Thursday, August 19, 2010


It did not take me long to discover that it was not for me to make my mark upon the age and having settled that point to my own satisfaction I determined to make it on myself. I said 'I will rule my own spirit and thus be greater than he that taketh the city' ... Edwin James, Letter to John Torrey, March 3, 1854

Melchisedech the king of Salem,
bringing forth bread and wine....

Jamesia, named for Edwin P. James,
Adumbrates his life by its paltry shade.
Memoir writ small, the cloistered cliffbush names
Edwin to his own species’ freedom instead.

Scrambling up the Rockies for a small hold
In history’s granite fissures, botanist
And activist would plant a common field,
Enjoined as crime to victim, priest to feast.

Pre-scientific times would dance with art:
Jerusalem thus trapped in bread and wine
Abstractions Athens’ temples thought divine.

Manumitted by love, though, Edwin’s heart
Emancipated by 1854
Secret Melkizedek’s sacerdotal plenty-more....

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