Ashley Rhame’s poem inspired by the exhibition Please, teach me the language of a rose

On the occasion of the opening reception of Please, teach me the language of a rose at Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, USA,  writer Ashley Rhame recited a poem inspired by the exhibition.

Please, Teach Me the Language of a Rose

Inspired by exhibit Please, Teach me The Language of a Rose by Artist Giuseppina Giordano


she rises with steam

back, straight as line

tall as pride, without its ego

each arm pedaling

gentle, yet, powerful

and enticing magic


only cleopatra knows the true intricacies of times original recipe


a voice singing, of war and love

no feet have traveled, or reached

the highest of peaks

or lowest of dams as she


when time draws itself backwards

wind smells of her essence left to linger

around souls as gold dust does the sky at sunset


tell me,

how the language of all mankind

possess the lack of boundaries

and still, her fluidity to hold all of everything

at frequencies felt before-

sounds surface in this natural world



why strewn, separated from its body

in death lives to entice, well after Marc Anthony’s era in time


why, crumbled and trampled

serves as ultimate blessing

invoking love, and fertility

at the bride’s light, ready,

and mighty steps


while, white and pure

or, yellow and protective of spirits

red, a celebration of gathering hearts

and death by battles to come


in purest form, mystical

anointing the life of the dead

sacred to the souls of our beloveds


her petals, stem, and thorns

all, a holy presence

a body, a prayer, a civilization

a continuous flowing river

a communication, a star guide

an inner strength to build boat

out of our own makings

to explore her lands


to scatter her in our own demise

risks, worth taking, acknowledging

a medicine which heals the scars

of Earth and its many bodies


and we,

shape shifting around thorns

climbing her stem

listening to that which is stored

inside of her birthing, as she lives

to die at our mercy

giving unto those, who are not worthy

at all


Ashley Rhame


Rhame is a native of Roanoke, Virginia who began writing poetry at the age of 21. She has self-published two books, Soul Cry and God’s Eye. Her work has been featured in the Artemis Journal alongside poets like Nikki Giovanni in the Appalachian area. Ashley has also led workshops at Hollins University, Girls Rock Roanoke, church youth departments, and other local organizations. You can find her every other Wednesday night at Soul Sessions using her voice to create a space that’s loving, reflective, and healthy.
Instagram: a.rhame