poppies red as lust

oriental-poppies 1928 O'Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe    Oriental Poppies  1928

 

Georgia O'Keeffe

Here is a postcard of O’Keeffe that I received from a friend. It prompted me to write this poem about 20 years ago:

Georgia O’Keeffe Looks Over Her Shoulder

 

Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,

When bleached skulls turn to poppies red as lust,

The sound of something wild attracts her ear.

 

Black jacket, white soft collar curving near

the place where desert sunset turns to rust

awakens in that neck a prickling fear.

 

The haunches of dead lovers gleam as clear

in skulls as in the orchid’s velvet crust.

Dry rattling of bone curls back her ear.

 

Her upswept silken hair declares the year

in shades of gray and tortoise brown as dust

just when she thought she’d painted all her fear.

 

Her thin pink pearl of seashell curves to hear

the desert’s voice, more fierce, more dry than just

as three fine wrinkles flow down from her ear.

 

Such gaunt grace turns her, luscious and severe,

containing bones and orchids, fruit and crust!

Just when she thinks she’s painted all her fear,

the sound of something wild attracts her ear.

 

 

Published in Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky   Plain View Press 2007

skull and hollyhock okeeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe    Skull and Hollyhock

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/lust/”>Lust</a&gt;

Jollux

cook_dining out 1995

Beryl Cook ,  Dining Out

Here’s a poem I wrote a few years ago:

Jollux

 

Jolluxnoun – Slang phrase used in the late 18th century to describe a “fat person”

Come with me.

Together mittens clutched

from the cold blue fingers

of December,

sent on a mission

to the tropics

where I can dance in my multiflora muumuu

with nothing on underneath,

and feel my flesh breathe and giggle

rollicking my many chins

licking egg roll grease

from my egg roll gold fingers.

 

Surrender to the

Tapestry dance you pest-

try to get away from me.

 

 

I love these paintings by the British painter Beryl Cook:

Beryl Cook Dancing Class

 

Beryl Cook Dog Love

 

 

 

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/pest/”>Pest</a&gt;

mediocre, slipshod, shallow

crab-grass-a-seedling_jpg_

 

Here’s a poem I wrote when I was feeling sorry for myself:

 

Overlooked

 

As a gold coin

buried in the dirt,

as the primary leaf of

a crabgrass plant

in the garden.

 

I feel sad and angry,

questioning my worth,

knowing I shouldn’t care

if I don’t get chosen

for that residency,

or that other residency,

or the last eight residencies

I’ve applied for.

I ask myself: what is it about my work

that makes it get passed over?

is it mediocre , slipshod, shallow?

Or is it me, the old lady,

Who lacks a promising career?

old lady maria yankova

painting by maria yankova

 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shallow/”>Shallow</a&gt;

Intensity of Fragrance

 

hyacinth2

philadelphus-flickr-tom-brandt mock orange

Here’s a poem of mine:

Intensity of Fragrance

 

Hyacinth,

Jonquil,

Lilac,

Lily of the Valley,

Viburnum,

Mock Orange.

Incense of Spring,

Nothing in all the world of summer

Smells like you.

Too heady for me to keep

In my bedroom,

You clot the air with sweetness.

I will dream of bees.

 

Branches of lilac foreground lit by the rays of the sun

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fragrance/”>Fragrance</a&gt;

Innocence is no earthly weapon

the_third_reich_1933_1945_by_birdie95 on deviant art

painting by birdie 95 on deviant art

 

zoom_rome-947536_1920coluseum

The Coloseum, Rome

Ovid1

Ovid  was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria, and of the Metamorphoses.

 

I am not a Latin scholar, and only know the poet Ovid by his name, but I found this poem written by the great English poet Geoffrey Hill    very thought-provoking.

 

Ovid in the Third Reich                 by Geoffrey Hill, 1968

 

non peccat, quaecumque potest peccasse negare, solaque famosam culpa professa facit.

 

translation: he does not sin, not sin who can deny it,

and only makes a fault.

Amores, III, xiv

 

I love my work and my children. God

Is distant, difficult. Things happen.

Too near the ancient troughs of blood

Innocence is no earthly weapon.

 

I have learned one thing: not to look down

So much upon the damned. They, in their sphere,

Harmonize strangely with the divine

Love. I, in mine, celebrate the love-choir.

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/harmonize/”>Harmonize</a&gt;

for twelve years each lies dormant

neelakurinji-flower-which

Neelakurinji flowers, Munnar kerala, keralatrips_co_in Strobilanthes kunthiana (15)

Dormant flower, the Kurinji

 

Poem by Rebecca Harrington Edited by Lydia Chain

One petal crept open, and a million joined it,

on the slopes of the Nilgiris — the “blue mountains.”

These peaks are named for the blue-blossomed Kurinji,

India’s most meticulous flowering plant.

 

For 12 years each lies dormant, bare. Then, like clockwork,

their blooms erupt. For one spring, a floral carpet.

The Muthuras tribes used it to mark the years passed.

How many Kuriniji flowerings old are you?

 

Kurinji only grow above 6,000 feet.

Living in the Sholas grassland among the clouds,

leopards, tigers and elephants roam within their

branches, keeping them company through the long rest.

 

The Kurinjimala Sanctuary tries to

defend its 12-square-mile swath of land from harm.

But illegal farms still abound and cattle graze;

growing food trumps protecting the fragile flower.

 

Tracking each day until a dozen years have passed,

Kurinji blossoms survive through strength in numbers.

So many flowers bud at once they overwhelm —

no animal could ever eat this many seeds.

 

Yet the past flow’ring may have been the very last.

Habitat destruction could mean no more blue blooms.

No more years to count, no more seeds to save, no more

Kurinji flowering simultaneously.

neelakurinji blooming

kurinji_flower_by_raghunaut-d821zta

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/dormant/”>Dormant</a&gt;