Iris Giants


My garden is peopled
with bearded giants,
purple, plump, and
peppered with gold dust.
I hope irises are friendly
and don’t nibble holes in the
Queen Anne’s Lace or bite off
fairy toes or
bumble nose.
Giants are a fright.

Were I the size of a bee,
how would they seem to me?
Would I think them grand
purple palaces or
wily amethyst dragons?
Or would they be sweet shops
with nectar-topped bon-bons?
Or might they be sweat shops
of pushy purple plants demanding,
“Not there!”
“Walk here!”
“A little to the right!”

If I were a bee,
I would rush to visit,
drink deeply, and linger.
I’d taste each morsel twice —
for those magnificent blooms
last only one day.
Then they crumple, curl up
and withdraw, letting another
bud shine.
By design,
nature says “Good night.”

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: Happy Poetry Friday and thanks to Penny Parker Klostermann at Blog-a Penny and her Jots for hosting. Head there for the weekly poetry party with drinks, oops, I mean links, for all.

Poetry Friday with kids


65 thoughts on “Iris Giants

  1. This is lovely Brenda….if only we knew for a day what it was like to be a bee, or anything really small! I expect the garden would be like flying in a giant pop up book, but with extra dimensions. Oh, and just imagine the fragrance….might just blow our noses off…haha!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve listed so many imaginative ways of looking at the iris. Some favorites are “purple palaces” and “amethyst dragons.” That business of bearded irises always gives me pause–how can something bearded be so pretty?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Spring and irises seem like such faraway things now! It’s hard to believe that my sad-looking mess of an iris bed will spring back to life and rule the garden as giants in 8 months or so! I enjoyed your multi-faceted (hat tip to the bee’s point of view) tribute to the iris. Nice use of alliteration in the first stanza!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brenda,
    I enjoyed your perspective on bearded irises. What fun! I especially liked the sweat shop lines.
    I’ve been thinking of you lately when I read a piece about talking to your fairies and asking them to help you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My mom had lots of the purple dragons in her garden… so easy to grow! I was always fascinated with the knife-like leaves and how you could see the swelling of a stalk as it erupted between the blades. A wonderful poem about these common, yet unusual, flowers! I also amazes me that they really don’t have much of a scent, for such a majestic flower.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are so very three-dimensional, not plate-like as so many blooms are. They are a challenge to paint. I took this photo and thought and thought about something new to say about them. I’m glad I managed to get there in the end. Thanks for commenting.


  6. We’ve had bees in the lavender all summer and so this poem was a lot of fun for me. I’m with Michelle – love the bees checking out the “nectar-topped bon-bons”!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The bees around here are so, so busy, and I’m told that it’s because of an unusually harsh winter coming. I love that you imagined those “giants” ordering the bees around, and I like reading this aloud, Brenda, lovely wordplay “letting another
    bud shine.
    By design,”- nice!

    Liked by 1 person

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