Saturday, May 14, 2011

They might be poppies


I thought at first they were poppies,
flashes of blood red smudged
against the sky of the dying day,
natural tombstones anchored
in fields of summer green.
I brought you one that day,
you remember. You touched
each petal lightly, tracing
your fingers along the edges.
He died at the Somme,
you said, a half-written letter
in his pocket. I wouldn’t read it,
you said, staring at orange
purple clouds of sunset,
but I have it still.

Dedicated to Charity Singleton*
This poem is submitted to One Shot Sunday, hosted by One Stop Poetry. To see more poems based on one of five photo prompts by photographer Fee Easton, please visit the site.

*This poem is dedicated to Charity Singleton. If you make a donation to The High Calling during the month of May, I've committed to dedicate a poem to you. Just let me know via the comment box or an email that you made a donation (not the amount).

Photograph by Fee Easton. Used with permission for One Stop Poetry.

24 comments:

dustus said...

Wonderful color contrast in both beginning and end of the poem, between which you build a touching scene. "against the sky of the dying day, / natural tombstones anchored" Great lines throughout, Glynn. The tombstone reference in particular against the sunset impacts both visually and emotionally.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Oh...this is too damn good!
You haven't missed a beat or word.
Spectacular poetry.

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Poppies and image used well to show the links to death and hope

Brian Miller said...

nice glynn you just took the field and opened it up...also love the rap to color beginning to end...great 1ss

Bob Spencer said...

You always take your poems to a place I didn't expect them to go. Exceptional.

Charity Singleton said...

Glynn - thank you for the dedication! This poem was beautiful and haunting and reminiscent of all the hard things we put off and dread. Even the hard, beautiful things.

Claudia said...

wow glynn - i liked this a lot - amazing where you were going with this picture - this was a very unexpected path but deep with meaning and beautifully written

ayala said...

I like this...very nice,deep and beautiful.

Isabel said...

great writing. very descirptive and touching.

Louise Gallagher said...

This is great!

"natural tombstones anchored
in fields of summer green."

beautiful!

Steve Murphy said...

Oh the closing lines lifted hairs on the back of my neck Glynn - poppy fields mean the Somme and everything else around it to me - beautiful !

BKP said...

I find it quite interesting that you interpreted this in your text as a sunset, and I viewed it as a dawn. Descriptively concise in your take on the prompt, and the analogous tombstone reference is obviously well-played.

-Pounds

Arron Palmer said...

Simply gorgeous piece of conversation-prose-style poetry, driven home with the uses of "you remember" and "you said". This is so subtly heartwrenching, it almost shouts it in a whisper. You have closed this poem at just the perfect time, in the perfect way, to achieve maximum effect. Seriously good Glynn, my fav of the responses if I'm to be honest (and there wasn't a single bad one, discounting my own of course!). Well done mate.

Sally J said...

poppies, despite the well known link between war, death and remembrance, you have given them new life, new meaning and new significance with this poem. Lovely , sad poem.

Ann Grenier said...

Vibrant images, a bit of mystery and haunting overtones. Poignant and beautiful, Glynn. I looked at Fee's photo and thought "Oh, beautiful poppies, reflected in the red clouds." :)

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

A very nice piece, written here, a picture well drawn with words

Reflections said...

Wonderfully written. Love the vibrancy of color drawn through your words, an urgency... yet serene in the remembering.

The Linnet said...

Beautiful poem, I love the unread letter.. just fantastic :)

Following now.

Abi

Penny said...

poignant. Excellent.

JL Dodge said...

Love the imagery here, you really made it wonderful for me in the lines 'You touched
each petal lightly, tracing
your fingers along the edges.'
memories flood !
thanks for that !
JL&B

signed...bkm said...

Beautiful and you pull the meaning of the red poppy straight to the heart Glynn...wonderful..bkm

Patricia said...

I can't help but treasure that letter too. The secrets held within that letter are so powerful. So much said in not disclosing the contents. Thank you Glynn. Plus, I just love the colors Fee captured.

S. Etole said...

The poppies appear to be waving to the sky in victory ....

Randy Behavior said...

This was lovely. I liked how you let the photo lead you to something more personal to you.