Posts Tagged ‘plant’


for Brooke McNamara

She met me with a succulent,
a giant aloe tucked under one arm,
its long thick leaves standing tall.
How could I not think, then,
of how we are all succulents, really,
learning to evolve in times of drought.
We have learned how not to die
in times of neglect.
Discovered beyond doubt
we are survivors.
I cradled her face then,
the woman with the aloe,
grateful for whatever sweet intuition
suggested she carry an aloe
across highways, through town,
grateful she knew how to honor
what is most determined in us
to thrive, how to honor
the ways in which we carry
the medicine we most need.
I held her, then,
as if our lives depended on it,
as if touch were as essential
to growth as water.
As if, with gratefulness,
I could be sunshine for her
the way she was soil for me.

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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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In a time of drought
let me choose to love you
the way yucca blooms—
creamy, abundant, soft—
despite drought.
No. Because drought.

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For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.

—T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”



So let me speak this year in leaf,

and let me speak in stem.

Give me photosynthetic nouns

and algal interjections.

Let my syntax be made of phloem,

let my phonemes be blades of grass.

May all my conjunctions produce oxygen

may my prepositions be moss.

And let me mostly listen

with ears attuned to soil and root

And when I have words, let them be living,

may only the kindest words bear fruit.






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