NPWM Day 26: Fresh-Cut Flowers

I filled my home with flowers

Bouquets upon bouquets

In every vase I could find

and some make-shift vases as well

Gorgeous gladiolas

in crimson, yellow, white

Hydrangeas overflowing their vases

like clouds, like rising bread

A dozen white roses

holding their secrets close

beckoning you to lean in

and breathe in their mysteries

Bright gerber daisies, joyous

and forthright

I never have fresh flowers

I don’t buy them for myself

But they were going to be thrown out

so I took them by the armful

More than I could ever need

and arranged them, not so skillfully

And for one afternoon,

I was swathed in scent

of lilies and roses and snap-dragons

But like a cut-flower

it didn’t last.

I’m going out of town in the morning

and so I laid out a large plastic sheet

on the floor of my living room

and collected every carefully-cut flower

every arranged blossom

and laid them reverently in a pile.

It felt like laying them on the pyre.

I wrapped them all together in

the smothering plastic

Bundled them tightly

crushing their fragrant, unsullied petals

and threw them in the dumpster.

Is it strange to grieve their

untimely passing?  The waste

of their pristine beauty?

The selfishness of one 

brief afternoon filled with 

fresh-cut flowers?

NPWM Day 24: Between My Mind and Heart

I am afraid I’ve ripped a tear

between my mind and heart.

I’m not so good at sewing.

I don’t know where to start.

The ragged threads are all exposed.

The flaw is plain to see.

I must confess, I’ve made a mess

out of this tapestry.

I don’t think I can fix this.

I need a steady hand

to come and stitch my brokenness

without a reprimand.

I don’t need you to tell me

I’ve ripped myself apart.

I feel it every moment

between my mind and heart.

 

NPWM Day 23: The Louvre

The Louvre is so filled with masterpieces

that one doesn’t know

whether to feel awe or apathy.

Crowded in amongst Caravaggios and Pugets,

the tourists shuffle inch by inch

to view the masters.

But outside those carved marble halls

are shallow, flat pools

that reflect the facades

of the opulent wings of the building–

Denon, Sully, Richelieu.

Even their names are decadent.

Those mirror pools also reflect

the modern, simple

glass and metal pyramids

that emerge from that sumptuous ground

like progress, like industry.

And though there are riches untold–

oil paintings, sculptures, frescoes–

contained within,

it is the exterior of the Louvre,

those peaceful rippling pools,

the slow cigarette-burn of dusk,

that overrides the senses

and remains vibrant in memory.

NPWM Day 22: Lantern

This morning, when I went to get in my car

in the empty parking spot next to it

lay an orange paper lantern

the kind you set fire inside

and the heat billows within the tissue paper

to make it rise, glowing and magical

into the empty night sky

 

In the light of day

it lay there crumpled on its side

the breeze gently moving it

so that it looked like it was breathing

inhale, exhale

panting softly on the ground

after its one glorious flight

 

The wick inside it had burned to ash

The paper sides of the lantern

were streaked black from the flames

Its orange flanks rose and fell

like a horse ridden too hard

until its wind is broken

 

I picked it up

and set it gently to rest 

in the cool morning grass

with reverence

It deserved no less

For how many can say

that the fire inside them

burned so fiercely

that it carried them to skim the stars?