Poem 64: The meaning of flowers


The path from my front door
is lined with maybe more than flowers;
each bloom bud stands somehow
for love, or joyful vows, or truth…
Since ancient times virtues
lived nestled in a blue or red,
pink or white, petal bed:
love felt but never said, for fear;
the grace of rue; the cheer
of daisies; phlox that cares, adores!

And yet my pathway walk
is lined with silent thoughts, harsher
than thistles of a marsh;
despair that wilts and lasts; bereft
of hope, since when you left;
footsteps fading, heart cleft, too late
to lock the garden gate,
too late to hide the hate that seethes
along the path, in trees,
in flowers, in seeds, from my front door.

All day I think my ears will catch
the lifting of the latch.

(The form of this month’s poems is based on the Vietnamese luc bat).

14 thoughts on “Poem 64: The meaning of flowers

  1. umashankar

    I first read this poem aching with beauty and despondency in the middle of the night. My fingers froze over the shadowy buttons of my tablet and I turned to my pillow. Reading it again in the quiet morning, I am hit again with speechlessness by the deep feelings it invokes, the betrayal that lingers and haunts the flower beds and the canopy of trees along the pathway tinting it with bitterness.

    The opening stanza is as seeped in forebodings as it is in grace. Bestowing a sense of timelessness, you have hinted at the attendant dubiousness of breathtaking beauty, the pain and anger of what could have been. The flowers chosen by the end of stanza, rue, daisies and phlox are fraught with symbolism. The next stanza deals directly with the loss of innocence and faith. Insistence of hope in the closing couplet multiplies the pining manifold.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Wow! Thanks Uma. That’s a comment to end all comments! I think you have summed up what I was trying to say wonderfully! I must admit I was quite surprised at/taken by the poem – it sort of wrote itself!

      Liked by 1 person


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