Poetry and Photography

I am a perfect, golden coreopsis – yellow close-up small
not the garden catalogue image
you pass over as tickseed
washed in sunlight, undistinguished
as a melting pot those other faces
my gold cradles shadow-sculpted contours
enfolding mysteries, chiming tones
each indented petal tip limned
against deeper darkness to hold back that night
while a sudden sunbeam
splashes midday on my afternoon

A small bisexual bracken fern fern1 small
casts its sharp short silhouette
on moss-embroidered
impervious granite
a nano-blink in its
ubiquity on earth
a fossil
of childhood
summers traipsing
give or take
a hundred thousand years
sun on shoulders
casting a long shadow
on bracken
and rock


It’s not just a bad-hair day IMG_1629_small
the rain didn’t help
but these locks were
bleached, thinning, and sere
before the downpour
birds have postponed
trips south on the chance
my face will ripen
in time
to fuel
the journey


After paralytic winter magnolia 2
poised in sunny exposures
remembering the southern breeze
purple buds like tulips
sprung from silvery branches

On a small tree in its enclave
a thousand tepals loosen
pink blossoms slowly as curtains
veined like our tender flesh
remembering the recent snow

Centred in petal-smooth billows
lime and fuchsia pagoda
the timeless genitor unveiled
collaborates with bees
anticipating infinity

Prairie Crocus Key

Namesake of a sleek foreign beauty crocus 1
you bow your head
in a harsher wilderness
shunning the rainbow gardens

carpeted in springtime
purple, white, rose, or cloth-of-gold
for a dun prairie
sans regal histories.

Here in a small community we
in a harsh environment
breaking winter’s crystal net
mauve misting the piedmont
the harbinger of survival worked
on a dun prairie
known for uncertainties.

From small prairie communities we
ate daily bread
in a suburban garden
sliding from winter to spring
thoughtless of harbingers
mindless of harsh realities
after the rainbow
deserts the crocus beds.

Between your downy petals shines gold
each blossom lit
as though a small, illumined
room of fulsome happiness
the key to survival
in the nomadic tent of skins
in the room of sod
in the spirit’s winter

Your community persists and spreads
prophetic bliss
each cluster of crocuses
witnessing youth to death in
mutual soft splendour
the wind-swept tresses of new seeds
comforting spent blooms
to their eternal spring.

Poetry by Laurna Tallman