by A. E. Stallings

The tulips make me want to paint,
Something about the way they drop
Their petals on the tabletop
And do not wilt so much as faint,
Something about their burnt-out hearts,
Something about their pallid stems
Wearing decay like diadems,
Parading finishes like starts,
Something about the way they twist
As if to catch the last applause,
And drink the moment through long straws,
And how, tomorrow, they’ll be missed.
The way they’re somehow getting clearer,
The tulips make me want to see
The tulips make the other me
(The backwards one who’s in the mirror,
The one who can’t tell left from right),
Glance now over the wrong shoulder
To watch them get a little older
And give themselves up to the light.
(Poetry, June 2009)
Lifted from here

12 responses

  1. What a good poem you’ve found to go with your very nice photograph, Lemony!

    April 28, 2019 at 10:25 am

    • Thank you, Linda. So glad you enjoyed the post!

      April 29, 2019 at 10:39 am

  2. Tulips incite one to intimate peeks. You were so incited, and with the poem, insighted.

    April 28, 2019 at 11:06 am

    • Such a nice comment, Michael–thank you!

      April 29, 2019 at 10:41 am

  3. derrycats


    April 28, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    • The tulip is doing all the work here! 🙂

      April 29, 2019 at 10:51 am

  4. Mesmerizing, like staring at a flickering flame.

    April 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    • Oh good–I’m glad the colors come through in such a vibrant way! It’s how they appeared to me in person! 🙂 Thanks, Steve!

      April 29, 2019 at 10:41 am

  5. I was enthralled by the firey tulip–and then I read the poem. A multitude of riches!

    April 28, 2019 at 2:35 pm

    • So happy you enjoyed the post, Liz! One of my favorite tulip poems is one by Sylvia Plath. Of course, it’s a much darker poem, but the imagery is unforgettable. After reading it, you can never think of tulips the same way again. Haha!. Maybe you are already familiar with it, but in case you’re not, here is a link where you can both read it and listen to Plath herself read it.

      April 29, 2019 at 10:48 am

      • Thank you for the link to Plath’s tulip poem; I hadn’t read it before. It was moving and eerie to hear her read it.

        April 29, 2019 at 10:56 pm

        • You are welcome!:-)

          May 7, 2019 at 10:50 am

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