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Posts Tagged ‘flower’

You blossom because of other people.
            —Desmond Tutu


Because of you,
I know heady,
honeyed perfume,
I know countless
petals, the flutter,
the thrill in opening—
because of you,
this long-stemmed
laughter, this
unashamed blush.
Because you
are sunflower,
cosmos, hyacinth,
I am iris, lavender,
larkspur.
I am only me
because of you,
and the gift of you
is so beautiful,
even in this time
of sorrow, I am
lily splayed wide,
white peony, red poppy,
I am blooming wild
with the beauty
given to you.

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Today I Realize

 
I can still call your phone
and hear your voice mail.
And so I do, I call it,
and the low tones
of your familiar voice
reach all the way in
and squeeze my lungs.
This is you know who.
We are you know where.
Leave your you know what
you know when.
I hang up at the beep,
and then I’m gasping,
choking, making sounds
I don’t recognize.
And then the house is quiet.
The ache is like a time lapse
of a rose in bloom—
first clenched, then
opening and opening
and impossibly opening,
then fading, then dropping away.
Every day a new bouquet
of ways I miss you.
Today, I miss the deep
song of your voice
how it opens in me
fragrant, like home.

*

this poem has been published in ONE ART

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The orchid on the mantle
dropped a flower today.
Only one white flower now
on the tall twin stems,
it’s petals more droop than bloom.
But how did I not notice
both spikes have grown
new three-inch stems
with clusters of new buds
growing from them?
How often do I focus
on what’s dying and dead
instead of seeing what’s
thriving and madly alive?
Even though I was taking care
of this orchid every day,
I managed not to see.
World, I am wanting
to take off my blinders.
World, please keep teaching me.


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Shade Loving




Bless the astilbe, the hellebore,
the hydrangea, bless the lobelia,
the bright impatiens—
it is no small thing to grow,
more notable still to grow in the shade—
to not only grow but to flower,
to bring color to the dark.
I take it to heart, the fuschia hanging
in the shadow, cascading
deep pink bells all summer long.
Oh tough beauty, teach me
the art of thriving in regions
where light is scant,
where light is not.
Teach me to bring to the world
the beauty
I wish to find.

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Perennial




Sometimes even a small sweetness—
a kind word, a kind act—

is robust enough to take root,
and though its perfume soon fades

and its petals wither,
the roots persist so years later

when you least expect it,
there in a forgotten field,

or perhaps in your own well-tended yard,
you catch the scent of sweetness

and follow it until you find again
the fragrant bloom of it, not at all

diminished by time. No, maybe sweeter
because it was forgotten.

Sweeter because with roots like that,
you now trust it will come back again.

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One Hopeful

 

 

 

late-blooming lilac—

perhaps we, too, have something

marvelous about to flourish

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IMG_5939

 

 

It looked dead, the orchid.

After long extravagant glory,

the blossoms dropped quickly,

one by one. The stem shriveled,

dried. Every time I looked at it,

all I saw was what wasn’t there.

People said it would reset.

They said it needed rest,

a little bit of extra care.

But eight months later,

the plant still looked dead.

 

There are times we lose hope.

Times when our eyes tells us

we’re fools to believe beyond

what we see here now.

But from what seemed

like nothing, a long dark stem

appeared, lined with buds.

And what a fool I was to doubt,

to let the eyes lie to me.

Already they’ve remembered how to see

what will be. Already they remember

how to see the beauty

of exactly what is here.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Big Vase

 

 

 

What is friendship but the ground beneath

the melting snow, the earth that is present

regardless of drift or grass or garden or wasteland.

A friendship is a flower that thrives

whether it is watered or not.

 

It is the flame that cooks the soup and does not ask

to be included on the menu as an ingredient.

And it burns through months, through decades,

burns, long after one might have thought the fuel

would have run out.

 

It would seem like a miracle, the way true friendship

survives, except it’s so commonplace—

the persistent warmth, the inextinguishable glow.

 

And if friends are torn apart—perhaps by years,

perhaps by circumstance—what is friendship then

but an enormous vase with a wide enough mouth

to hold those separate stems over space, over time,

and still call them a bouquet.

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Now dried and brown

the cinquefoil where once

bees danced in gold flowers—

 

recalibrating the heart

to find in brittle clusters

another invitation to dance.

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sitting with flowers in the garden

until I am

flower in the garden

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