The Darling Buds – Marigold

When everything else has died

the marigolds are planted

their leaves too bitter for insects

or maybe they are supposed to be grown

with the crops to protect them

rather than being left

to bloom merrily

amongst the sick-sweet

stench of their rotting

companions

Marigold – Sorrow

Marigolds survive but make it impossible to forget those that did not. Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more tales of survival in the face of sorrow, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

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The Darling Buds – Forsythia

Long winters birth meek springs

Buds and blossoms slow to unfurl

cautiously feel their way through the still

frozen nights

But

sandwiched between the forest and the field

there is an explosion

forsythia

rising golden and unafraid

It lives in the future, fearless with

Joy at the tips of branches

Joy as a perfume in the air

Joy in the willingness to stare into the face

of the unknown

and blossom

Forsythia – Anticipation

Every May (and sometimes fashionably late in May because of a lack of blossoms), I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more anticipation in the face of danger, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Sleeping and Waking

Do they dream

those not yet opened buds?

Before there are flowers

do the slow-unfurling petals

imagine the face

of the sun?

What do the buds know of the world they are about to enter?

I’m always fascinated by the giant leap between development and living.


For more waking to mysterious worlds, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Sunny Daze

The woman didn’t plant the sunflowers the second year

The first year

she had tilled and let them settle and

in the fall

the birds came

and

as the weather worsened

the birds tore through the seeds

and spit out the pieces

to rise the next spring

in the fallow field

The moral of the story

of course

being that

Birds in bad weather will hock together.

(I’m not ashamed.)

IMG_2166Well, maybe I’m a little ashamed.

Sometimes you just have to commit puns. I make no excuses.


For more terrible puns, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Growing Forwards

There were people and then there weren’t

The land a stripped wound

Left by their passage

Some things return and

Some things don’t

We still grow

We breathe

In the sun

The taste of

Joy

IMG_1975Joy is brilliant and fiercely fought

Damage is not destroyed but incorporated into the life that follows.


For more joy and growth from damage, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Of Impossibilities (And Other Trellises)

So many people speak of things that can’t happen

In hushed tones of sincere smugness

That we decided to soothe

One of the smaller impossibilities

A minor god

In a major pantheon of

Closed doors

Our soil – infertile

Our weather – inhospitable

The first year even the crab grass retreated

It is a slow wooing

Of small things that shouldn’t be

Manure, trellises, and time

There is bedrock beneath us

And still these small blossoms

Open their impossible hearts

IMG_1997Persistence is the mother of possibility

Impossible dreams must be carefully tended.


For more persistence, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Cartography

Flowers don’t start in segregation

Our seeding was as balanced -and foolish-

As any ignorant gardener of the masses

The plants are shaped by the land

And the land shapes them

The war of the white roses

Claiming the wettest corner

While the thin line of flag

Irises

Holds firm to the sun

IMG_1484A beautiful map of invisible conflict

This is not actually metaphorical. Note: Don’t ever try to move rose bushes.


For more zones of conflict, invisible and otherwise, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

The Darling Buds- Lupin

As the heat rises,

Heavy in our throats and hearts,

So we take our bow,

Our bold palette laid before you,

A tapestry of hope and possibilities.

Shall we blanket the meadows,

Our seed on every rise?

Shall we burn under the sun,

Under the inescapable light?

Let us lay out the final hand before you

Our passage from the possibility,

From the half-formed dreams of spring,

To something fixed and final.

Let us pass boldly,

Our blossoms as loud as our hopes,

Let us pass from spring’s possibility to

Warm reality

Pass into

Summer’s unknown future.

IMG_1348Lupin- Imagination

Every May (and sometimes, the first week of June), I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more hard won wisdom, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

Darling Buds- Flag Iris

This is a poem about irises

I promise

The first bird bath was tipped over by a large blue jay

Drunk on mountain ash berries

The juncos screamed for days

Until we put in large rocks

To make it stable

So that they could clean their armpits

Birdbath version two started leaching its paint coating

Into the water

From the vigorous intellectual

Bottom rubbing of the imported sparrows

Also, there were cats

In the fenced garden

In the quiet reflective space

Bird bath three

Plasticized granite

With actual granite for stability

Bloomed amongst the irises

Beautiful, austere

And ignored

In favour of a plastic

Wading pool

IMG_1352Flag Iris- Wisdom, To learn from what has come

The greatest gifts and ideas can be defeated by small plastic wading pools. Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more hard won wisdom, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.

The Darling Buds- Wild Rose

We were too cold for roses

Or, at least, the delicate roses

Made poor friends with the early frost

But there were always the wild roses

In strange patches and places

They told us the roses grew where bodies were buried

(The more boring explanation was that was where

The warring neighbours dumped their compost

When they were in a fight over where the property lines

Ended)

And, certainly, they bloomed in that eerie

No man’s land – too windy for trees,

Too exposed for shrubs

A heavenly smell that lured small creatures

And small children

All of us fumbling through the thorns

To reach the buds

As we left

I always shuddered a little at the red in the light

In the veins of the petals

Rubbed the cuts on my arms and legs

They may not have started with bodies

But it is hard to touch a rose bush

Once it has gotten a taste

For blood

IMG_1331Wild Rose: Pleasure and Pain

Beauty comes in dangerous packages. Every May, I do a series of poems based on Victorian flower meanings. Welcome to the Darling Buds.


For more obvious and less obvious thorns, my fantasy novel, The Guests of Honor, is available here. Its sequel, With Honor Intact, can be found here.