Monday, April 27, 2009

Tulips


We will stand
as tall as tulips
on sun-lathered days
when clouds are
children’s toes
testing baths of
blue naiveté

But when showers
blur a higher vision
and wind peels back
your tenderest fingers,
sink against a
grounded shoulder
and feel these colors
marble

26 comments:

Aniket said...

Gorgeous pic Sarah!

And a lovely poem to accompany it.

I hopped in here to shout at you for posting only once a week these days and found a new post.:-) You are turning this to mumbles... Its unacceptable. I had to turn to your older entries on Jason's contest to satisfy my reading thirst. :D :D

Sarah Hina said...

Aniket, cut a girl a break! I've been making real progress on my new novel research and brainstorming, okay? Okay?? :P

I'm trying very hard not to sweat the "mumbles" factor. If only I worked faster...but alas, I am as slow and plodding as the proverbial turtle.

(You're going to make me hit the hard stuff tonight as self punishment. Thanks a lot. ;))

laughingwolf said...

superb imagery, sarah :)

Karen said...

You make beautiful comparisons, Sarah, and I love how you turn the declarative of the first stanza to the imperative of the second. In all ways, you include the one spoken to, from first individual strength to the final bond that will hold him up.

Couching this in the comparison of the flowers makes it especially beautiful - in aspect and form.

Catvibe said...

Amazing photo Sarah, god the colors are so incredible, aren't they? All day I've been out in the garden slaving away to keep the color coming and coming...

I love, 'sink against a grounded shoulder and feel these colors marble'. Yum.

David Cranmer said...

Three S's: Short. Sweet. Superb.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Great figurative language and graceful, poetic thoughts invented here.

when clouds are
children’s toes
testing baths of
blue naiveté

You possess a sensitivity that allows you to express things in a beautiful and romantic way. *sigh*

Sarah Hina said...

Laughingwolf, thanks so much! I just loved those tulips. :)

Karen, your comments are so insightful for me. I always sense your wonderful background in literature and teaching as you so easily sum up my thoughts and intention. Your students were very lucky, I think. :) Thank you for your warm words here.

Cat, you slave for a worthy cause! I cheated and borrowed someone else's flowers. :D Any garden photos forthcoming on your blog?

Thanks for your kind comments and for pointing out that line! I liked the red/yellow hybrid in that pic. :)

David, my Sincerest thanks. ;)

K, a *sigh* from you is the highest form of praise. :D

Seriously, thank you for pointing out lines that spoke to you. I was restless with this poem until I thought of that very image, so I'm grateful it touched you too!

Charles Gramlich said...

"Sun-lathered." Excellent!

Greener Bangalore said...

wow thats wonderful Sarah.....nice poem and the tulip snap too...

Linda S. Socha said...

Dear Turtle....Well worth the wait!
Lovely imagery to the point of near tears
Linda

Aniket said...

Okay okay... Do your brainstorming and whatever you do to come up with such stories. As it is there are plenty of your older posts that I haven't read yet. So I'll keep myself occupied. :-)

As it is the first few posts of any blogger are more fun to read. Because they all are experimenting initially... testing themselves. And more stuff comes from heart than mind in the initial stages.

So you are safe (at the moment :D)
As long as you remember your first out of country shipment promise okay?

the walking man said...

It is a good Sarah, very good but...

The second verse really required a careful reading for it to come through to my slow brain.

I got the peacefulness and exhilaration of the first verse, the tentativeness of the people emerging from winter to the new warmth expecting, hoping, that all would progress calmly.

And I got the part about troubles coming on and taking away the expectation presented in the first verse.

Now after looking at it for 10 minutes I think what threw me off was that you established the metaphor of Tulips/clouds for 'us' but broke the imagery here:

"fingers,
sink against a
grounded shoulder"

*shrug* I may have been less confused if you'd have continued on with non human imagery to represent.

Perhaps petals for fingers and trunk for shoulder?

I know I am lame when it comes to the more genteel side of writing imagery.

Aine said...

I do so need a grounded shoulder on those dreary days. I must remember to think of my colors marbling instead of washing away-- that's a much nicer outlook! Glad I have such wonderful friends!!
;)

jason evans said...

Oooh, yes. Gorgeous picture!!

The first stanza is so delicious. Like slipping into a warm, crystal water pool in summer. And even though there is a touch of shadow in the second, the shoulder and colors wash it away.

joaquin carvel said...

your imagery and ideas are always very romantic - but there is a power in them, too - not just passion, but conviction.

this is fantastic. were i given the choice to live in the first stanza or the second, i don't know if i'd be able to decide.....

Sarah Hina said...

Charles, thanks so much! :)

Greener Bangalore, I appreciate the warm words. I'm finally getting out and capturing the colors of spring. :)

Linda, that's terribly kind of you. I'm touched that this poem moved you so. Thank you. :)

Aniket, I couldn't forget that!

