Sunday, June 28, 2015

flowers by the chapel by the sea


Thanks to Rock Rose - this image was taken by her, and captures what I imagine the landscape of my poem looks like. Check out her blog and her "Small Plants for the Sunken Garden" post.


My mind is a chapel
carved from rock meeting
tongue of the sea, licking
away the centuries.

The beach is sonorous dips
of prayers sung without words,
gut-uttered, offered to the wind,
the waves, the simple tides of
time. There are worlds within worlds.

From the belltower, I can see
three flowers. Each sings. Each
shines with the seams of Fate’s fickle
threads woven to Transpire.

Emerge the first flower. See?
Hugging the cliff, there to the left,
just beyond the sea spray, the wire fence
to fend off sheep. Look through the lace of
the reeds, there. Yes, focus on the purple head,
poking from beyond the fence, the single flower
in the mist of weeds. She is lovely, is she not?
She is the sharpest, melodramatic saccharine,
as such, she stings. Her name is If
Only. Pluck her, and bleed.

Back to our safe stone, hewn from the cliff, the peace
full place of worship crafted for the sake of sanctity,
sanity. From here, look to the sand path, worn, its border:
skeletal shells, wily bracken, and the pale white flower,
petals like pointed rays of moonlit beams, whispering their
secrets like stars to the far corners of the universe.
Whispers because they haven’t found their voice.
The blossom must look deep, but it is proud and frightened.
Try to pluck, it will recede. Oh, and mind the bees.
Guardians of all that Is.

But there is one other flower this old chapel
sees, one other flower that calls to me. This one is
yellow and big as a bowl, follows the sun, swallows me
whole. She is so bright that she almost blinds, hers is the
flower that captures my dreams. She holds in her petals
the paint of delight, the plan for the future, the Want
to Be, the seductive howl of a new-moon night.

Together, they set my chapel
humming, fan my skin aquiver,
a breeze skimming the smoothest
pool of my neck, my flesh
set aflame even as it freezes,
the pleasure and the pain, weathered
in the crumbling call of the chapel bell.

The world I know
I will only know
the way a child knows a beach:
bucket by bucket, she builds a sandcastle,
then mourns when the wave clears the slate clean.
Propelled by unknown forces, she plucks and leaves
a flower in her wake.



Inspired by and written for Real Toads' Play It Again, Toads #18. I glimpsed at Writing the Inside, Out, but mostly used the pictures of the three flowers for this one. Thanks for the fun prompt!

12 comments:

brudberg said...

This is so marvellous.. I like how you tell a story of yourself be those three flowers. A poem worth reading and reading again.

Rock rose said...

I am glad the photograph of my sunken garden gave you inspiration for your poem. We all find inspiration in nature although most of us are not able to put it into the kind of words you have written. Thanks for the link to my blog.

Kerry O'Connor said...

From the belltower, I can see
three flowers. Each sings.

This is a perfect capture of external and internal observation. A very inspiring piece.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a magnificent poem!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What an incredibly beautiful and deep piece of writing this is! I loved every line. You took me to the sea I love so much, and beyond, into inner realms.......

welshstream said...

This is just wonderful narrative with many great lines. One that grows each time you read it. Excellent work!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

What a thrilling and beautiful poem! Every word enthrals. Love your internal rhymes and sustained metaphors ... oh, and all of it!

Ara said...

This is flipping awesome.

Helen said...

~~ the way a child knows a beach: bucket by bucket -- so many lovely lines, this was my favorite.

Margaret said...

^ yes, the same line Helen quoted I also love. I feel like I'm upon the back of a dragonfly darting too an fro into the secret places of beach and dune... Lovely.

Hannah said...

This is epic and so eloquently given...delicious and visual descriptions! :)

Grace said...

I love the poem, very deep and meaningful ~ Stellar images from start to the ending ~