Origin Stories – Thomas A. Thomas

Origin Stories for May
Almost Orchids for Origin Stories
Unfinished Orchids – Dorothy Embacher
    by Thomas A. Thomas

    Through the dream veil 
    made of orchids another 
    timeline appears
    in this one, horses hobbled
    so as not to graze too far
    overnight and behind them 
    on the backdrop of an alpine lake 
    the floatplanes land and
    take off, or float like kittiwakes
    The horses are fat & fit
    and the weather is fine
    but something has not opened 
   in the day and still she says no.

    Or orchids stand silent witness 
    within the dimension of this 
    timeline, as she taps with a key
    on the frame of his door, the 
    door opens, her umbrella closes
    then drops to the floor along
    with purse, raincoat, skirt,
    blouse, panties, bra, a path
    to the bed where time is endless
    for a long languorously wanton 
    rain-dark Tuesday afternoon.
    Or it’s the same Tuesday
    with white orchids under 
    his lamp on the windowsill
    gleaming beside the steel 
    colored rain on the glass, past
    the time they had thought 
    she might come for tea 
    and poetry and perhaps love
    would join them, savory, sweet
    delight of their skin and 
    flesh so long neglected
    but this time she said her
    no on the phone, by text, no
    not this timeline either. with
    some regret, though not enough.

Origin Stories – ekphrastic poem Almost

The inspiration for this poem was an ancient one: longing for a person who kept approaching, coming close, even making plans for a rendezvous, but then slipping away. So I sort of had 3 poems on that subject, one from a night dream, another from a daydream, and a 3rd from the earthly story. And I didn’t really like any of the poems very much, but as I was gazing at this unfinished painting of orchids, it occurred to me that the orchids could be the thread to stitch these 3 little poems into a whole. And the “unfinished” state of the painting was perfectly aligned with the unfinished business of the poem!


Thomas A. Thomas was born in Illinois, but after more than 41 years as a resident of Washington he most definitely considers the Pacific Northwest region his homeland.

At University of Michigan, Thomas A. Thomas, poet/photographer, studied with Donald Hall, Gregory Orr, and Robert Bly. He won Minor and Major Hopwood Awards in Poetry, and his poem “Approaching Here” was choreographed and performed at UM. He has for years been actively engaged in OPN and in the critique group Live Like a Poet, founded by Joanne Clarkson.

His poetry and photographs appear in print and online, most recently in Cirque JournalGyroscope ReviewBlue Heron Review,  Vox Populi SphereTheBanyanReview.org & FemAsiaMagazine.com, as well as anthologies in English and Serbian and in translation to Spanish, Serbian, and Bengali.

His collection, “Getting Here” is available on Bookshop.org and other e-book and printed book sources. He was nominated for both Best of the Net and The Pushcart Prize for 2022.

Linktree (one link to rule them all): https://linktr.ee/thomasathomas

Gyroscope Review Spring 2023 Issue Now Available

Previous Origin Stories

April 1 – Wanda Praisner

April 2 – Howard Lieberman

April 3 – L. Shapley Bassen

April 4 – Sharon Scholl

April 5 – Stellasue Lee

April 6 – Jeanne DeLarm

April 7 – Virginia Smith

April 8 – Patricia Ware

April 9 – Mary Makofske

April 10 – Ann Wallace

April 11 – Jessica Purdy

April 12 – Lakshman Bulusu

April 13 – Kim Malinowski

April 14 – Anita Pulier

April 15 – Martha Bordwell

April 16 – Anastasia Walker

April 17 – Annette Sisson

April 18 – Shaheen Dil

April 19 – Claudia Reder

April 20 – Cathy Thwing

April 21 – Sarah Snyder

April 22 – Susan Barry-Schultz

April 23 – Laurie Kuntz

April 24 – Maryann Hurtt

April 25 – Yvonne Zipter

April 26 – Jess Parker

April 27thKelly Sargent

April 28thRobbi Nester

April 29thLaurie Rosen

April 30thJames Penha

May 1stOisin Breen

May 2ndJennifer Shomburg Kanke

May 3rdKaren Paul Holmes

May 4thJudy Kronenfeld

May 5thJulie Weiss

May 6thNancy Botkin

May 7thJonathan Yungkans

May 8thGloria Parker

May 9thAlfred Fournier

May 10thGloria Heffernan

May 11th Carol Deering

May 12th Alison Stone

May 13th Annamaria Formichella

May 14thKenton K. Yee

May 15thJoanne Durham

Previous NPM celebrations from Gyroscope Review

Let the Poet Speak! 2022

Promopalooza 2021

Poet of the Day 2020

Poets Read 2019

National Poetry Month Interview Series 2018

Book Links Party 2017

Other Links

About National Poetry Month

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