Automne Memoires en Provence

By on Nov 5, 2017 in Poetry

Sunflowers, lavender and St. Remy, France

He disappeared in the dead of winter… the brooks
all frozen and the airports almost deserted…

W.H. Auden

float across chilly October mornings in St. Remy,
singing your friendship out across the fields where
last summer’s Lavender and Sunflower blooms

chased the sun from horizon to horizon. Like Gypsy
singers they sing their bright sadness into stillness
coaxing leaves to desert their holy attachment to

another season on the branches of Van Gogh’s
delicate Olive trees and Avignon’s white Sycamores,
and join the great loneliness of orange moons sifting

through midnight silence of granite valleys, throbbing
with the dream songs you found in Modigliani and
Baudelaire, with the ‘City of Atlantis’ shining from

your face. The future waits in early morning light,
rising on the backs of leafless mountains arched into
the deep and endless blue of afternoon skies en

automne, while dutiful Cicada wheeze their madrigal
melancholy into stillness so large it doubles the loss
of your hungry eyes, always seeking how much of

God was in you, and in all that sang outside of you.
Like that ache in the singer’s voice trying to give
back to words the emotion they’ve lost to logic

and common sense, you took back from the vagaries
of memory’s iron wind, the spiritual grace of love
that doesn’t need to be earned or deserved.

for Edwin Clarke


As an athlete, English teacher, lover of music, father, husband and citizen of the world, Larsen Bowker finds the themes and ambiguities which flourish in his poems. He is particularly grateful to magazines like Wild Violet, who offer him a place where his love of poetry finds a place where his words find a larger audience. In the illustrations that accompany their poems, readers find a way to take more from the poem than they would otherwise. He has had poems appear recently in Atlanta Review, Coal City Review and Common Ground Review. His seventh book of poems, Elegiac Dialogues, came out in February of this year.

One Comment

  1. Blooms chasing the sun evoke gladness in me, then the gypsy singers take me to a paradoxical point of stillness. The loneliness of loss resonates with orange moons in their silence. Stirrings of hope in the morning light expanding into the endless blue of afternoon skies contrast with the loss of the hungry eyes seeking the transcendent in me and all that sings in song or silence outside of me. Then the epiphany of restoring emotion to words reduced to logic and common sense gives meaning to being human, especially when graced with a love unearned and undeserved. I am left with an inner stillness, a renewed respect for our starved emotions, and gratitude for that spiritual grace we can share through our deeply seeing, hungry eyes.