Behind Me

Day 8, NaPoWriMo 2020

(Photo by Aashish Vaidya. Tulip Farm)


Behind Me


The tulips turn to me, and the windows behind me
reflect the rays of sun, as shadows lift, and blind me.

The crocuses sway gently laden with dew
I take their closeups, they don’t seem to mind me.

The experiences, genetics, expectations, biases,
aspirations, all combine together and defined me

It’s long odds for lightning to strike once much less twice –
By the end of the year, the trashcans of history will find me.

Not the streams of Netflix or Prime, nor Zoom happy hours,
It is your caress and gentle touch that wind and rewind me.

Faith in a huckster is certainly seductive, but it’s a ‘Mirage’
Fatalities follow and new realities confront and confine me.

Notes:  Day 8 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt is to, “peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots [Sylvia Plath Bot, @PercyBotShelley, @ruefle_exe, @carsonbot and @sikenpoems or @VogonBot] and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem. Need an example? Well, there’s actually quite a respectable lineage of poems that start with a line by another poet, such as this poem by Robert Duncan, or this one by Lisa Robertson.”

I didn’t use the bots.  Instead I looked up a line from Tulips by Sylvia Plath and penned a ghazal.  In the original Plath line, window is a singular not plural.  I turned it into plural, so I can maintain subject-verb agreement to make the rhyme (qafiyah) come out correctly.

Dervish of Flowers

Wisteria at Orenco Station
Austere hopes find pleasure in lately cherished flowers.
The blooms are articulate deluge, hues of delicacy.
Petals parted dim renderings, the viable imprint
of the blood-hot beam of light with reformed courage.

(excerpt from Elizabeth Woody’s poem Illumination)

First line from Illumination by Elizabeth Woody.

“Austere hopes find pleasure in lately cherished flowers”
Spring arrives on petals of wildly dervish flowers.

Pressed between the pages of a hard bound tome, cool drizzle
rehydrates lost memories: the imprints on burnished flowers.

White and blushing red roses, bunched together in a vase
pose a delicately pregnant question? Those coquettish flowers!

Lit by candle, naked dermis is caressed by attar water. Waiting,
to explode, desire is strewn under every petal of ravished flowers.

Attitude of an assassin, proficient in glance-slaying,
Honeyed, weaponized sonority laced with breath of hashish flowers.

Bulbs underground. Above ground: the preening crocus, tulips
and daffodils. See with flourish, and relish flowers.

Touch of time unfurls buds into articulated variance of blooms
’Mirage’ erodes this vibrancy into mottled, blemished flowers.

Notes: Elizabeth Woody, “an enrolled member of the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs in Oregon” is Oregon’s current poet laureate (March 2016).