TIE Poet of the Month: ‘Blue Orchid’, by Henry Israeli

They say that if you eat the petals
of a blue orchid you will become

as beautiful and fragile as a blue orchid.
I have crawled through one of the many windows

that surround the rich blue heart
of the blue orchid and I have found

inside of her a blue bed strewn
with scraps of blue paper on which are written

the names of my loved ones scrawled
in blue ink, blue on blue on blue….

and as I lie across the blue sheets
sinking my head into the blue pillow

I imagine all of them, the ones dead
and the ones living, come back to this room

and my love grows so big now that
when I squeeze my eyes shut the blue petals close

in around us so that none of us can leave
and from deep in the blue womb comes a blue lullaby

and together we sleep in her grasp,
our blue dreams lifting us into the blue night.


Henry Israeli’s poetry collections include New Messiahs (Four Way Books: 2002), Praying to the Black Cat (Del Sol: 2010), and god’s breath hovering across the waters, (Four Way Books: 2016). He is also the translator of three books by Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku. He has been awarded fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Canada Council on the Arts, and elsewhere. His poetry and translations have appeared in numerous journals including American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Harvard Review, The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, and Tin House, as well as several anthologies. Henry Israeli is also the founder and editor of Saturnalia Books (www.saturnaliabooks.com). Visit www.henryisraeli.com for more details.

feature image via Robert Burke on Flickr.

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