Laurence W. Thomas


–opens to an argument over a nude odalisque
plucking grapes with fingers like mother of pearl
awaiting the veneration of a plumed prince as the page

–moves to a rose-stained window depicting armies
marching in blood-red dusk, the disarray of victory
etched grimly on their faces while the enemy’s fate

–shifts into luxuriant meadows and copses, villagers
celebrating harvests or marriages, wine turning sour
in over indulgence and boys brawling under windmills

–turning into towering cities awash in golden sunsets
beset with fountains spewing gore into the gutters
snarling traffic bent on evacuation, the warning light

–changing to a Madonna and child, their halos aglow
spreading peace in the manger, attended by worshippers
with gifts of gilt treasury bonds and smoked salmon

–that morphs into an amphitheater of wizened worms
crawling to get to the lobby echoing the vulture cries
of those arguing to gain the favors of a nude odalisque.


I wish I had never planted this tulip,
purple as the urge that brought me to my knees
in obeisance to the bulb last fall,
its cup now filling this perfect morning,

that I had never bent
to the needs of this regal hyacinth,
a pagoda of perianths whispering
sweet breath to the breeze.

Whatever made me kneel
with trowel in hand, to genuflect
so this daffodil could proclaim spring
echoing from its yellow bell?

I would never have planted
this pale narcissus, had I reflected
on his sad demeanor, seeking beauty
in the gentling flow of waters

descending like pilgrims
gathering at a holy site bearing gifts
of tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and narcissus,
seeking answers to mysteries.

Laurence W. Thomas is a creative writing teacher, lecturer, and poetry work-shop leader. His poetry, essays, and short fiction have appeared in national and international magazines and journals as well as in his nine books and many chapbooks. After years of teaching English, in the States and overseas, Thomas has returned to his native Michigan to concentrate on literary pursuits. His web-site can be found at


2 Comments on “Laurence W. Thomas”

  1. Faye Adams Says:

    Great Poems, Larry. I always look for your work when I pick up Art With Words, or Lucidity Poetry Journal. You never cease to surprise me. Bill and I look forward to the Lucidity retreat next April.

    Faye from De Soto, MO

  2. A fan Says:

    Though eighty, soon you’ll be,
    your work attests to your continued vibrancy,
    loveliness, and interest to me and all these.
    You’re a hugger among men;
    so do not yet bid us goodnight.

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