Thursday, December 12, 2013

Evergreen


Evergreen



For
Christmas
one  year my
grandmother  got  a
small poinsettia, feet wrapped
in green foil, top red as the blood
 on the split palms of Jesus over her bed,
a scarlet  exotic swaying its  tropical  hips,
taller each winter, bloomlessly braced on a broken
hula-hoop, reborn evergreen; in her house, like Christmas,
things always
lived..




~December 2013



55 red, green and blue memories for     the g-man






Process notes: photo is of my Swedish grandparents, Clara and Ragner, on one of their sixty-odd wedding anniversaries.( I'm guessing year 30 here.) My grandmother's dress was river blue with grey-blue, pale green, and white paisleys, very filmy, and my grandfather's tie, his favorite, was dark blue and loud with a gold/deep green leaf design. The poinsettia was literally both an exotic and an extravagance back then--I believe it was a gift from one of my uncles--and it did end up, rather emaciated but huge ,staked  on an old red hula-hoop in a giant pot, where it grew like a vine and was alive the last time I saw her, Christmas 1976,





Photo (c) joyannjones. All rights reserved.

19 comments:

  1. pretty cool on how it just kinda took off...i like the pairing of the broken with that which seems to be so full of life...and if most things came alive there i imagine it to be a pretty special place...hope the eyeballs enjoy that rest...smiles.

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  2. She has hair like mine, but there's no way I'd keep a poinsettia going that long.

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  3. Beautiful. Love those tropical hips and that she kept it braced with a hula-hoop.

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  4. Joy....
    This is my favorite post of yours flat out!!
    You just painted a picture memory for many of your readers.
    I just love peeks into the family trees of folks. We are so diverse!
    Thanks for the Holiday Cheer Hedge, you just ROCK!
    Have a Kick Ass Week-End

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    1. Thanks, G. I made an effort not to be dismal for you. ;_)

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  5. What a pretty poem--they look very appreciative of each other., and it's a wonderful image--compliment--to pay to someone--to say about someone. My grandmother a bit like that--there was always something good to eat around her--she just made it so, even as a very old lady.
    There is also something peculiarly american about the poem, I thought--though maybe that's my chauvinism. Lovely. k.

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    1. Thanks,k. Just a snapshot poem. Grandmothers are the wisewomen of our culture, yes? Mine was also good about the delicious stuff--she baked and cooked wonderful things until her very last years.

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  6. Well, I love the shape poem and I love the photo and the words just bring home "family" to me. My grandmother had a green thumb and I don't know how as she always kept the window curtains closed - didn't want fading in the winter nor the heat of the sun in the summer!

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  7. ... 'Grandmothers are the wisewomen of our culture, yes?' YES! YES!
    Love the trip down your memory lane and the tree!

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  8. This is beautiful Joy, and reminds me of my grandma. She had a green thumb up to her elbow and she and grandpa were farming organic before it was cool...or even heard of. Thanks for the sweet memory.

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  9. Loved your tree shaped Christmas memory poem about your g'mother. Wise women, indeed. Or so I pray! And I especially loved your tender description of your g'mother's and g'father's clothes. So immediate and personal. Thanks for this.

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  10. First, that photo of your Grandparents is so beautiful. You can see the love - how they look at each other and ignore the camera. And that plant sounds remarkable. So many of the things we take for granted, and have such easy access to these days, were rare and special not that many years ago. Loved this, hedgewitch.

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  11. sweet, H, and well formed. 60-odd, some very, I'd imagine, and impressive. The middle line - split palms - a keen observation and connection of the commingled festivals: the tree and the (alleged) One. ~

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  12. Nice. The imagery of the poinsettia is wonderful. Well-penned. And I quite feel the burdens of time reading the anecdote you have shared.
    -HA

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  13. A great living portrait of a tradition that, in a sort of unChristian way, lives on ... I read once that the cult of cutting down trees harkens back to the myth of Attis, who was sacrificed to Cybele at the winter solstice by hanging him on a cypress. There's another I heard that the cutting of trees was in defiance of some older Levant tradition that celebrated a tree-goddess named Mar-i (hmmm). Whatever the case, holidays can be straight-jacketed, like religion, into rigorous traditions - to see 'em breathe here, uncorsetted (OK, loosened) , is like a whiff of -- pine spruce. Whoops, there's 110 to your 55, sorry -- and thanks ... Merry green grove to ya! - Brendan

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  14. I loved the layering effect of lives and traditions bleeding into day. I am sitting at my kitchen table by a tropical red right now. Clever and so wonderful to bring this memory into focus!
    You made me think of my grandparents-what a cherished view! They look so happy Susie~
    Beautiful verse

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  15. I love the last eight words in this poem.

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  16. What a beautiful tribute to someone who got it right. This is nothing but lovely.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg