Posts Tagged ‘flower’

The average color of the universe
is not blue, as they thought, but beige—
or so they say after studying
two hundred thousand galaxies—
a fact that makes me stand longer today
beside this tulip as it shamelessly splays
its statistically unlikely yellow and red,
a living manual for possibility—
in all of deep space,
the chance to show up in this garden.

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After almost two years
of growing only leaves,
the orchid that sat
on the back windowsill,
the one I have dutifully
watered and whispered to,
the one I had finally
resolved to throw away,
sent up a single spiraling stem,
shiny and darksome green,
and I who have needed
years to hide, to heal,
felt such joy rise in me
at the site of tight buds,
the kind of irrational joy
one feels when something
thought dead is found alive,
not only alive, but on the edge
of exploding into beauty,
and now it doesn’t seem
so foolish after all, does it,
this insistent bent toward hope.

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            —for Kayleen

I couldn’t name
the brilliant red flower
in full bloom,
couldn’t smell it
nor touch it,
but when my friend
sent me an image
of soft ruby petals
all dewy and open
there was no way
I couldn’t believe
in beauty—
and though I couldn’t
hear her velvety voice,
that made her message
no less true—
loving you
so sitting in a room
in the midst of miles
of snow and cold
I felt so sweetly tethered
to a world beyond
the world I know—
and long after
her message arrived
I continue to believe
in something wonderful
and sweet,
something true
I can’t quite touch,
I continue to believe
in what words
try to point to,
words like beauty,
like friendship, like love.

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Open Eyed

The more we open our eyes,
the more the heart breaks.
Still, the invitation to open our eyes,
to choose to live broken heartedly,
as on this day when I hear again
of the greed and cruelty of humans
and the heart breaks and breaks
and I feel how it is in the breaking
the heart stays open.
On the windowsill, the amaryllis
has opened two enormous blooms of red
and I am so rich with the gift of it,
as if this one flower is teaching the heart
how to unfurl its lush petals
as it moves from tight bud
to spaciousness, dusting
the world around it with gold.

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A whole garden of begonias
blesses me this day,
this double-edged day
in which I find myself
in a long and generous park
with my husband and daughter,
and I also find myself
in a small room one year ago
when I last heard your voice,
when I last felt you squeeze my hand.
How strange and honest it is,
this living in two days at once.
Why was I drawn to walk
to this unfamiliar place
where thousands of white
and red begonias bloom,
undeterred by longer nights,
by shade?
You loved this flower.
For you, every flower,
no matter its real name,
was begonia.
I meet the coincidence
as if it’s a generous sign
you still guide me
in ways I do not understand.
Each begonia petal is a key
to pick the locks of my rational mind.
Today, the doors of love
are visible everywhere.
I open them every time
and all the world’s begonia.

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One in October

knowing frost comes soon,
every flower in the garden
suddenly more precious

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  for Shawnee
This morning, knowing you were coming,
I went to the garden and cut the largest sunflower
to put in a vase on the table.
It was the loveliest of all the garden’s flowers,
planted from seed four months ago.
When I was younger than you are now,
my grandmother gave me voluptuous roses
in a simple blue glass vase.
I felt so connected to her this morning
as I made a bouquet for you.
I understood something new of devotion.          
Unable to thank her, I thanked
the sunflower. Her love from three decades ago
pulsed through the stem like sunshine.
How did I not feel the full magnitude then?
I give all that love to you.

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Life Lesson

Though the old snap peas dangle
dried and yellow on the dying vine,
and the lettuce, once tender,
has bolted and toughened,
and the kale, now blue,
is aphid-ridden,

the calendula, cosmos,
nasturtiums and marigolds
are in full-bloom and generous.
I fill the house with vases,
each bouquet a celebration
of great change.
It thrills me. Oh, summer,
you die so beautifully.

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In a vision, I saw the self
as white flower—
a many-petalled ranunculus—
a flower that opened and opened
and infinitely opened, reaching
beyond borders, beyond atmosphere,
beyond our beautiful spiral of galaxy,
its petals unfolding and unfolding,
a timeless, unending unfolding.
It comforts me to know
there’s no edge to the universe,
no way to fall off, no way
to accidentally go beyond.
There was a moment when
the green stem snapped and I worried
the blossom had become too big.
Then I felt it, how completely
the great bloom was held by the world,
and in that moment, I trusted that holding.
The flower kept growing.
Now, back in my body,
I’m still opening into that trust.

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for my daughter, a year later

She has learned to bloom
like the tuberose,
opening in the light
but becoming more potent
in the dark.
Sweet scent of honey.
Tenacious scent of jasmine.
The hard won scent
of hope.
Scent of the one
who has learned to thrive
when thriving
doesn’t feel possible.
Scent of resilience.
Scent of I can.
Scent of the one
who finds grace
on the inside.
Scent of elusive beauty.
Scent of the one
who meets the soils
made of sorrow,
who brings to the world
a gift as astonishing
as a night-blooming flower,
a gift as honest
as the moon.

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