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Posts Tagged ‘flower’

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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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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