Friday, April 16, 2021

Poetry Friday: NPM Spring Cleaning Day 16, More Spring Photos

This week I don't have any open tabs I'm cleaning up; instead, I'm sharing some photos that my friends continue to send after my appeal for daffodils, along with what I wrote about them. It doesn't fit my NPM theme, exactly, but it does fit my love for spring flowers and friends who send me photos of them. 

My daughter came through with daffodil photos, when the daffodils finally bloomed in her northern home.

Photo Credit: Daughter

Daffodils bow down
Honoring the passing wind
Worshipping the sun

Kay McGriff sent me this photo: 


 Demure yellow bloom
Looks shyly down at the ground
Hides her blushing face

Carol Trachsel sent me this photo, explaining that this house has been falling apart ever since she moved in nearby, twenty years ago. Every year the daffodils bloom.

The house’s skeleton,
open to the sky,
has let any ghosts that remained
into the atmosphere

There are no echoes of arguments,
no smells from burned dinners,
no laughter
or tears

but in the garden
the roots still live
and every year
the daffodils reappear,
brief bright visitors
that honor
the sweat
and the sore back
of the gardener who planted them
more than twenty years ago.


I took this photo of my Easter flowers, sadly discarded. I wrote a golden shovel for this photo, taking a Shakespeare quote as my starting point.

For Easter this year I had lilies
standing tall and proud with that
Easter Sunday glory, but sadly they fester
quickly, and when they start to smell
it’s a betrayal that something so pure could sink so far,
the way when someone you love leaves you it’s worse
than an insult from a random stranger. Look, a stinky pile, worse than
a wedding bouquet made entirely of poison ivy and weeds.

Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

My friend Jill filled my Facebook wall with spring flowers again this week, and though I didn't write about them this time, they made me so happy. She said I could share some with you.


Today's last photo is completely different from the others, since it comes from a completely different place. My friend Azeem sent it one morning (my time), saying that he'd been listening to Paul Simon while getting ready for a party for his employees, and Paul Simon made him think of me. The photo took me right there to Kenya.

Photo Credit A.P.


View of Mount Eburu and Lake Naivasha, March 2021

Dry grass

Thorn tree
Scrubby plants

Sky sky sky sky sky sky sky

Here are my other NPM posts from this week:

On Saturday I shared a podcast about Lizzie Siddal, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, and a mysterious poem.

On Sunday I dreamed a world.

On Monday I had some Auden, and some me.  

On Tuesday there were Haitian bird sounds.

On Wednesday I shared some Paul Simon (he really is one of my favorite poets).

On Thursday, I posted a poem about moving.


This is the ninth year of the Progressive Poem! See the schedule below to find where to go for today's line and to see who's participating this year.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method at
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All


Linda Mitchell said...

Ruth, I have been walking in your beautiful garden this morning. The daffodils and red bud and snapshots of early spring are just what I needed this morning. Your poetry is a lovely path through the flowers...even the lilies.

Bridget Magee said...

A beautiful bouquet of pictures and poems, Ruth. I especially love the contrasting view from Kenya, "Sky sky sky sky sky sky sky". :)

KatApel - said...

I'm not sure what prompted your call for daffodils - but I do know I loved this wander through your garden of verse. That Kenyan sky line made me smile. Also the blushing daffodil.

jama said...

Thanks for the poetry bouquet today, Ruth. Your friends really came through with photos that inspired wonderful poems. Liked your take on the abandoned house with the daffodils that continue to bloom every year.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

I love all the daffodil photos and poems, especially the skeleton house with its brief bright visitors. So evocative!

Irene Latham said...

What a hopeful, blooming post! Thank you especially for the sky sky sky sky sky sky etc. xo

skanny17 said...

You are such a poet, Ruth. Your words flow and the solo daffodil is one I love. Spring burst yesterday. I am so happy. As soon as there are blue skies I am going out with my phone. I take the photos just to make me happy happy happy. A wonderful post today.
Janet Clare F.

Tabatha said...

Now I'm curious about the smell of festering lilies. Such a great line to use for a golden shovel, Ruth. Glad you are awash in floral photos!

Linda B said...

"Sky, sky, sky, sky. . ." That is a favorite. I take so many pictures of the sky here & love that your friend sent that picture to you. I wrote a poem a few years ago, I think, about discarded flowers, too, but I cannot find it. I'll send if I ever do. Some stay & dry & I have two vases full of those, dried. I love the daffodils you've met as different personalities, Ruth. They truly are special spring welcomes. And I love
"brief bright visitors
that honor
the sweat
and the sore back
of the gardener who planted them
more than twenty years ago." My husband & I loved coming across an abandoned house with flowers still growing, especially in spring when driving in the country. They are certainly loyal & there! I love that you've written about them. Happy Weekend!

Cathy said...

Ruth, today's stop is like a walk in the spring flower garden as each flower bursts in awakening. I enjoyed each poem. I have to say that the poem about the abandoned house was hauntingly beautiful. Like you, I wonder about all the stories that have been lost in a home abandoned. Maybe the daffodils, deep in their roots, could tell them.

Rose Cappelli said...

I enjoyed reading your poems, Ruth, especially the one with the daffodils by the old house. Daffodils are survivors! Many years ago when we first moved into this house I was cleaning up an area under a tree and mistakenly threw away daffodil bulbs. I was young and clueless! But they survived, and bloomed in the compost area behind the shed.

Janice Scully said...

These photos of flowers and the photo from Kenya are stunning! There is so much truth and sadness, much emotion in your poem about the lillies.

Buffy Silverman said...

An entire garden of poems! I especially love the brown/green/blue ending in skyskyskysky!

Kimberly Hutmacher said...

The garden of flowers and poetry has beautified my day. Thank you for sharing, Ruth.

Michelle Kogan said...

Such a flourishing profusion of poems. I love your daffodil roots still living and the image of the dilapidated house. And I especially love your "Lilies that fester" I could see them and smell them. And thanks for the links to your poems–many treasures there!

laurasalas said...

Wow, Carol. So much here! I love, "It doesn't fit my NPM theme, exactly, but it does fit my love for spring flowers and friends who send me photos of them." Haha--way to embrace what falls into your lap that you love instead of keeping strictly to what you planned. That's a lesson I'm trying to learn, too. AND that house's skeleton! And those powerful stinking lilies. I love how much beauty you share in poetry, and I love to do that, too. But your poems that also look at the darker side of life are really strong. I hope you keep exploring that, too.

laurasalas said...

Oops, too many tabs open. Sorry, Ruth--NOT Carol! My earlier comment still stands, except that you are always exploring both the light and dark in a way I love. So, ya know, just keep being you :>)

Mary Lee said...

I'm drawn to the last photo and poem, having grown up in a flat dry brown place with very little green and lots of sky sky sky sky sky. Perfect.

Christie Wyman said...

Spring flowers always fill my heart with joy. Clearly, they do for you, too. Thank you for sharing all of these with us, Ruth.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Love this smorgasbord of global floral poetry-journalism, Ruth! So poignant that the fragile daffodils are still blooming while the house falls apart.

author amok said...

Hi, Ruth. I especially love your skeleton house poem. Even without the photograph, I can picture it from your words. My mother's favorite poem is Wordsworth's "Daffodils." I always think of the poem when the daffodils are in bloom.