Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My new favorite flower...

This is all that's left of a large, beautiful bouquet of peonies which gave me great pleasure every time I passed them this weekend.


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?

- Mary Oliver


A Brush with Color said...

Very lovely, Sharon! Peonies are such lush flowers, aren't they!? You captured them in this pretty painting!

Peachtreeart said...

Nicely done...great thing to be in love with obviously for you!

Jennifer Lawson said...

Beautiful painting, Sharon. I always loved when the peonies bloomed in Maine. Hope I get to see a few when I get home in a few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Love the sketch and the poem! Peonies are so lovely - and the moment passes so swiftly, then they are a puddle of colour on the ground. Mine are now over - wish I had painted them. Next year, I shall.

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

I love this, Sharon...your art, the poem, and my fading peonies...

laura said...

Peonies--even the word is beautiful. The silky pinks, light and dark; the splash of yellow inside ... and the fragrance! Lovely painting!!

Revelle said...

I do love peonies! I have planted 4 more clumps this year after I divided my first clump and was afraid it would die over the winter. They have thrived and are just about ready to burst open! Beautiful painting!

Linda said...

Sharon -- they are WONDERFUL flowers, I agree! Beautiful sketch and fabulous poem.

ClinkscalesArts said...

I love your peonies! Beautiful work!

Sherry said...

Lovely watercolor and a delicious Mary Oliver poem. My peonies haven't opened yet. I missed the lilacs and poppies while I was in Washington, but their glorious rhododendrons made up for it.

Anonymous said...

I think that is the most wonderful poem I've ever read. I've so often had those feelings and it's amazing to seem them so vividly described. The painting is terrific too. I don't know if I've ever seen a live peony, only paintings. I'd sure like to see one in real life!

Anonymous said...

A lovely, delicate painting Sharon! Beautiful colours.

Aarti Harish said...

The flowers are really pretty..!!