L MILTON HANKINS

Hico Fayette Co West Virginia
L MILTON HANKINS
Hico Fayette Co West Virginia
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Like Phoenix Rising

She still frolics among the Arabian dunes
Hundreds of years of lifetimes living
After as many fiery deaths, the fable goes,
She throws herself upon the funeral pyre,
Then, arises from the hot coals and ashes
To "build her spicy nest, " Carew opined:

"Ask me no more if East or West
The phoenix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies
And in your fragrant bosom dies."*

Have we not all lived our years of valiant quest
Seeking the rare, exotic spice of this barren place,
Repeatedly, again and again, 'til finally we descend
Into the bowels of funereal bowls of putrid ashes
Only from which we rise to find ourselves nestled
In another haunting "fragrant bosom" to live again,
Once more, you see, like the phoenix of fabled yore.

[*Thomas Carew (1595? -1639?) From "To Celia, "
Stanza 5]
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[Featuring a quotation from Thomas Carew's 'To Celia']
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