Green Hills Literary Lantern



Even the Roses are Ill



The neurotic sunlight,

prying through the foul, sienna sky,


snaps and cracks its fingernails.

With growths on their eyes,


the hawks ride the thermals,

keeping their terrible distances,


locked in their circular drifts

of sociopathy.


Floundering in the shadows

of their flats, the urbanites sigh,


musing the degree of their depression.

Their cats are marvels of psychosis,


batting mice around

till they stop moving,


for nothing but the sake of murder.

The rats, saturate with squalor


in the sewers, wax paranoid,

cringing from beams of feeble light.


Even the roses are ill,

trembling in their manias of red.






Larry D. Thomas ( is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and served as the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate.  He has published several collections of poetry, most recently The Goatherd (Mouthfeel Press 2014) and Art Museums (Blue Horse Press 2014).  As If Light Actually Matters: New & Selected Poems, is forthcoming from Texas Review Press (Texas A&M University Press Consortium) in Spring 2015.