Sweet Discoveries

Perhaps my favorite thing about this blogging life is the chance to discover sweet new things — like some migrant flower taking refuge beneath familiar leaves in the garden. Today, for example, some photos from my own garden led me to this poem by Mary Oliver. Enjoy!

– – – – –

Peonies
by Mary Oliver
from New and Selected Poems

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,

as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open–

pools of lace,

white and pink–

and all day the black ants climb over them,


boring their deep and mysterious holes

into the curls,

craving the sweet sap,

taking it away


to their dark, underground cities–

and all day

under the shifty wind,

as in a dance to the great wedding,



the flowers bend their bright bodies,

and tip their fragrance to the air,

and rise,

their red stems holding



all that dampness and recklessness

gladly and lightly,

and there it is again–

beauty the brave, the exemplary,



blazing open.

Do you love this world?

Do you cherish your humble and silky life?


Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?


Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,

and softly,

and exclaiming of their dearness,

fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,



with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,

their eagerness

to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are

nothing, forever?

• • •

Photos ©2012, Jen Payne

4 thoughts on “Sweet Discoveries

  1. If anything could make me like peonies, the blowsy beauties, it might be these photographs you’ve taken. They are lovely shots, all delicate shapes and even more delicate colors.

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