I Drew a Rose

I drew a rose

took off my clothes

swam in a creek

went from wild to meek

and down in a cave

the dark taught me to behave

as holy chastisement

with subtle advertisement

and lost my imagination

in the wilderness of expectation

I thought I knew love

though wasn’t looking above

only through jazz of the city

heard from notes I was pretty

flirted with the delicate balance

only to find ghost with phallus

who said ‘drink this, my sweet’

but I left it with its meat

arose to marathon music

a Coltrane roll but I didn’t choose it

bloody fingers up sharp dolomite

but the rock was really being polite

discovered that he already knew

everything I’ve ever said to you

but denies he’s sent as an angel

so it is I the destined stranger

to this sin-strewn moist land

where the year-round harvest is their brand

bee ba doo bop goes the clarinet

to the girl up front with the red berette

don’t dip down in this dubbed hall

goes the drum beat off ev-er-y wall

he sticks his hand down his pants

as he paints her demons in dance

a drive by the old wooden cross

reminding it’s the Devil’s loss

gravity goes out the window

to be buried by the man of the widow

all I need is my baby and thumb

the good lord’s voice in our beating drum

we’ll make our way across the state

over the mountains and to a clean slate

bearing what’s left of the dusty ego

to Grandmother’s house we go.


© 2012, Amaya Engleking



  1. Shadeau · June 27, 2016


  2. theturtleoffice · June 30, 2016

    Really beautiful sense of narrative progression here. I enjoy the allusion to Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” in the line “drink this, my dear.” I’m curious what would happen if the line-by-line rhythm changed throughout the piece to mirror the emotion of the different points of narrative. Really great work, here. Kudos.

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 21, 2016

      I unfortunately embodied both sisters throughout my twenties. I like your idea about the rhythm and will see what I can do. Thanks, Turtle.

    • Harry Miller · June 28, 2017

      This is the second reference to ‘Goblin Market’ I’ve seen this week. I’d never been aware of it before.

  3. rothpoetry · November 23, 2016

    Amazing journey!

  4. Arvind Vairavan · February 2, 2017

    This is beautiful 🙂

  5. Charley · July 11, 2017

    I have to confess I related totally to the jazz references. My mom would’ve resonated with the rest of your poem… except for the grandma part…. Well written!

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 11, 2017

      Haha, yeah the grandma part is too personal. While writing this, my future husband and I were literally hitchhiking to make our way to his grandmother’s house for a visit. Thanks for your comment!

      • Charley · July 11, 2017

        No, in my mom’s case, her grandma would’ve turned her away. Different generation.

  6. Lona Gynt · March 24

    Is “a love supreme” the Coltrane roll?

    • Gospel Isosceles · March 26

      Ha, could very well have been. We were listening to Coltrane of the “Love Supreme” era, but I don’t know the specifics:)

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