Here in southern Pennsylvania, the azaleas have been gone for weeks, so it seems like the right time for this sonnet of mine. The poem is inspired by the biblical story of the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)
In an azalea garden one mild night,
A cloud of witnesses blowing around me,
Through waving woven-work of brief, wild white
The pale moon beams where it sought out and found me.
Why does it almost hurt to gaze at blooms
That tug the heart with an alluring power?
We fill our shelves with books, and deck our rooms
With pictures, but we cannot own a flower.
Although we plant and tend it, still, its art
Exists outside us, unassimilated;
We cannot have it–clasp it to our heart
And say, “Just this, and we shall be created.”
Soon it will leave us for another year.
It is wonderful for us to be here.