Yellow tulips with pointy petals

Six-pointed stars
cup sunshine,
burning white at
their pointy tips.
They harken back to
early Turkish tulips,
before naturalists
collected species
like trading cards
to boast, brag and
propagate, a diaspora
of scattered petals
across new worlds.
I’m a cultivar,
harkening back to
generations of poets,
quietly lost in dark
forests of words,
looking ever upward
to find reason and rhyme.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: These are lily-flowered tulips from my neighbor’s garden. My great-grandfather wrote poetry, carefully rhyming each line. I think about him, starting in pencil, selecting each word with care, then typing slowly. He wasn’t Thoreau or Wordsworth, but I remember him.

poetry friday button

This post is for Poetry Friday tomorrow, this week hosted thanks to Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children. Sylvia has been combining science and poetry at her site, and she is co-creator (with Janet Wong) of the Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, a wonderful, bilingual collection of holiday poems for kids. I never knew there were so many holidays, including El día de los niños/El día de los libros, celebrated every April 30.

21 thoughts on “Cultivar

  1. Poetry is in your blood! Love hearing about your great-grandfather. You are indeed a rare cultivar, cupping sunshine, cultivating beautiful words and ideas. Charming poem :).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it came in part because of Big Magic where she discusses her book about horticulture. I’ll have to read that one, too. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Violet. I love your name, by the way. I always wanted a flower name.


  2. I love the idea that you are a ‘cultivar’, Brenda. An uncle and my mother wrote poetry too, and so many read it to me, I know that my love of literature comes from them. It’s a beautiful poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your grandfather must have left a great poetry impression on you! I’m just trying to imagine you so little and admiring his work. 🙂 My mother and her mother dabbled in writing poetry, and they were rhymed too, but they didn’t write that many, or often. I’m sure these moments, brief or otherwise, have quite an impression on who we become as an adult. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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