January Is On the Wane

after Sor Juan Inez de la Cruz

January is on the wane leaving behind early dark
and champagne hopes for the genus Rosa.

Garden roses want pruning now, solicitous cultivation.
Layer shorter under taller, drape on trellises
and over pergolas, the promise of color and scent,
climbers retelling their stories in a ballet up stone walls,
an heirloom lace of tea roses, a voluptuous panorama
rhymed with shrubs and rock roses in poetic repetition.
Feminine pulchritude: their majesties in royal reds
or sometimes subdued in pink or purple gentility,
a cadmium-yellow civil sensibility, their haute couture.

Is it the thorny rose we love or the way it mirrors us
in our own beauty and barbarism, our flow into decrepitude?
They remind of our mortality with blooms, ebbs, and bows
to destiny. A noble life, by fate transformed in season.

Divinely fulsome, that genus Rosa, sun-lighted, reflexed.
And January? January is ever on the wane.

© 2013, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes (The Poet by Day and Coffee, Tea and Poetry), All rights reserved

ROSA

Rosa divina que en gentil cultura
eres, con tu fragrante sutileza,
magisterio purpureo en la belleza,
enseñanza nevada a la hermosura.
Amago de la humana arquitectura,
ejemplo de la vana gentileza,
en cuyo ser unió naturaleza
la cuna alegre y triste sepultura.
¡Cuán altiva en tu pompa, presumida,
soberbia, el riesgo de morir desdeñas,
y luego desmayada y encogida
de tu caduco ser das mustias señas,
con que con docta muerte y necia vida,
viviendo engañas y muriendo enseñas!

– Sor Juan Inez de la Cruz

Categories: poems Poetry

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