Desert Aster
Love Poems

Be They of Nature or of Art

Be they of nature, or of art,

All things recall thee to my heart,

Or be they real or of the mind,

Each thing according to its kind:

The desert aster’s vivid hue,

That boldly paints our arid land,

It’s fragile strength that breaks through sand,

All things return my thoughts to you. 


All things remembered, visions fair,

That on my journeys, here and there,

Recount, as part presents the whole,

Some aspect of thine own sweet soul:

As if to sing thy modesty,

The shyness of the forest hind

That leaps away as fast as wind,

A crown, thy beauty’s majesty.


How is it that the wastral world

Sees not within a leaf unfurled,

Or flowers in the wilderness,

Some semblance of thy tenderness?

That men have not yet justly seen

Such things of nature or of art?

I think I know: It is the heart

That maketh human eyes more keen.

Winner of the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Competition (America's highest honor in classical verse), Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. He is also the only American to have won the Scottish International Poetry Competition (see: Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017). A Pushcart Prize nominee, MacKenzie's verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), The Telegraph (London), and many other venues. He wirtes primarily for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).


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