Carolyn Tourney Florek is co-founder, with husband Bob, of Mutabilis Press. She is a poet, painter, and garden designer living in Houston since 1983. Her poetry has been published in The Texas Review, Illya’s Honey, Texas Poetry Calendar 2010, and past Houston Poetry Fest anthologies. In 2010 her poem, “Before the Baby Comes” received an honorable mention in the Austin International Poetry Fest. Her work has also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Most recently, her chapbook, Secret Rites, was a finalist in the Dallas Poets Community annual chapbook competition. Among her favorite poets are Wallace Stevens, W. S. Merwin, Linda Pastan, and Mary Oliver.
I saw how the night came,
Came striding like the color of the heavy hemlocks.
Wallace Stevens, “Domination of Black”
The poet never said
what the color of hemlock was,
their weighted dark branches
milled, a poison for the philosopher.
Invisible fuel is the wind
turning the leaves themselves,
turning the pages of a book
left open in the desert,
abandoned in the dry wind
that rises each afternoon.
The color must be a dark one,
like the color of deep shade
under a juniper wedged in black stone.
Late, I remember the flaming sun
fingering its broken light,
amber blades quivering between pines,
like the leaves themselves
turning with the earth toward night.