Thursday, January 04, 2007

Christmas Lilies

These lilies are known in New Zealand as Christmas lilies because that is when they bloom.

The prompt at Poetry Thursday this week on gumball poetry intrigued me, and I planned to write a poem inspired by it. But life intervened - just as I had to start work again after Christmas the visitors started arriving. I guess their holidays are longer than mine. So I have been hostessing, and other things, instead of writing.

Instead I pulled this poem about Christmas lilies out of my files. The summer I wrote this we were having a drought. This year we just had our coldest wettest December on record. Almost like a nothern hemisphere Christmas. So it's good to have this poem to remind me that summer still exists! (It has been sunny since yesterday when I started work again. I wonder if it will last till the weekend?)

Christmas Lilies

On the twelfth day, Christmas is almost through.
At the deserted garden centre I buy lobelia fulgans,
gazania, red-frilled lettuces
and hope they will survive the heat.

Christmas lilies sprawl across the bare patch
I plan to fill. As I lift and bunch them,
anthers laden with pollen paint
bright strokes of yellow across my shirt.

I tie green armfuls to stakes with soft bands,
trowel holes in the earth, place my purchases,
firm the soil around them

and pray, as near as I know how, for rain
and that some bright gold lingers,
as the year lurches into winter


Crafty Green Poet said...

That's lovely, very visual. I love those lilies.....

Anonymous said...

Beautiful lilies and lovely description to accompany the photos.
(I also was too busy to respond to the prompt.)

Anonymous said...

I love, love lilies. We have very similar Easter lilies.

The eternal hope of the gardener praying on the whims of the seasons.

Unknown said...

I do not know if I am having a total dyslexia day or what, but I read "Christmas Lilies" as "Christmas Lies" and "almost through" as "almost trough" which of course changes the meaning of the poem a lot - and I didn't mind, to be honest! One of my favorite things is finding something in a poem that may or may not be there simply because of what I have brought to teh table...thanks for this!

liz elayne lamoreux said...

"anthers laden with pollen paint
bright strokes of yellow..."

i had to read this line several times because i loved the way it tripped across my tongue. then i read the entire poem a few times because, really, the rhythm of it all captivated me.

so glad the ideas over at PT are completely and totally optional (hee, hee) so you decided to share this one today.

Deb said...

I, too, love this poem.

How nice to share you gardening hope with you with us (especially as the US Pacific Northwest rain and cool weather means my planting time is months off.)

I know those golden tracks well. Strong image. Nice New Years anthem.

Deb R said...

I love those lilies! I think we just call them trumpet lilies here. I like your poem too.

Unknown said...

I loved the photo's Really colourful. I think the general theme is everywhere is getting warmer Mother Earth is not amused with us ;)

Found you via Michele's

Anonymous said...

I think this is truly wonderful. And I also truly think any poem can be a Gumball Poetry poem, so I think you should submit this one.

Anonymous said...

A very lovely poem. Delicate and hopeful.