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Posts Tagged ‘flower’

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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Bouquet

  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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Unfolding

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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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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