Tag Archives: botany

Beds

Neat and tidy beds
are for beginners
who haven’t spent
enough time sitting
by the open window
with a pillow
crushed between
their chest and knees
breathing in
the lilac gone wild
or the sweet
magnolia ashei
demanding
to be inhaled.
Neat and tidy beds
are for those
who need control
over creativity—
who believe
that letting the soft
and delicate petals
of the columbine
mingle
with the wood mint
might lead to one
taking advantage
of the other.
Neat and tidy beds
have so much
emptiness
pruned into them—
as though
it made no sense
to believe
that the milkweed
and the marigold
could compliment
each other
if they were allowed
the freedom
to touch and bloom
below the sheets
of sunlight
ruffled with
occasional rain.

 

 

 

DeMaris
5-31-17

“Flower Beds in Holland” Vincent van Gogh, 1883

Love Lies Bleeding 

My novice eye
thought
the small cluster
of Rue Anemone
was Hepatica
and I was mistaken
again
when I called
the Celandine Poppy
a Marsh Marigold–
but I was sure
the Yellow Trout Lily
was
a Yellow Trout Lily
and I was right
about
the Purple Cress–
and I knew
with certainty
those bulbous
Bleeding Hearts
were full
of emptiness–
but I’m still
not sure
if the botanist
who taught me
how to identify
Snow Trillium 
and Bloodroot 
can see
the similarities
between
Love Lies Bleeding
and the look on my face
when his lesson is over
and our time 
is up.

DeMaris

4-9-17

Waiting for the Wildflowers

All winter
we wait for them—
for the surprise
of blue
or yellow or white
and we take
their picture as if
they were babies
we want to show off
to our friends!
Soon they will
become confetti
for the celebration
of spring—
a reward
for enduring
that colorless season,
which will wait its turn
to come again
while summer
flaunts its green
and autumn leaves
cover the woods
in a blanket of orange—
but today, the
Harbinger of Spring
is stirring
and whispering
wake up
to the snow trillium
and bluebells
and yellow buttercups
that will fill the air
with a fragrance
so sweet
we might forget
what trouble
grows inside the houses
we left behind
to spend a few hours
strolling
through this carnival
of hope and rebirth.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-27-17

In the Woods

I knew
I had to memorize
the way it felt
for you to help me
untuck your shirt
so I could thread my arms
around your waist—
my open hands
reading the smooth
braille of your skin—
and I found a warmth
so tender I shivered
to think such a heat
extended into parts
of you I’d never find
or feel—
and the sycamores
along the river
were the only trees
to take an interest
in our bittersweet union
because they lived
unapologetically
with their white skin
glowing and exposed
and they couldn’t
understand our layers
or why we thought
we had so much to hide.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-4-17

 

 

 

Our Only Day

Today
you are more endearing
than yesterday—
now that I know how you feel
about that tulip tree
you introduced me to—
the one so big
we both could give it a hug
and still not reach
each others fingertips.
You took me off the trail
to show me its secret life—
and in reverence we stood
on its fallen branches
covered in moss
as green as my envy
that all your love
has already taken root
elsewhere
and I am just something lost
in the wind,
caught for a while
on one of your perfect branches.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-31-16

Painting by Lawren Harris, 1914-1917
“Algonquin Sketch”

Walking Away

 

Soon
we will be over
like the autumn
and I will
watch you depart
like a sandhill crane
making its way
toward a more
reliable warmth.
The winter
will pass quietly
and slowly
between us
and we’ll have no
spring thaw
to look forward to—
no digging up the earth
to plant a love
that might have been
as perennial
and perfect as those
Bleeding Hearts,
hollow inside—
which is how I feel
this season
knowing our timing
was wrong
and knowing I must try
to harvest a few more
of your smiles
before I settle in
to watch you
walk away.

 

 

DeMaris
12-20-16

Photo by Deanna Morae 

For Her

You were in the right place
at the right time
and offered him a sweetness
which he accepted cautiously
and optimistically—
and now, years later, you have him
all to yourself on the trails
and on the water, and even
in the air when you travel to
California or Costa Rica—
and you get to study his mouth
when he says words like bloodroot
and loosestrife and chokecherry—
and you get to see his joy
when the brown thrasher
keeps singing even when summer
has come to its end—
you have a bird’s eye view
of his mission and his passion
and you are allowed to curl up
beside him in the nest of his bed—
but I envy nothing about you
except your proximity to him—
to a creature neither one of us
will ever possess—
and when he wants to fly away
(he will need to fly away)
I hope you’ll kiss him goodbye,
softly, and let him go.

 

 

DeMaris
12-15-16