Poppy

Texas wildflowers | 35mm film image by author


sleep bringer
down a dark hall
where banshees lurk
white not from purity
but the sear of eternity
burning behind the
eyelids of escaping man

red blood of valiance
soldier cloaks soaked
in sacrificial glory
a field of men sown
in battle, marked with
the kiss of war.
Take your last look, Ares;
make your last escape


For this flower poem I played with the two colors of poppy (are there more than two??) and their various meanings / uses. Thank you for reading!

Buttercup

I don’t think these are actually buttercups, but when I was a kid that’s what we called them | Instax wide photo by author

Litte frogs hopping along by the water,
as you wish, growing wilder
by the day in May

My chin will tell the truth:
stick after stick of your namesake
disappears in the kitchen,
but we don’t welcome you there
unless tamed and sad in a jar
trail free, little leapers,
in a spill of sunshine
across the open field


May flower mania continues! Thank you for reading!

Aster

Austin, TX | Medium format film image by author

Says Bee, with glee: John Jacob,
is that you? . . . . Ah me,
I see, I mistook you for Daisy.
Butterfly and I came
flying by, for a quick visit.
Whatever your name is, we
think you’re sweet, and could
play in your purple
frills all day.


Channeling Emily here – plus how great is the suit on the guy in the photo?? It’s an old photo, but then again by now this is also an old poem! Thank you for reading!

Bluebonnet

Round Rock, TX | Medium format film photo by author

waves of blue following
the highway’s undulation
a lupine ribbon
drawn across the hill country
brought on by autumn rains
a sky-shadow trailing
underneath
the stars

official mascot of the vernal season
protected, revered
immortalized in every art
especially family photos
where posing groups leave behind
flattened sections
soon to be filled by flattened
patties left by the soft-eyed grazers
whose great warm lips
enjoy this new offering each spring


Texans know this one well! I grew up reading Tomie dePaola’s Legend of the Bluebonnet, and it haunts me still. Here’s the legend if y’all are unfamiliar with it. Thank you for reading!

Peony

Cyanotype print by author

Showy knot of gathered shame
don’t punish us with your absence
for such a slight as this trowel’s
disturbance

Mischief peeks out from among
your skirts, where your eye hides,
bashful – I see you pretending
to not see me, your pentitent gardener

I give you my slight bow
in return for your precious head,
Olympic daughter, bring
all your glory to the golden bowl,
be the centerpiece
of my patient table,
let your bright bloom
be my heart’s physician


Today’s poem is steeped in the language of flowerssince this was a year ago, I will admit I don’t remember writing it, but I can guess that I did a lot of digging around in obscure references for this one! Thank you for reading.

Rose

Faded Love | Cyanotype print with ink and watercolor (by author)

sweet scented beating heart of passion
named deliverer of 1000 declarations
and 10,000 apologies
the thorn in the side of lovers
a petaled face among the brush
wild, ready to peck at the pride
of the faint of heart


Flower poem #1! Part of my process in writing this poem, and all the ones that will follow this month – after I’d randomly come up with a flower for each day – involved reading up on the meaning of the flower. The Victorian Language of Flowers fascinates me; I love the idea of receiving a coded message in the gift of a bouquet. Here is an article that I don’t think I referenced but still will give you the gist. Thank you for reading!