Weeping for Tammuz by Lee Clark Zumpe

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Weeping for Tammuz by Lee Clark Zumpe
Illustration by Sue Babcock

the cat has taken up a new spot in the window

arching his head to watch the lazy swing

of the Venetian blinds as afternoon breezes

coax them to sway and sing a buzzing song


a tidy row of tulips clings to the stone wall

where the children used to build forts;

father planted them for mother not long after

he had returned from the war; I remember


him reminiscing about the gardens he had

seen in Europe, and how he wanted to replicate

them on our patch of Earth; some years he

spent more time with his flowers than he spent


with his family, making personal sacrifices to

gods of fertility he fashioned out of his

imagination; trying to bury all those

winters that made him shiver in the night


now I tend the garden, though I have

no memories of Europe to inspire me;

the cat watches me from his window as

I weep for Tammuz amidst the flowers


BIO: Lee Clark Zumpe has been writing and publishing horror, dark fantasy and speculative fiction since the late 1990s. His short stories and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications such as Weird Tales, Space and Time and Dark Wisdom; and in anthologies such as Corpse Blossoms, Best New Zombie Tales Vol. 3, Steampunk Cthulhu and World War Cthulhu. His work has earned several honorable mentions in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror collections.

An entertainment columnist with Tampa Bay Newspapers, Lee has penned hundreds of film, theater and book reviews and has interviewed novelists as well as music industry icons such as Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains and Alan Parsons. His work for TBN has been recognized repeatedly by the Florida Press Association, including a first place award for criticism in the 2013 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest.

Lee lives on the west coast of Florida with his wife and daughter. Visit www.leeclarkzumpe.com.