Saturday, January 9, 2016

Island of Flowers

Island Of Flowers

I saw it glow
on the next to last wave,
as I sailed in a peashell
that troweled the ocean,
saw light beauty its shores
red, purple and blue
on fire with flowers
soaking in pollen, music'd with bees
and a humming that flew out
netting the sea.

When my trowel-boat
came to port on the loose
sandy beach, a peashell at rest 
donating its pea,
each step that I sank
was wavering a weight
like a drunken bee's legs
with his golden day's pay,
fitful but straight
through the center of day.

I Crusoe'd that isle
for my Fridayish needs,
looking out for a cave or
a hermit's leaned hut where I
might suddenly find thee
dreaming my dreams,
sleeping in flowers,
goat-milking the sun,
singing full chapters
of love to the moon.

But summer moved on
with no footprint at all;
the island grew cold
and still with the change,
brimmed up with bone
and all that I saw as
I dug in my trowel
not to sail but to hollow
my deep sandy bed,
was a sepia suite

of the husked and the bent,
the stems of a twist 
and the nodding head's need
uncolored, uncapped, with
a place to plead
from the wind and the sea
blowing with seed.

~January 2016

posted for   real toads

Image:Flowers,by Odilon Redon
Public domain via
Photo: Seeds 2, © joyannjones 2013


  1. Gorgeous...the language and tone is exquisite and befitting of the challenge...a favorite for me:

    "a humming that flew out
    netting the sea."

    So unique!!

    Lovely write, very visual, Hedge! :)

  2. The imagery is so absolutely gorgeous in this poem, I was mesmerized - no way to repeat all my fave bits - too many - but I especially love "music'd with bees" and "goat-milking the sun". Very fine.

  3. What is the beauty if there is none to share it with. To crusoe without fridays.. I love the story and can see the shipwrecked soul sitting there in withered beauty. Like a miss Havishham with her moldy wedding cake.... Brilliant writing but so sad.

  4. You had me at:

    I sailed in a peashell
    that troweled the ocean

    This is an entirely delightful read, putting me in mind of some of the favourite poems of my childhood(setting to sea in a sieve, the owl and pussycat's pea-green boat). I especially love the stanza which begins: 'I Crusoe'd that isle...'

    1. Thanks, Kerry. That particular stanza just dropped into my lap intact--so rare and always fun when that happens. So glad you enjoyed it.

  5. This island is of a flowering or a flowering need, frigated there by a trowel-boat no less, that gardener's creed! Yet as garden of love it disappoints and is harrow of that loss, so much so that it is heartland in fallow winter, the trowel-boat become a bone buried in the sand. Yet there's something rooted in that, and the end-task-- to grow a sail great enough to catch seeds blowing on the wind--bears great promise, if not to find love, to make it, grow it anyway. Or so I gloss when I'm not enjoying the flora and fauna of so many lines. The weaving of gold and silver is just so rich ("soaking in pollen, music'd with bees" a fave) that I got lulled out of the meaning-search diving in all the combs. Maybe it's an echo asking a shadow to dance, but what a fine jig on the sands.

    1. You have definitely danced with the shadow and listened to the thought that gives the music's echo, B. Thanks for this challenge--while I feel I am being rather obvious here in my execution of it, I did enjoy the sail.

  6. A new favoties. I am sorry--I can't really see what I am typing though I could read the poem--the images are original and vivid here, as well as harking back to traditional imagery of a sort so there is a wonderful resonance that you've also made your own--I especially like --I was going to say the stanza about the goatmilking but actually, I especially like them all--the boat donating the pea is so clever, the bee heavy legs--the singing of the chapters, the sepia suite--so very apt and translatable--the wanting of a soul mate to dream the same dreams and the absence of foot print, etc, the blowsy seeds at end--a lovely cadence too--I have never gone to sea in a pea green boat--k.

  7. ps - except now I feel I have. k.

    1. I was thinking of a verse from an old folksong I heard in the 60's. k--'I've got a secret that none can tell/ I'm goin to heaven in a split-pea shell..' it is a simple image that has always stayed with me, and it does indeed echo the Lear. Thanks as always for your kind words and expressive thoughts on my work.

  8. That second stanza is killer. I adore it. also really love the "chapters" line. Oh the islands we suspect we may find, do sometimes find, and then remember for the rest of our lives. *sigh*

  9. It's the third stanza that blew me away, but all of this is exquisite. As soon as I saw this prompt, I was looking forward to reading what you would do with it.

  10. even in the bleak last stanza, there is implicit hope - seed is the last word, but it's also what begins the next cycle... ~

  11. I love when you craft poems that I would recognize as yours even if they had no names. It's what you paint and sing with words, I love most: the "sail[ing] in a peashell", "music'd with bees", the "Crusoe[ing of] that isle"... Your stories within stories take me to so many places at once... And regardless of how dark things get, I know you're there... I won't be lost; from beneath the unforgiving snow, flowers will spring...


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