Steve Brown


Sweetbay Magnolia at my desk window
Sweetbay Magnolia at my desk window

The tree at my window hasn’t gotten the word

that God is dead and all is absurd

that spring shouldn’t come, it all should just end. 

We all should take sides, fight for scraps, and defend.


Never all blossoms, too old to change

our story of mountain tops, prophets, and chains

is not what we wanted, who would have sought

to be less like we’re chosen, more like we’re caught

in a dust to dust promise, a frozen year’s end.


Yet soft the magnolia’s floral revenge 

dressed all in white with a waistband of pink

Smiling she blooms, laughs, and winks 

at the darkness that

damns the fool, 

dulls the tool, 

arms the cruel, 

that it forms the jewel.



see the earth’s peril cry out for our verses.

The hammer strikes bone and the carpenter curses.

Climb high again, framers, there’re ridge beams to raise

over cradles and candles, blessings and praise

and a table to tell of the end of that gloom 

which we’ll toast with four cups as magnolias bloom.



About the Author
Steve Brown is a registered architect and has headed an architecture, environmental design, and construction firm in the Philadelphia, PA area since 1985, whose recent work includes several Net Zero Energy projects.
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