Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sunflower In Winter

Sunflower In Winter

at the rust-wire fence
as a sunflower dried
grey, prickled winter head
tossed in tepid wind,
 blown after bloom,
crooked as doom

consumed, folded
of air, hollow;

dangling like a dead hand,
grey fingers
on grey to follow;

my landscape
of lost
where winter

is only
a way the light falls.

~March 2016

 posted for   real toads

Images: The Garden With Sunflower, 1887, Vincent Van Gogh, public domain
Winter Sunflowers, © joyannjones 2014


  1. "dangling like a dead hand"...oh that's well put, and you continue the metaphor beautifully to the end. G Man would be stoked to see you posting a 55 this morning, and so am I.

  2. A really beautiful close here especially, Joy--for all we complain of extremes, the loss of them would bring a very pallid, dead handed (I'm thinking of extremities) place for sure; and describing winter as simple a shift in light, though true enough, brings forth a picture of whether grim and mournful greys, tinged with rust. Great use of sunflower, and I like dead hand especially as I think about the historic idea--i guess it was the church or something holding on to all its land and stopping growth of a sort--something like that--anyway, the echo resonated for me. Great piece to come back with. k.

  3. This has such a strong feeling of melancholy, especially the closing makes me really feel that even winter ceases to sting with pain... the loss consistent, and winter's just another slant of light. The image of using that bent sunflower is so strong... I realize how much I have missed your writing.

  4. I remember, as a child, marveling at a tall sunflower that came up in our garden, with a bowl of seeds the size of a dinner plate. It was sad for me to see it also wither and be torn up when it was finished. It seemed such a powerful bloom.
    Thanks for participating, Joy. I hope you are feeling better.

  5. I love sunflowers, dead one? even better. your end is superb.

  6. Love it, every word. And Shay's right G-man would love it too. So, with him in mind, have a kick-ass weekend (what's left of it).

  7. This is a visual I know well and you have described it so well. I love sunflowers for the color and joy they seem to bring us, but especially how they attract bees and birds. Vast fields in the midwest are so stunning.

  8. Yes, I feel the melancholy, yet your ending is a candle. "my landscape of lost extremes,
    where winter is only a way the light falls" Beautiful

  9. Gorgeous. I particularly love the conclusion – haunting.

  10. winter consuming life and light so brilliantly the image of sun/flower growing grey....

  11. the person(a) who in winter is "bent... as a sunflower..." reminds me too well of those of us who manage, or suffer, through back pain - yet the flow of dark that fills each winter's day is tempered, isn't it, as you observe in the close?

    which, btw, I first read as "fails" - as in my failing eyes, I suppose.

    I hope your own bent back battles improve... ~

  12. Winter has such an effect on all living bodies... But in the end, it is true that at the heart of it lies only a change of light... and how deeply that shift affects the shape of things.

    The last two stanzas left me thinking, Yes, it will pass... eventually.

  13. It takes a snowman mind to read this as what is, beyond "extremes," become the wind around a deadsunflower leaning against a wire fence. A poem of winter beyond winters. Beyond poetry, and yet most poetry; its blossoms and sings beyond extremes. And, so named, the poem after winter can be named. What remains. The Joanie Mitchell song is a flower pressed in that book of going long ago, and here it is. Bravo. Bring it on.

  14. This Joni Mitchell recording works so well with the tone of your poem. Lovely.

  15. Winter as "the way the light falls," great. As a reflection of what may be. I really connected with this, Hedgy. The whole scene, the droop of former blossoms, sort of a menopause feeling for me! (lol)

    I am off FBook for awhile, so I will try to get on the stuff that matters more. Like your blog! Love, Amy


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

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