Tulips – NPWM – April 24

One of the aspects of writing poetry that I enjoy most is the process of revision.  This current project of writing a poem a day doesn’t honour the process of the revision very well.  Revision is like the reduction process in making a excellent sauce…it needs slow simmering to intensify the flavours.  Sometimes a poem is elusive — an inspired idea until you try to put it on paper where it promptly falls apart.  Sometimes you mix the ingredients, set them to simmer and the sauce separates.

Today I pulled a poem out that exemplifies this process.  It just didn’t work when I first wrote it so I set it aside.  A couple of years later I pulled it out and made some revisions, but still, it just didn’t work.  Today I tried again.  Still not at all sure…but in the spirit of a ‘poem a day’ here it is.

Please feel free to comment on what works here and what doesn’t — maybe we can find the poem together.


Cut from the store, tulips sprint
across table tops in a rush, flashing
silken jerseys, stems all tangled but
collapse quickly; without stamina
blooms flail and fall even before
distracted spectators notice
the first blush is gone.

In the garden, tulips grow
slow and soft, emerging
like slender arms slipping
from the earth to reach upward
toward the source that kindles
fiery pots of red, orange and yellow
releasing their beauty
in one long melodic phrase.

© 2016 – Laurel Archer



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