Thursday, June 21, 2012

Poem 4 - Geraniums

Ever run across a line in a book or poem or scripture that really sticks with you? The line “you can’t bloom that way” is one of those for me, a touchstone, a reality check. It comes to me unbidden, when I’m having a tough day, when I’m tempted to not care about something as much as I should, and especially when I need to step back from the duties of life because I’m neglecting myself. It reminds me that neglect can only lead to feelings of inadequacy and oppression. And there’s much too much at stake to work for the world and ignore the self.

Linda Hogan

Life is burning
in everything, in red flowers
abandoned in an empty house,
the leaves nearly gone,
curtains and tenants gone,
but the flowers red and fiery
are there and singing,
let us out.
Even dying they have fire.
Imprisoned, they open,
so like our own lives blooming,
exploding, wanting out,
wanting love,
And you, with your weapons and badges
and your fear about what neighbors think
and working overtime
as if the boss will reward you,
you can’t bloom that way
so open the door,
break the glass. There’s fire
in those flowers. Set off the alarm.
What’s a simple crime of property
when life, breath, and all
is at stake?

What I love about this poem:
Other than the line “you can’t bloom that way,” I love the passion of the poem, the way it builds momentum and all comes to a head. And I love the imagery. Can’t you just picture that geranium plant, abandoned and near death. I see the room, hazy with light and dust, like those Instagram photos everyone is taking these days.

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