Archives for posts with tag: flowers

nancy l stockdale orchid is blooming
My daughter bought me an orchid plant
by Julie Standig

for Mother’s Day
four years ago,
two days after
my mother died.

As a rule,
I kill orchids,
which my mother
had often said I did
to her.

I was not one
to be generous
with water,
somehow,
despite me,
this orchid survived.

It thrived,
grew more leaves
even rose again,
pale pink flowers
on twin stems,
as if it had a will
to stay alive.

This winter
has been long
and stagnant.
The orchid
has endured,
has grown
two sturdy sprouts.
I am still waiting.

Like a resurrection
of sorts,
this Mother’s Day
plant. Or is it
my mother’s hand,
somehow rising
from a grave,
to promise,
this one will live.

PHOTO: The Orchid Is Blooming (Polaroid) by Nancy L. Stockdale.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: At the conclusion of a long winter, and some input on my daughter’s poetry (she is putting together a chapbook collection on loss, which is an intense experience for me to edit with her), I walked past this plant that sits on a ledge in my kitchen and saw two tiny buds. So much hope. I really do hope they don’t fail us. And that was the inspiration for this impromptu poem of mine.

julie standig

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Standig was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Queens, lived on Long Island (a long time), worked on the Upper West Side (NYC), and now resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She has studied at the Unterberg Poetry Center, participated in Writer’s Voice, and was an active member of a private workshop in New York City. Her work has appeared in Alehouse Press, Arsenic Lobster, Covenant of the Generations, Then & Now (Sadie Girl Press, 2015)  as well as the online journal Rats Ass Review. Her first chapbook, Memsahib Memoir, was released by Plan B Press, and she is currently working on a full volume collection of poetry. A proud member of the Bucks County writer’s community led by Dr. Christopher Bursk, she lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with her husband Ken and their Springer Spaniel, Dizzi.

glory of the snow
The Season of Rebirth
by Hali Denton

Waiting, watching
winter’s lingering death,
the reluctant loosening
of its cold hands from
the throat of spring,
as white yields to green,
crisp edges of ice retreat,
reveal dark winter soil starred
with pink and blue blossoms
of Glory-of-the-Snow,
while crocus and narcissus
spear upward toward the sun.

Waiting as the sun’s track
daily arcs higher, stretches
further east and west,
still waiting as sunbeams
stroke dusty windows,
finger books and pens
abandoned on the table,
with stark white light not yet
warmed or filtered by
slowly unfurling leaves.

I am still waiting for
flickering leaf shadows
to thicken into solid form,
still waiting for a familiar
footfall, voice, touch.
Not everything
is reborn in spring.

PHOTO: Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) by Chris Burrows. Prints available at art.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem had its origins in the Port Townsend Writers’ Group, a small group of poets that met at the annual Centrum Port Townsend Writers’ Conference. We have continued to meet weekly via Zoom during the pandemic, writing to prompts and providing critiques and support of one another’s work.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hali Denton lives and works in Juneau, Alaska, where the landscape and climate are constant sources of inspiration. She is a former government employee who is enjoying her retirement participating in the vibrant local arts scene, drawing and writing, and also drinking too much coffee.

flowering-plant-hana-kurabe-1878.jpg!Large
The Art of Waiting
by Anne Namatsi Lutomia

The long-awaited letter arrives
Announcing good news
Giving permission to work
Making the next level possible
Signaling permanency
The boxes are packed for moving
Three states in eighteen months
Still waiting to be loaded and move to the third state
Waiting to settle in a midwestern small college town

Spring comes seed are sowed
I watch the ground to see the sprouting
My impatience drives me to watching everyday
There is nothing for some time
Then there is something
The seeds have germinated
I am still waiting for them to grow into plants
For the blooming of the flowers
For the green leaves
For the bees and butterflies
For the harvest

PAINTING: Flowering Plant by Shibata Zeshin (1878).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Last year and this year have taught me to be patient and in the moment. This poem is inspired by my mindfulness to mundane activities that I took for granted in the past. I have learned to be patient with myself, others, and processes.

Anne Lutomia March 2021

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Namatsi Lutomia is a budding poet and a member of Champaign Urbana poetry group. She enjoys reading and writing poems. She has published poems with Silver Birch Press, BUWA and awaazmagazine. She also likes plants, collecting stamps, and going for long walks. She now lives in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

tulip magali m
A Day for Patience
by Jan Chronister

Landscape bricks
sit in the trunk of my car,
ready to be unloaded,
stacked at the edge of a garden.

Snow falls by the inch,
daffodils wear tight scarves,
huddle against the storm.

