W.F. Lantry



My love becomes another when I take

her in my arms, or rather she renews

what she has always been: her reckless song

seems like the consciousness that birds prolong

each morning from the forest's rustic pews,

the colored splendor of a skillful voice


inflected by the wind, and I rejoice

in listening a moment, as she turns

to me, and changes: all her mysteries

are opened through enchanted expertise

and as each long remembered form returns

I bear her up, in harmony, her form


mirrored in images that, unwrapped, warm

even the frozen sinews I had thought

grown weak from lethargy, and I rejoice

within the confines of her gentle voice

and celebrate the figures she has wrought

within my mind, remembering the dawn


and transformations she has undergone

as flames become a moment silhouettes

that we may read as patterns of our will

or of imaginings, and yet they still

reshape themselves from wings into rosettes

refigured in my mind for her love's sake.



           we come by love, and not by sail . . .



Whether the evening stopped what little wind

had driven me, or if a sudden change

in pressure slowed the bow, as, smooth, it made

its way around the Cap d'Ail, towards

the Esterel, with its red peaks suffused

beneath the red dust of siroccos, I


will not attempt to say, but I do know

progress was slowly ended, and the drift

of that small boat became the same as waves'

slow movement toward the shore, where I could see

her skirt, at least, grown luminescent in

final reflections, blue, the slender words,


inaudible, I voiced then, seemed to fill

slack canvas, only seemed, since the land breeze

recirculates in autumn, still, the bow

was moving, and I heard before my own

her voice, and knew that song from memory

but changed now, as I drifted to the shore.


W.F. Lantry received his Licence and Ma├«trise from the Universit├ę de Nice, M.A. in English from Boston University and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. The recipient of the Paris/Atlantic Young Writers Award, and the CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry, his work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Ellipsis, Unsplendid, Sixty-Six: The Journal of Sonnet Studies and The Wallace Stevens Journal. He currently works in Washington, DC.



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