Thursday, May 25, 2023

A Time of Blooms

 Happy Friday. It has been a crazy busy time here, and I've missed several Fridays. Alas!  I must make amends. And so, just to get my foot back in the door, I am posting some blooms from my garden, and some poetry to go with them.  Enjoy.

The poem I've chosen for this iris speaks to me of the May garden, which blooms gloriously and then is gone.  I wait all year for this...

Snow Geese
by Mary Oliver

Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task
to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.

Read the rest of Snow Geese HERE.

The peonies too, unfold their tight fists now with such elegance. Another of Mary Oliver's poems reminds me of this peony, her poem titled Swan, which speaks of "a perfect commotion of silk and linen."  You can read it HERE.

The peonies seem to demand some Japanese poetry... three haikus:

a rice bowl
filled to the brim
one peony
~ Buson

Dear, dear,
What a fat, happy face it has,
This peony!
– Issa

a bee
staggers out
of the peony

My garden is doing well so far. I have hopes of peas soon, and salad turnips. More poems in the offing.

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Patricia Franz at Reverie.  Don't miss her celebration of 40 years of marriage which includes a Doobie Brothers poem. Thanks, Patricia!


  1. Love your bouquet of poems today, Karen. I will never look at a white peony the same way again after reading Buson's 'rice bowl' haiku! I'm looking forward to your (inner) peas poems soon. ;)

  2. What sumptuous haiku, Karen. It seems that they inspire many people. How lucky you are to have such beautiful flowers in your garden!

  3. Thank you for the gorgeous flowers and poems! Here's one for you:
    I want to tell you something. This morning
    is bright after all the steady rain, and every iris,
    peony, rose, opens its mouth, rejoicing.
    I want to say, wake up, open your eyes, there’s
    a snow-covered road ahead, a field of blankness,
    a sheet of paper, an empty screen. Even
    the smallest insects are singing, vibrating
    their entire bodies, tiny violins of longing
    and desire. We were made for song.
    I can’t tell you what prayer is, but I can take
    the breath of the meadow into my mouth,
    and I can release it for the leaves’ green need.
    I want to tell you your life is a blue coal, a slice
    of orange in the mouth, cut hay in the nostrils.
    The cardinals’ red song dances in your blood.
    Look, every month the moon blossoms
    into a peony, then shrinks to a sliver of garlic.
    And then it blooms again.
    – Barbara Crooker

  4. Karen, thanks for sharing your spring blooms and poetry blossoms - both have me smiling, especially the haiku "rice bowl" and "fat face". How lucky are we that words and petals can bring such joy? I'm turning soil in garden beds this weekend - preparing for what I hope will be mid-June planting of my salad garden! With the snow is still melting and overnight temps in high 30's, I may be looking at August salads!

  5. I have always loved the one that says the bee 'staggers', Karen. I am sharing about iris, too, but still waiting for the peonies, only buds right now. We've had good rain this spring & cooler so much is late but growing so wonderfully! Thanks for the poems for spring.

  6. Iris and peony favorites! And yes yes YES to Mary Oliver's reminder to "love what is lovely."

  7. I love that staggering bee. Thank you for all this beauty, Karen!

  8. Thanks for the fragrant bouquet of blooms + poems, Karen. You have quite the green thumb!!

  9. Yes! Fat, happy faces of flowers. Lovely and fun and funny altogether. It's wonderful to see you back and wonderful to know you've been busy in all good ways.

  10. Irises and peonies-yes! I once planned a garden to celebrate my two favorites. The peonies did well and are still prolific bloomers, but the irises never cooperated, despite many tries. Perhaps some creature enjoyed the bulbs while I waited.

  11. I love all the poem you shared. So many gorgeous images in Oliver's Swan. These haiku are delightful to read, peony rice bowls and bees staggering out of peonies.

  12. These photos are gorgeous, Karen - peonies are so exquisite, aren't they? Thanks for the thoughtful lines to accompany them, too.

  13. Karen, I love the peony plant and wish that mine budded slowly. but because of our trip to Central NY for the funeral I did not get a chance to enjoy its beauty. Thanks for the haikus that were delightful.