Sunday, March 11, 2012


Two variations on a theme


Pansy, turn your bright face up.
Fill the sun up cup by cup,
Shine your dark eye through the snow.
Pansy, come where hope can’t go.

Make the crocus dance your tune.
Make the violet hang the moon
from your whisker, and daffodil
blow your song from the hollow hill.

Be the bridge that spans our loss.
Be the badge for those who cross.
Pour the spring out cup by cup.
Pansy, turn your bright face up.


There is no real winter
where the pansy grows,
green beneath the ochre leaves,
folded beneath the giving snow
that melts in the next day’s sun.

I hid her there when autumn stripped the
burning scales from July's red dragon,
snuffed his scorching breath
that bellowed across September. Now the wheel
revolves from bottom to top, and the
goldfinch lights his back sunflower yellow.

The first warm cheek of spring, the first
dithering wind that tickles dead leaves
skins open her amethyst bud
to silver in fretwork rain. She cavalcades
the brightest colors, heaves the strongest sighs
from earth’s stillborning dreams,
and through her rayed mask the answer gleams.

So come for spring’s first willow kiss, 
and lift your pansy face up to the sun.
Laugh under feathered sky with me
until the last and blackest dragon comes.

March 2012

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Sunday Mini (Photo) Challenge

Header photo: Pansy 'Jolly Joker', May 2008, © joy ann jones 2008-2012
Middle image: Pansy, mini-photo Instagram, by Ellen Wilson of Ella's Edge 


  1. Oh, tell me there is hope! When I was a child, I just loved pansies, and I still like them a lot. Even though we have not had much of a winter by our usual standards, I am still more than ready for Spring and for new updates from Hedgewitch's garden, which I very much enjoy hearing about.

    I liked the personification of the "first warm cheek of Spring".

  2. did you just call me a pansie? smiles....i am def ready for spring...some fun dance in the first part up cup cup...but the second stanza i think is my fav here...

  3. I love these pansy poems...the pansy hope in the first one...and the last where there is no real winter where the pansies grow. They are such delicate beauty but can survive the harshest conditions.

  4. I love your poem! I liked that you also used my pic, your photos is so pretty~ I love pansies...I use to call them fairy faces~
    I have to read your poem again; I'm enchanted~

  5. I love the first verse of the first poem, and the last verse of the second poem, and everything in between is wonderful, too.

  6. I always enjoyed pansies, but had no luck in growing them. I think I am pansy-jinxed. Your poem is beautiful and inspires me anew to try my luck!

  7. Both of these are delightful! The second variation is my favorite; I like its darker undercurrent, and the closing stanza is exquisite.

  8. i like them both, but the second was my fav. red and black dragons are my thing:)

  9. Exulting,
    I love the beautiful images of a pansy
    taking on a meaning
    that extends beyond the physical
    into something deeper
    and human.

    The first section really grabbed me,
    but the second section was also excellent.

  10. Gorgeous. What a delightful way to start a Monday morning! My grateful thanks to you. I'd love to hear this read. Better yet, sung.

  11. i love pansies and both of your poems are delightful dances with spring! i always enjoy when you write anything about plants or flowers because your affection and affinity for them comes ringing through in your words. thank you for sharing these with us. {i hope your injuries are almost healed, Joy.}

  12. Two amazing odes to the delicate pansy (one of my spring favourites).

    I love the sound qualities in the opening lines of number 1,

    Pansy, turn your bright face up.
    Fill the sun up cup by cup...

    and the gentle delicacy of the piece is so in keeping with the flowers.

    The second poem is roaring brilliant - each flower a tiny dragon breathing flames of colour.

  13. These are delightful. I like the first for its unabashed grin. I like the second with its darker undercurrent and delicious word choices. Both are great as always. Do you ever get tired of praise Hedge?

  14. Oh dear, everything was going so swimmingly! I'm going to be a contrarian and go for the delightful music of the first--admittedly the second has great lines, but I'm going to avoid dark dragons for the moment!

  15. You've done a lovely job, with lyrical verse, to convey the beauty and wonder of the humble pansy. I live in the Sonoran Desert where it can freeze one night and hit 80f the next afternoon. Pansies thrive here. I love them for their resilience and determination, in addition to their bright countenances.

  16. I like them both--the lilting quality of the first, and the more somber (yet hopeful) feel of the second. Love "Make the violet hang the moon" and "Earth's stillborning dreams"...
    Thank you for both.

  17. Love these:

    "So come for spring’s first willow kiss"

    "Laugh under feathered sky with me
    until the last and blackest dragon comes"

    And this from the first:

    "Pour the spring out cup by cup"

  18. Blake could get drunk on a flower, and stanza one is hooch enough for me, too, who gives a gardener's gnostic nod to such healing beauty. There's an intimacy in stanza one that shows how much, Dorothy, there is to be found in one's own back/front yard, in what comes "where hope can't go" ... With such pansy troth in mind, no wonder a proper charm is called for in stanza 2 for its revingoration this spring,for a fresh unfurling of pansy blooms but also a garden heart re-awakening, despite the brutalities of a winter just past or the hot summer sure to come. Love endures when pansies dance, eh ... (We have the intoxicating sugar of orange blossom everwhere in the air here these days, nature's pole-dance and love-shack. Even shrieky Tea-Partiers have been known to renounce their Nobama jermemiads and dance, these days.) - Brendan

    1. Now that would be a miracle of the Triple Goddess. I've smelled orange (and lemon blossom) only once, when I worked in a conservatory dating from the 30's where several amazing and venerable old citrus trees pressed up against the roofglass--the lemons were huge and sweet as mini-cantalopes, though the orange trees always dropped their fruit before it matured. The smell was...indescribable--I can only imagine bathing in it in its natural habitat. Glad you liked the pansies--they have not much smell, but a lot of life-force. Thanks for reading, B.

  19. I especially love the lilt and song of the first - but both are lovely. I adore pansy faces.........soon, kiddo, soon, you will be gardening. And, while my active gardening days are over, I will be tending my barrels of blooms (easier on the back). But it has snowed on and off all day here - so was thrilled to find pansies and warmth on your page.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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