Two Poems with Audio & Images by Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda
Two Voices: Wizard of Horticulture
After Frida Kahlo’s Luther Burbank
Into a chamber of clouds, Beside a brick pathway,
I sprout like a bountiful tree, the roses curl toward dawn
roots burrowed deep Do not cut them
in a steep gorge Sniff the fragrant petals
I do not mind the aroma The alluring scents
of decay beneath soil’s crust swell into day Like magic
Death tames, sweetens loam the cross-breeder of corn,
with brittle bones trains ears to thicken,
Death loosens clay, grafts giant cherries
fattens flowers, grains to mother trees
Some call me Sorcerer, but I am Golden russets
nothing more than nature’s partner, he gives to farmers
sharing secrets: half-man, He creates savory plumcots,
half-tree cultivating tangy blackberries,
the mottled land enchanted quince in jams
The distant hills, fertile, fatten “Grow quickly, Walnut tree,”
with plums, peaches, nectarines he says, weaving a spell over
O Mighty Earth, with the wave of a hand the garden Overnight
I give to the multitudes my robust leaves branch out:
fleshy vegetables and ripening fruits the hardwood towers into sky
Two Voices: Roots
After Frida Kahlo’s The Pedregal
On volcanic rock, I lie down, stems unfurling from my breast
Curling out of ourselves, we envelop your body. A river of green vines
onto desert terrain, cracked by lava’s flow. Here, I am whole.
stretched-out like a desert, we wander the landscape,
I hunger for earth’s fissures. My arteries give birth to stones
agaves and cacti missing from this arid place, the wind
exhaling legends and lore. I am one with the chasms and rifts. I am one with
embracing thirsty leaves while tendrils dig for moisture. Unrelenting:
the Holy Spirit, housed in my reclining form. I feel the steely past dissolve
these ravines, their secrets locked up like death’s mysteries.
like a wound, stitched tight. When I die, I will give life to bougainvillea,
Her need to feel close entraps us. She sprawls out like creeping fig.
bleeding heart, and jasmine, cradled beneath the rugged, harsh surface
She licks dew from our lips, tastes the nectar on our skin.
until the plants spiral upward and fan impurities from this plain.
She imagines our bodies swimming in rain
Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda is the author of five poetry books and co-editor of two anthologies. She has published numerous poems throughout the country and abroad in such publications as Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, and Terrain.org. She recently served as Poet Laureate of Virginia. Catch up with her at www.CarolynForonda.com.
Kera O’Bryon is a noted singer, dancer, and actress, who has starred in numerous film and television productions. She reads the second voice in the audio files of “Roots” and “Wizard of Horticulture.”