—In response to Childe Hassam’s “Twenty-Six of June, Old Lyme.”  1912

When the peonies bloom I will revel
in their elegance and wear my Chinese silks
light and free.  When the peonies bloom
I will fill all the vases with them
so their scent permeates every room
delighting you and me.  When the peonies
bloom, we will know winter is over
along with its darkening gloom.

Ah, the great day that it is, the day
the peonies bloom.



This poem is also a product of August Postcard Poetry.  I’m posting it this second day of March with snow falling steadily the past two days making me feel as if I live in a snow globe being constantly shaken.  In some areas it is too warm for the snow to amount to much, at higher elevations it’s getting deeper.  This time of year putting on several layers of clothing, the lightness of wearing Chinese silks only is a long way off.

Georgia’s Flowers

—After Georgia O’Keeffe’s Purple Petunias, 1925

Imagine Georgia O’Keeffe waiting for a honeybee
to exit throats of purple petunias she is painting,
looking towards Pedernal with a hint of exasperation
thinking, I should have painted you today instead.
What was her contract with God; how many paintings
were needed to make Pedernal her own?

As for flowers, once on canvas they were hers forever,
every single part: peduncle, receptacle, sepal, ovule, petal,
filament, anther, stamen, pistil, stigma, style; she made each
grand, immortal, never to wilt. Perhaps she had made a pact
with God about them as well, and now paints in a garden
in a “faraway nearby” with flowers so colorful and exquisite
her brush will be busy for all eternity.


This poem, like so many more, generated by participating in August Postcard Poetry an annual event.