Blessings can be the rich, warm
yellow of gamboge, of the breasts
of Baltimore Orioles, of the flesh
of Central American mangos, although
sometimes, blessings are the color
of the jaunty bonnet worn
by a coppery Caribbean girl walking
heat-stricken sands under a molten
sun, or of ripe just-peeled peaches
dripping in the hands of a cream-
skinned Georgia belle.
Blessings may be more orange
than yellow, on occasion, especially
when the recipient does not
deem herself worthy; then they may glow
like polished orange peel, a textured,
deeper hue than the fresh-squeezed juice
in the glass held by Miss Sun-Kist 1957
as she swayed on the seatback of a gilded
ochre Cadillac Seville convertible.
Blessings can be ostentatious yellow,
sun-dried apricot yellow, the shade
of rayed Binney and Smith suns on third grade
What I Did Last Summer drawings, the color
backlit amberina vases become where amber
glides and glistens into scarlet.
But blessings are nearly always the color
made when the sun, streaming through
the garnet-stained glass of a rose
window in a European cathedral tints
a gold chalice being raised by an altar boy
destined, two centuries in the future,
latest poetry collection is Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar Press, 2019). Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by modern artists’ depictions of angels. His first book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited (with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg) Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017). His poetry has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, and was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019.
Beckemeyer serves on the editorial boards of Konza Journal and River City Poetry. A retired engineer and scientific journal editor, he is also a nature photographer who, in his spare time, researches the mechanics of insect flight and the Paleozoic insect fauna of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, where he and his wife will celebrate their 59th anniversary soon.
Featured Artist in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019);
showcasing Beckemeyer’s poetry, prose poetry, and insect photography
Legacy’s Sunset, a climate-crisis photo-poem in
KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019)
Words for Snow, a prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 9,
Spring 2018), which was selected for reprinting in The Best Small Fictions