Posts Tagged ‘wildflower’


It prefers barren soil.
It prefers land that is dry.
It prefers to grow
without protection of trees.
The larkspur doesn’t want to compete.
It simply grows where others don’t grow,
brings beauty to the lonely ground.
It grows tall—tall enough
that the weight of its petals
might bend the stem,
might force a fall.
It says to me as I walk by,
there are many ways
to serve the world,
bringing beauty is one.

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for Andrea Bird

A person, once a stranger,
can slip into your life,
unplanned, of course,
as if brought by the wind
in much the same way
a seed of spotted saxifrage
can slip by happenstance
into a crack in a rock
then root and grow.
Eventually, the saxifrage
will split the rock open.
By then, it will be full,
its flowers prolific
and beautiful.
If you are lucky,
this once stranger
will do in time
the same to you—
will be alive in you,
crack you open
with their beauty,
make you grateful
to be so broken.

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Whatever it is inside the larkspur

that says grow, grow, grow,

I want to know it, too. Want

to obey the voice that urges me on,

even in frost, even in rain.

I want to rise out of my own dried debris,

want to know how it is to die and return,

new and yet somehow the same.

And what is it that fuels the drive?

I want to know that— the divine

encouragement that knows

when to wait, when to push,

when to wilt, when to flourish,

when to swell into oh! bright bloom.

I want to know myself as wick,

to be lit, to be the fire itself.

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It’s not that the queen’s crown changed anything,

not really. All it was doing was growing there

in the field beside the spruce.

But there it was, succulent and pink.

And there I was, not even knowing

how desperately I wanted to find

something beautiful, until I stumbled

on the flower, hiding as it was in the tall, tall grass.

And though it changed nothing,

it changed everything, the day

suddenly marked by treasure,

by luck. There are, surely, thousands

of chances each day for such astonishment,

thousands of openings

I never see, thousands of opportunities

to say, “This, this is why I am here.”

Crazy that finding a flower in the tall, tall grass

could obscure a whole world of troubles.

At least for a moment.

I will tell you where to find it,

though it wouldn’t be the same

if you were looking for it.

No, better to walk wherever it is

you are walking, better to stumble

as often as you can.

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I don’t know the name of the flower
about to bloom beside the trail,
but it has the leaves of a lily
and a single bud that hangs heavy
off a long bent stem.

Just as I don’t know the name
for the feeling I have when
I want you to act a certain way
and I have not yet realized
that my wanting is the problem.

Neither of these things matter—
the names, I mean. We like to think
that by naming a thing we know it.
But I have stopped believing that.
Whatever we can name, we start to overlook.

The heliotrope, for instance.
I greet it as we walk by, but I do not
stop to investigate its tiny white flowers,
nor do I rub its leaves between my fingers
to better understand their shape.

Imagine I did not know your name.
So every time we met I would
gather everything I could about you—
the scent of you, the shape of your hands,
the weather of your moods.

And imagine I forgot me, too,
and in discovering you, I’d see
myself anew. And I would be unfamiliar
with words such as happiness or forgiveness
or wound or wife.

Ah, to meet each other like that, the way we meet
this strange flower. More inquisitive than convinced.
More curious, less sure. Less like gods,
omniscient, commanding, more as if we are the ones
with so much opening left to do.

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