Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sunflowers in January

You are walking a country road there are no similes
there is the fullness of desire a
wooden cross brace between the spliced barbed wire a

wedding dress sparkling in a wide pasture beside a creek the
thorn bushes tangling there hampering this poem’s progress
tho the creek’s black water spills into being

you are many places at once the sky the highway rippling thru
fog to the south amongst the dozing sagebrush & your voice &
        your voice &
your voice on a phone in the dusk with grosbeaks in June &

you’re walking into a white clapboard garage in Vermont the
skis & snowshoes suspended on 16-penny nails the
pungency of motor oil & thawed earth

a wedding dress sparkling in a wide pasture beside a creek, the
willow’s orange limbs in the snow in Lake Fork next to
irrigation pipe on wheels sunk into snow-

drifts pink coneflowers erupting in honeybees amidst shimmering
August there are no similes there is the fullness of desire a
memory & another & another you’re looking into the future’s

shattered mirror iridescent & out-of-focus the
sagebrush evergreen gestures climbing the hill beyond
        barbed wire you’re
walking a sidewalk strewn with magnolia petals there are no

similes you are many places at once the empty bird’s nest in a
leafless aspen the stand of sunflowers in
January snow brittle & clenched & standing in place despite it

Jack Hayes
© 2010


  1. that line about the motor oil and thawed earth took me back 35 years or more to my father. he's wearing a green shirt and his hands are covered in grease. words are so powerful and hold terrific energy. if only more people knew, huh?

  2. I owe you an apology. I googled Images,,"Guitar Picker" for a post of mine. I used it to illustrate my post. Later, somehow i came upon your blog and saw it was one of you in one of your post. I went back and gave credit to you. but I will remove if you would rather i do that. You got a good site here.

  3. Hi John, I'm loving this poem as I go and reread it because of the lack of punctuation I come across lovely images like
    snow brittle
    and I wonder what it tastes like

  4. This poem reminds me of your father's photographs. It evoked for me, the not too distant past, but a quieter time no less.

  5. A beautiful poem to read on a rainy day far away from the country. Not much sparkle here today!

  6. Hi Jen & glnroz & Chris & Kat & Audrey

    Jen: Perfect--that's just the sort of thing I was aiming for, esp. since the skis & snowshoes in the garage belonged to my dad! Thanks!

    glnroz: Not a problem--these things happen! Glad you enjoyed RFBanjo--stop by again!

    Chris: Yes, that's how to get folks to re-read! Seriously, tho, I haven't used much punction in poetry for years--it probably can make for thick wading! Thanks for sticking with it.

    Kat: Interesting--this poem did in some ways come from a photo--check either FB later today or tomorrow or here on Sunday!

    Audrey: January can be gloomy in California--we haven't had much sparkle here except the last few days. Hope you're doing ok


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