Bruce Bennett


Convent Thoughts

—painting by Charles Austin Collins


She contemplates a passion flower. Her book
is open to the Virgin. What a look
she gives it! Concentration so extreme,
transported, she’s inhabiting her dream.


That flower’s not a flower. What a look
she gives it! It’s her Lover. It is Him.
Transported, she’s inhabiting a dream.
Around her, Beauty flowers, but is dim


Because she’s with her Lover. She’s with Him.
There’s nothing else around her. There’s that wall
behind her, but that’s nothing. All is dim
except that flower she’s holding. That is all


There is for her forever. There’s no wall,
no world. There’s just that flower. What a look
she gives it! There’s her dream, and that is all.
Her flower. Her passion flower. And her book.

Bruce Bennett is the author of ten books of poetry and more than thirty chapbooks. His second new and selected, Just Another Day in Just Our Town: Poems 2000-2016 (Orchises Press, 2017), was published in 2017. His most recent chapbook is a collection of ekphrastic poems, Images into Words, a collaboration with poet Jim Crenner, published by the Dove Block Project in Geneva, NY. He co-founded and was an editor of both Field and Ploughshares. From 1973-2014 he taught at Wells College and is now Emeritus Professor. In 2012 he was awarded a Pushcart Prize. His poetry website is

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