Friday, November 14, 2014

the word flower thrives in every language

Thanks to Flowers

by Kate Farrell

Not only the cultivated ones in parks
and gardens, unfolding immaculate petals
on a terrace or trellis, and not just
the wild ones, kissed by elegant birds
in jungle foliage, or brightening roadsides
and meadows, blossoming anyplace that anything
can blossom, but thanks also to flowers
blooming in paintings, on carpets, pottery,
fabrics of dresses and draperies or wherever
the real or invented colors and shapes
of flowers lift the mood of a scene,
as they are snipped from bushes, gathered
in cordless bunches, tied in ribbons
or arranged in rare bouquets for precious vases.
Perfect by nature for gift and centerpiece,
they perfume ballrooms, backyards and prairies,
and, indoors or out the window, they gladden
celebrations and refresh every country
and season, for, even in iciest winter.
The word flower thrives in every language,
adorning what everyone says and imagines
with the beautiful thought of flowers
which teach by timeless example
that life goes by anyway; you might as well

Longtime readers of this blog might remember me linking to or sharing the above poem ages ago. I found it again, and this time really wanted to know more about the poet who wrote, "life goes by anyway, you might as well flower." Which I love.

So, I found her website, which led me to her brother's website, a sculptor with whom she has collaborated. His name is Patrick Dougherty and his work is really beautiful. His 'stick work' reminded me a little of the 'library for birds' or Liyuan Library which I reference in one of my poems in Asking. I immediately wondered how it was doing, and much to my delight see that it has recently won a prize for architecture. There are many beautiful images of the library if you do a google images search for Liyuan Library, including this one.

And that's the beauty of the internet.

Back to the poem, I think 'you might as well flower' might be a very good mantra, especially for winter.

I first came across the poem when Rob had begun painting his large flower paintings. To me this is what they say: Flower.

I'm back to work this afternoon, after many days off. Thanks to the stat holiday on Tuesday and the miracle of scheduling I've had nearly a week off in total. I'm grateful, because feeling as sick and run-down as I have, I would have been calling in and missing pay. That said, wow, it would have been great to have that week to properly dig into the writing. Didn't much happen, though some fever induced notes were taken.

The flowers from last week are long gone, but I'm happy I took so many photos of them when they were fresh.

Enjoy your weekend, wishing you all so very many calm things.....


  1. Yes, let us FLOWER. My mantra for the day. Thank you, Shawna. I am currently immersed in "Asking" -- both your book and the act of asking the right questions. You share your hard-won wisdom on each beauty-filled page. As I read your words I feel as if we've been walking a similar road of reflection but in different cities. I find that inspiring and...calming! I can't wait for my copy of "Calm Things" to arrive (the first copy was damaged). I hope you are over your cold and all the symptoms it brings. And thanks for providing this wonderful oasis. Warmly, Rose Roberts aka Anonymous (hope I've figured out how to send comments! lol)

    1. Thanks so much, Rose! Very glad you figured out the comment thing!

  2. Yes, a great manta for winter (especially the winter after the last one) - I'll give it a try:) xo

  3. Beautiful poem and photos Shawna. I always think flowers are even more of a treasure in winter. Just yesterday I was marveling at the hydrangeas in our garden, withering now sadly, but still beautiful in all their varying degrees of colour. They're really an astonishing flower. I will have to use this poem in my poetry blog - to bloom some happiness and colour into these dark November days! Thank you for posting :)

    1. I find I really need flowers in the winter. Glad you liked the poem. Best - Shawna


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