You make a good point about the early posts. I think that my Paris series from Murmurs' beginnings gave me the purest sort of writing high. I felt like I was in new, deliciously warm waters. Ahh...I'm getting all nostalgic. ;)

Walking Man, that's so funny you said that, because I had "petals" for "fingers" in the first draft! I guess I wanted a more human connection, and still thought that the fingers of a flower could be equated with petals in someone's mind. There was something more painful to me about "fingers," though.

And you couldn't be lame at all, with any kind of poetry! :) I truly appreciate the positive and the helpful feedback. I wasn't completely satisfied with this poem, anyway, so I took no offense. :D I appreciated your honesty and good will.

Aine, I'll say a big "ditto" to that! Thank you. :)

We all need those shoulders. If only to remind us that we are not standing alone in the rain.

Jason, thank you. :) I like that evocation of a summer pool. A reservoir of purest innocence and idealism.

And yes, the second stanza acknowledges some hard reality, but it's still the most trusting and gentle embrace of it.

Joaquin, I really like that you see conviction in my writing. Because in my life, I am often too uncertain. Perhaps that's what we hope to do as writers--strip away the doubts and insecurity, and just let some vital essence shine.

That's an excellent question about which stanza one would desire to live in. Probably the second for me--knowing some pain makes beauty all the sweeter.

Thank you for the wonderful comments. :)

Margaret said...

Sarah, your photo is just beautiful!

I love the incredible imagery you've created in your poem. It sends a "sigh" right through me!

It tells me not every day is "rosy". But even on those "darker" days we can:

"sink against a grounded shoulder
and feel these colors marble."

There can be color in every day of our lives.

Vesper said...

We will stand
as tall as tulips
This opening fills me with exhilaration... The whole poem is exquisitely beautiful and so is the photo.

deepazartz said...

Hi Sarah

I am here thru Aniket's new post(which you must've read by now) about his blogger Friends. He speaks highly of you all & so I thought of checking out all of you mentioned in his post.
And it has been worthwhile... Thanks to Aniket!

Your peom is lovely. The tulips look gorgeous..
Like most of them I liked these lines:

when clouds are
children’s toes
testing baths of
blue naiveté

&
wind peels back
your tenderest fingers,
sink against a
grounded shoulder

Beautiful:)
Nice meeting you. And all the best for your upcoming novel. Would love to read it:)

Jennifer said...

Sarah, I am sorry to be late in getting here, and partly for selfish reasons. Given the past two weeks, this poem really spoke to me--how easy it is to stand tall when things are as joyful as a sun-lathered day (and that is my favorite image, by the way) but that it's okay to sink sometimes, that there can be meaning in the sinking, that in finding a grounded shoulder something new and beautiful is created, something that maybe we would never reach if all we knew was a sun-lathered day.

Thanks for sharing this!

Sarah Hina said...

Margaret, so wonderfully said!

Rose-colored vision is a beautiful gift, but it can prove terribly elusive on the worst days. But it's always in grasp with someone loved by our sides.

Thank you for the warm words about the photo, too. Those spring colors just pop! :)

Vesper, I very much appreciate the kind words. :)

Tulips are such confident, certain flowers. I was very happy to stumble across these magnificent blossoms on our university campus.

Deepazartz, thank you so much for coming by from Aniket's! He is sending all sorts of wonderful people my way. :)

And thank you for the lovely words of praise here. I love finding out which lines linger with readers.

It's very nice meeting you, too. :)

Jennifer, no apologies allowed! You've just been to hell and back, after all (and btw, we're really glad you're back!!). ;)

As always, I love hearing your thoughts and interpretation. We all need those dear people in our lives who can comfort in the thick of life's slings and arrows, so that we once again can raise our eyes to the sky, more appreciative than before.

Hotwire said...

reading that was a great way to begin my weekend!

Chris Eldin said...

LOL, I wish I could say what Karen said. But much of poetry eludes me, which is why I love coming here because it's the course I've never taken.
I'm glad you're making progress on your second novel! That is always good to hear!!!
:-)

coffeeismypoison said...

I just want to take these pretty tulips and put them in a square glass bowl and keep them that way for as long as i possibly can...the photo is delicious...
And so are your words!! beautiful imagery...i came here from aniket's blog :) and he always speaks v.highly about ur work... :) will u please visit my blog and offer ur suggestions? I'd appreciate it a lot..
and cud u post some more...i'm eager to read more!

Sarah Hina said...

Hotwire, I'm so glad! :)

Chris, to be honest, I'm often baffled by the more technical aspects of poetry. So I do appreciate people like Karen and K. shedding some light for me, too. ;)

Thank you for the warm thoughts about my novel! It's coming along. :)

Coffeeismypoison, thank you so much for coming by! And for the kind words. :)

I will be posting a little less often, now that I'm working on a novel, too. But you're free to check out my archives, and I will try to stop by your blog soon!