Tag Archives: flowers

Botany Lesson

Boneset and Snakeroot.
Black-eyed Susan and Yellow Coneflower.
Fernleaf Phacelia and Jacob’s Ladder—
wild beauties so similar
that I wanted to start paying attention
to the subtle differences—
differences that wouldn’t confuse
a botanist whose life was spent
studying the details
of leaves and stems
and the number of petals
that differentiate Rue Anemone
from False Rue Anemone.
And because learning takes time
it shouldn’t upset me
that I couldn’t identify
the man in my bed as toxic,
because he tasted sweet
like the wild raspberries
we picked in the woods—
but his thorns are still lodged in my skin
like a lesson I never thought
I’d need to learn—
but if I hadn’t wandered
into that forbidden garden
I would never have been able to recognize love
as unmistakable as Bloodroot and Firepink.
Love fragrant as Bluebells,
perennial and white as Shooting Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-27-18

 

Standoff

He is out there somewhere
clinching his fists—
the man you ran away from,
the man who loves you anyway,
who brought you bleeding hearts
and lilacs and daffodils
and cayenne pepper chocolate bars—
the man who wrote your name
in the sand and on his heart
and would drive three hours
to see you for just one.
He is out there somewhere
wringing his hands
wondering where you are—
and why you still write poems
about how sad it is to live without love,
when his promise to you hangs in the air
like a thick morning fog
concealing a meadow full of sunflowers—
and all you need to do is walk toward him
and everything will become clear
and he will erase your doubts
with his trembling hands
but you are the skeptic
who believes that if you get too close
he will run away too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-4-18

“Sweets to the Sweet” by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1893

No One Else

I feel
your
warm hand
over mine
on our way
to those places
either one of us
could go
with someone else
and we could
enjoy
the flowers
and the river
and the woods
with
another body
beside us
but
there isn’t
another
set of hands
that
could
elevate
my body
into
the clouds
after the sun
goes down.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-9-17

“The Lovers in the Poet’s Garden IV” by Vincent van Gogh, 1888

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

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

The Botanist

I don’t think he knows
he’s beautiful—
which is lovely and strange
and maybe even telling
of a kind of innocence
that comes from loving
wild things better than
human things, who sting
and wither and grow thorns
that can be hard to pull out
if his center is as soft and fragile
as his Bleeding Hearts—
those plump and tender blossoms
who return to him every year—
and will never break his heart.

DeMaris
11-25-16

Today

Things happened
that weren’t particularly
memorable or wonderful
or exciting today—
but I was alive with all senses intact,
and I smelled the roses in a literal way
when a child no more than five
ran right into me at the park,
fleeing her mother’s disapproval
over the handful of wild blossoms
she’d picked while her mother’s
attention was on her phone—
and I wanted to tell the child
to hold onto those roses
and run a little faster
while she’s still young enough
to believe that beauty is worth
such stunning futility.
But I was silent—
which is what, when grown,
we’ve learned so well to be.

DeMaris Gaunt
9-26-15