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Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda


Listen to Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and Kera O'Bryon read this poem:

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

Luther Burbank: Click for larger image.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 



Listen to Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and Kera O'Bryon read this poem:

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

The Pedregal: Click for larger image.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.”
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