Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inside the Tulip

For all of you, hungry for color, this rainy Sunday morning:

Inside the tulip:
six matches and a burst of yellow flame.
The eye's own solar flare unfurls,
burning away distance,
reaching into red.

This is not the way my mind usually works, turning an image directly into words. But the poem arrived in its own unbidden fashion, just this moment. I'm not going to question it. Here, it's yours.

The photo was taken in my kitchen last week. No "real" tulips yet. Click on image to enlarge.


Unknown said...

Gorgeous. I love it when tulips open out and start to reach out from the vase in their own direction.

Christine said...

Hi, Annie -- yes, the way the stems splay and meander as they wind down. Good to hear from you.

Deborah Batterman said...

This image is simply spectacular . . . and I loved reading the poem ("Light") you shared the other day.

Christine said...

Thank you, Deborah! Yes, David Lazar is an intriguing writer.

Nancy Rose Steinbock said...


I've just shared a lesson with one of my older students, Lisa (pronounced as the Italian "Leeza") after lending her, "Stirring the Mirror." I opened your blog and we were both so taken with your wonderful tulip photo and the ensuing poetic lines to extend the image beyond the visual -- wonderful! She will be in touch soon as she would like to buy your book but in Venice, we are suffering intermittent internet -- age has its price. Also, we just read together, a poem you gave me so long ago, "Murano" by Mark Doty. It is out on a credenza -- it was nice to revisit it with her and of course, laugh at the cards that you gave me that I also have left enclosed in the book that they accompanied. What a treat on a grey, getting-ready-to-rain day. . .I have to go make an angel-food cake (why am I still always in the kitchen between students and writing!) but I did take a quick peek at the NYTimes piece. I relived that early, early, early morning phone call when you had just returned from the hospital, made even more visceral with your noting that you 'literally shared her last breath.' May we always live so deeply.

Christine said...

Nancy! How lovely of you to take the time to write such a generous, loving note. Thank you so much for sharing the poetry and photos with your student. So great to hear your voice earlier and to learn about your many new projects! Yes, living deeply ... our goal.