Collective Nouns by Barth Landor

Collective Nouns

Barth Landor

for Heather

Larks and lions have them,
and fish and kittens and all
manner of animals, and April
has them, too, with its exube of bluets
companion to an appreesh of shoots,
the dormant corms at last alert.
In May, a you-and-I of irises
gives way to a peace-march of peonies,
ants dancing those petals free,
while the right to run riot is won
by a mid-summer guild of lilies
in common cause with cosmos.
Through the dog-days of August,
a phalanx of phlox,
a more-than-quorum of Queen Anne’s lace,
a be-my-Heather of hibiscus blooms
lend color to a wilting month,
and when the days begin to stint on light,
a rumor of mums
spreads the collective word
that first-frost is not yet come.

About the Author

Barth Landor’s novel A Week in Winter (The Permanent Press, 2004) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and his poem ‘Tree’ was listed as a finalist in last year’s Montreal International Poetry Prize.