Fragile necks of tulips
heavy with buds
quake under the white guillotine
that falls from the roof.

Ice is long gone
from Lake Superior
but I am still waiting
for the day I can put
the snow shovel away.

PHOTO: Tulip (Polaroid) by Magali M, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live within sight of Lake Superior, and waiting for warm weather is a real test of patience. Before May (and sometime during), snow never fails to blanket already blooming flowers. Somehow everything manages to survive.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jan Chronister is a retired writing instructor who now has time to work on her own words. She  currently serves as president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. Jan has published two full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks. Visit her at  janchronisterpoetry.wordpress.com

flower-garden-1907.jpg!Large
How to Squander a Sunny Day
by Jennifer Lagier

“Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.” ~ Annie Dillard

Sunlight steams away nighttime drizzle,
flings coins of golden poppies
among lavender lupine.
Honeybees flaunt stockings of yellow pollen.
Blue jays spear slugs and snails,
glean pests from awakening garden.

A poet ignores dirty laundry,
abandons vacuuming, mopping.
Surrounded by primroses,
she props feet against oak barrel,
squanders warm afternoon,
scribbles on notepad.

Self-indulgent indolence seduces
hibernating muse from her shelter,
jump-starts imagination held hostage
by months of pandemic winter.
Spring revives taciturn earth
with lyrical hyacinths, cheery daffodil stanzas.

PAINTING: Flower Garden by Gustav Klimt (1907).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This past year has provided a restorative time out within which to appreciate our natural surroundings and has taught me how to put more satisfying routines into place.

2021JenniferLagier copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Lagier has published 19 books, her work has appeared in a variety of anthologies and literary magazines, she has taught with California Poets in the Schools, edits the Monterey Review, and helps coordinate Monterey Bay Poetry Consortium Second Sunday readings. Her recent books include Meditations on Seascapes and Cypress (Blue Light Press) and COVID Dissonance (CyberWit).

1280px-Roses_-_Vincent_van_Gogh
Forcing Roses
by Ranney Campbell

tent and keep clement
  cover, secure,

                  and wait

bathe in warm water

                                             give a sharp cut

  set aside
in a vase

upon your return, blow
          into the closed
bud

  reflex and pull
          and pour
your heated water
   into her

                 let gravity
               spread petals

untouched by your hand

                                       then quickly upend her
let drain
to ready

run your fingers
      between the folds into crevices
and gently
             push
                     through
tips tracing
     the ruffles
                           circling open

A version of this poem was originally published by The Main Street Rag. 

PAINTING: Roses by Vincent van Gogh (1890).

RanneyCampbell copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ranney Campbell earned an MFA in fiction from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and lives in Southern California. Her poetry has been published by Misfit Magazine, Shark Reef and others, and is forthcoming in the Rat’s Ass Review and Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. Her chapbook, Pimp, is published by Arroyo Seco Press.

maksims grigorjevs
How to Revive a Distressed Peace Lily
by Anne Namatsi Lutomia

I was not at a loss when I saw you at Lowe’s
You were at the corner of plant section on the clearance rack
Your price reduced by more than half
You all labeled distressed plants
You all were neglected, unwanted and stressed

Peace lily, you were drooping and lifeless
Peace lily, you were green, yellow and brown
You were broken, withered, bent and listless
I pondered about the causes of your distress
I wondered what had happened to you

Then decided to buy three of you
Wanting to revive you – to give you life
Taking you from this death-row rack
I already had a big dark blue pot for you
I visualized how you were going to grow and thrive

Not the first time was I bringing home distressed plants
I am neither a novice nor first-time plant parent
I brought you home and got to work
I pruned the brown and yellow parts of you
I removed you from your pot where your maze-like roots thrived

I repotted you in the big blue pot
I layered the bottom with stones
Covered the stones with potting soil
Placed the root ball in the pot and added potting soil
You were thirsty, I watched you absorb all the water rapidly

I placed you away from the window to access low light
Watering you moderately once a week
One day later, your leaves were perking up
One week later, your new shiny green leaves were growing
One month later, your white flowers are blooming

I keep your plant care tag in your pot, Peace Lily Spathiphyllum
For light, bright indirect light
For water, keep soil moist
For fertilization, fertilize every two to four months
For temperature, never below fifty degrees Fahrenheit

PHOTO: Peace lily by Maksims Grigorjevs, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I enjoy growing indoor plants. A friend introduced me to distressed plants at Lowe’s some years ago, and now I like buying some of my plants from this rack. It is always inspiring to watch a plant that was almost dead come back to life. This poem was inspired by the increased interest in growing indoor plants by young people in the United States. I hope this poem can be a resource to new “plant parents.”

