Thursday, February 11, 2021

Poetry Friday: The Great Conversation

The poems I shared the last two weeks had in common that they included the word flourish, and my OLW for this year is flourishing. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to flourish in this world in 2021 for an individual who happens to be me. 

One of the ways I flourish is by being in conversation with people, and another is by creating, and I had a fun experience recently when I felt as though I was doing both. I often write poems about photos people send me, but this time, I had posted photos, and a friend used them for paintings. (I had this happen once before, and it is such a good feeling.)

Feeling I was participating in The Great Conversation, I wrote a poem about it.

Rain-Soaked Hibiscus

I took a photo
of the rain-soaked hibiscus
right near Cyvadier Plage
because it seemed to me
too beautiful to believe.

imagined drinking sorrel
as she looked at my photo,
and while imagination
doesn’t pack quite the punch
in the vitamin C department
as the actual drink,
it couldn’t hurt.

in a cold, damp Kentucky January
the rain-soaked hibiscus
from my photo
and said it helped her feel warm
and cheered
a gloomy day.

I wrote this poem
about Mattie’s painting
and Patricia’s fictitious drink
as I sheltered in place
on a riot day in Port-au-Prince,
when the southern coast
felt far away
and the generous rain
dripping from the flower
as imaginary as the
sugared red sorrel
in sweating glasses
on a round table
where we’ve all gathered
to pass the peaceful afternoon
with the mourning doves
in mask-free conversation.



Painting by Mattie Greathouse, shared with permission


Molly Hogan has the roundup this week, and guess who has it next week?! Yes, I do! Be sure to come see us next week too!


Linda M. said...

This is a love poem...what a beautiful connection to your friends. I felt so good reading it and now I need to go call my friend.

Sally Murphy said...

Ruth, I love the connections in your poem. Poetry Friday just keeps bringing us together :)

Linda B said...

All beautiful, to read, to see, to celebrate, Ruth. I'm happy to read about you being at the table with loved ones, too.

mbhmaine said...

I love the creative energy that connects all of these people and experiences together and how that inspired you to create even more--your wonderful poem with an envisioned happy ending. Synchronicity in action!

jama said...

Yes, you are definitely flourishing. How wonderful to see your photo, poem, and then your friend's painting. Good things need to be passed on and shared!

Alan j Wright said...

Ruth you have captured the sense of connectivity between objects, events and friends. The connection is a strong one as evidenced in your poem. I love how reflections take us to a new level of awareness as exemplified in your words.

Kay said...

Beautiful poem, Ruth. I love how creativity fed more creativity as it circled back around.

Janice Scully said...

Lovely imagining the rain dripping from the red flower and the cold tea. Your friend's painting is gorgeous. Thanks for the poem that put me in a different, summery state in mind for a moment.

Carol Varsalona said...

Masked free conversation is a treat these days but only enjoyed in my bubble. Your creativity with words and photos link well with your friendships that all lead to your flourishing in another trying year. With hope for continued days of gorgeous hibiscus flourishing, I greet your tonight, Ruth.

Fran Haley said...

That hibiscus and what it has sparked remind me all the more how we must just stop and savor the wonders around us. Flourishing is sometimes exactly that - drinking in. Which I did, with every line of your rich poem, along with the photo and the artwork. Beautiful, Ruth.

author amok said...

Mattie's painting is beautiful! I love the way your poem shows the circular nature of gifts between friends. (Also, hibiscus tea is my favorite!)

michelle kogan said...

Gorgeous post Ruth! I love your poem and especially the ending–
"in sweating glasses
on a round table
where we’ve all gathered
to pass the peaceful afternoon
with the mourning doves
in mask-free conversation."
Lot's of lovely alliteration with m's, beautiful painting by your friend too, Thanks!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

The connection, snapped, painted, brewed (since when are sorrel and hibiscus related? must research)between you and your friends and the "generous" rain--it's such a vitamin antidote to riot and pandemic, so nourishing to anyone's flourishing. Thanks for this.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Update: the sorrel I ate and cooked with as a child is actually oxalis or wood-sorrel, a very different herbaceous beast than your "roselle," red or Jamaican sorrel. I am grateful that there will always be something for me to learn (or relearn)!