Wild Roses Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Wild Roses
Vincent van Gogh, 1890

Because a rose can’t be a flower on its own
She collected grocery store roses
Behind the onions
In the corner of the produce section
Thorns shaven from their stems
Fragrance drown in artificial colors
Because a rose can’t be a flower on its own

She kept her roses in vases until the petals fell
and the stems stood naked in fetid water
While beneath her window wild roses grew
Although she didn’t know to name them
A tangled beauty of untended thorns
Sweet scent alive on a breeze that blew without a price
A priceless gift forgotten
She kept her roses in vases until the petals fell

Those wild roses
Taken in breaths never contained by glass
Alive with earth and rain and sun as gardeners
Leave to give life for the next bud
Exile themselves to the seed of creation
Without pause when bloom first turned to rot
Believing in the beauty of another day
The discovered design in an untouched imperfection
Those wild roses

They are the real poetry
The true song of life
Best taken with eyes closed and heart open
While the sun melts into someone else’s day
and the stars grow like secret wishes
Anointed in beauty
Love without trespass
Because those wild roses know
How to be flowers on their own
They are the real poetry


I am Charlie. I stand with the rights of freedom of speech and expression.

But…more than that, I am the Unseen Mother. I stand with the Muslim mother who had to decide how to explain to her children that members of her community chose violence over discourse…just as I have had to explain to my children why they practice hiding from a gunman in the halls of their school…and how I pray at night, as those mothers must pray, that my children will never grow into those men.

Morhardt Torso Francois August Rene Rodin before 1899 photo: Musee Rodin

Morhardt Torso
Francois August Rene Rodin
before 1899
photo: Musee Rodin

The hours
Drift before they linger
Turn back to weave again
A new row in the tapestry
Myself (as I see her)
Bent over a kitchen counter
Elbow stuck in spilled jelly
Crumpled notes
The coffee turned cold
A fragment of forgotten words
Like the ruins of an ancient place
This hour to wonder
On the beauty in between
Undone or unfinished
And the quiet patience of the dust


Today marks the one year anniversary of my diagnosis with lymphangioleiomyomatosis. I’ve come a long way since this posting last year, but I think Thanksgiving is a good reminder to be grateful for every last breath…

Originally posted on angiemflanagan:

Snowflakes by Wilson Bently

When I was a little girl, I had a recurring dream that a beautiful woman with dark hair smiled benevolently down at me.

“Would you like to see your life?” She asked. “How you live, and how you die?”

I can be a bit on the impatient side. I’ve always struggled with the urge to read the last page of the book first, so I let the woman take me by the hand. She led me into an ornate theater. Twin angels stood on either side of red curtains.

“Just say the word,” she waved toward the angels, “and they will open your life for you.”

As I sat in my velvet seat, I began to have my doubts. I was curious, but to lose the anticipation of Christmas mornings and new school years might be a terrible price to pay for having it handed over upfront. Eager as I’ve…

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The Nile River

What if time were a river?
The Nile maybe—
And the Amazon and the Mississippi too
All three tied together mouth to tail
to tail to mouth around our secret globe
We could travel forever
Always end up right back where we started
Find our old beginnings at our new endings
Years of living every single day
Find the seen and the unseen—
They always hold on tight to one another
We’d ride without oars or sails to catch the wind
Let that endless river carry us
Time holds her breath for no one.

The Fall

I went to find God
Behind the name
In a blue sky, those clouds
Too fleeting
In the night, those stars
Too distant
I spread myself wide
On the ground
Under an oak tree
in its dappled light
God? I whispered
A leaf fell
full of sunlight in my hand
Yes, said that blade of grass
against my skin
Those rocks at my feet
These last summer butterflies
Here I am in this moment
This life being lived
One breath to the next
I Am

Divan of Hafiz Binding Gul u Bulbul 1842, Iran Public Domain

Divan of Hafiz Binding Gul u Bulbul 1842, Iran
Public Domain

The Nightingale sings
in the rain by the water
where time draws ripples
and so does the sky. Her world is a tree
at the edge of the garden
near the old home’s foundation.
It’s roof in decay.

She softens her wings
to the sound of a whisper
when Night spreads his palm
like a priest over wine. The leaves fall around her
heavy with water. They age into ash.
Give birth to their death.

When the young buds make love
under blankets of snow
in the scattered remains
of that tree come undone, she finds
herself there. The bird she’s become.

She calls to the Night,
your name is inside me.
Wherever I go,
a nightingale I find.

She knows her own beauty
in the sound of her singing.
The half-second silence. Her voice
caught by the wonder. The call.
Her breath.

The stars hang down.
They’re old and they’re heavy. Tired,
they’ve journeyed from days far away.
If you happen to stand
at your window
to find her. Look up.
Take notice.
Life carries on.


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