Lutomia

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Namatsi Lutomia is a budding poet and a member of a Champaign Urbana poetry group. She enjoys reading and writing poems. She has published poems with Silver Birch Press, BUWA and awaazmagazine. She also likes going for long walks, and now lives in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

Father's Flower Girls
Father’s Flower Girls
by Jeannie E. Roberts

   “Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart ―
   oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape ― of your sister.”
   ~Katherine Mansfield (1888 – 1923)

Sisters stood steadfast,
beside one another, fused
in a foreground of phlox.

Blossoms imprinted, found
torn and faded, a memory
tucked close to her heart.

Flower girls, he called them,
from a photo once taken.
Now sisters stand distant,

apart. Like the wheel
of seasons, summer releases
its fullness to fall, bows

to the call, departs on its passage,
surrenders, detaches, decays
but recalls―all that’s lost, is found.

This seasonal motion, has essence,
devotion, no escape, exit or door―
flower girls, he called them,

from a photo once taken―
sisters together, blooming forever-
more.

PHOTO: The author (right) and her sister, Mary, near Ellsworth, Wisconsin, circa 1967 or 1968 (image credit: Donald E. Roberts).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This photo was lost for many years, and after finding it I felt more grounded, at peace really. I recall the day my dad took this picture of my sister and me. I was like most kids, not thrilled to be photographed, but our dad insisted on it. He compared us to the phlox that were blooming near our driveway, naming us his “Flower Girls.” I also remember that my grandmother (Gram) displayed this photo on a table next to her favorite reading chair.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeannie E. Roberts writes, draws and paints, and often photographs her natural surroundings. Her fifth book, The Wingspan of Things, a poetry chapbook, is forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She is the author of Romp and Ceremony, a full-length poetry collection (Finishing Line Press, 2017), Beyond Bulrush, a full-length poetry collection (Lit Fest Press, 2015), Nature of it All, a poetry chapbook (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and the author and illustrator of Let’s Make Faces!, a children’s book (2009). Her poems appear in online magazines, print journals, and anthologies. Born in Minneapolis, she divides her time between Minnesota and Wisconsin’s Chippewa Valley area. Learn more about her at jrcreative.biz.

georgia-okeeffe-red-amaryllis-c-1937
Treasure
by Mary McCarthy

Last night I missed my favorite gold chain
The one with the crab charm
We bought first time at the beach
And I took the house apart
Room by room
Unable to believe
It was gone

Sorting through pots and seeds
In the cellar
I found my last year’s Amaryllis
There in the dark
Where I’d left it cut back down
To the bulb
And forgotten

It had put up a long
Pale white stem
And a huge half open
Silk-red flower
Disregarded
Without light
Without water

Resurrected from its own root
waiting for me
like a pledge
of unexpected hope

IMAGE: “Red Amaryllis,” painting by Georgia O’Keeffe (1937).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem thinking about how we spend more time mourning losses than celebrating discoveries, both large and small.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, including Earth’s Daughters, Gnarled Oak, Third Wednesday, and Three Elements Review. Her echapbook, Things I Was Told Not To Think About, is available through Praxis magazine online. She is grateful for the wonderful online communities of writers and poets sharing their work and passion for writing, providing a rich world of inspiration, appreciation, and delight.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo was taken during a break in our recent house-hunting expedition.

bartlett
IS THIS HOW IT FEELS?
by Tamara Madison

Is this how it feels to be a daffodil after five days
in a white milk pitcher on a kitchen table?

Is this how it feels when you see your petals
curl up at the ends like a ragged hem?

Is this how it feels to have reached the summit of loveliness
and be raveling back down, sucked in and browning at the edges?

Is this how it feels to have your color turn to a mockery
of what it was just yesterday, when it beheld its own goldenness

in the mirror and said “I’m so happy to see you!”
but now even your face averts its gaze?

Is this how it feels to watch spring open all around you
and know you’ll never be there again?

IMAGE: “Daffodils in White Pitcher” by Kate Bartlett.

tamara_madison

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara Madison teaches English and French at a public high school in Los Angeles. Raised on a citrus farm in the California desert, Tamara’s life has taken her many places, including Europe and the former Soviet Union, where she spent fifteen months in the 1970s. A swimmer and dog lover, Tamara says, “All I ever wanted to do with my life was write, and I mostly write poetry because it suits my lifestyle. I like the way one can say so much in the economical space of a poem.”