has been published in three regional anthologies representing the Catskills and Hudson Valley.