One Stop Poetry Challenge

One Stop Poetry Challenge

Papaver orientalis

purple stamens
stems of wire
prickly leaves
poking up
fat buds eye the ground
a poppy awakens
an orange frock
peaks through green
as the stems straighten out
the flower bursts free
shrugging off the two halves
a fuzzy green coat
sepals flutter to soil
multitudes of stamens
poke up at the center
shedding silk pollen
invite bumble-bees to wallow
until burdened they fly off
heavy with treasure
and soon petals fall too
a green pod remains
turns brown in the wind
peppers the breeze
with a million tiny seeds
every year
the poppies spread
and I wake in the spring
when the forest of orange

My response to the One Stop Poetry Challenge for Sunday, May 15, 2011
Poppy photo by Fee Easton


About Chris Galvin

Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer dividing her time between Canada and Viet Nam. Her essay Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) and a Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri. Chris is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam.
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17 Responses to One Stop Poetry Challenge

  1. J.A. Pak says:

    Evocative first lines that are exquisite to the subject. First three lines are so complete.

  2. claudia says:

    this has a lovely whimsical feeling – makes me want to jump right into the scene and stay there a bit…

    • chris says:

      Hi Claudia,
      I think the photo has that effect… 🙂
      Fee Easton’s photo is poetry in itself; writing verse to go with it is almost gilding the (poppy).

  3. Berit says:

    “when the forest of orange

    Loved those lines! 🙂

    • chris says:

      Thanks Berit!
      I’m waiting for the forest of orange that should soon appear outside my window. It’s like a wildfire; starts with a tiny spark and then consumes the garden. (Hmm, I think I see a nascent poem there.)

  4. Elisa's Spot says:

    woo hoo swimming in the morning!

  5. dustus says:

    Really like how the poem comes full circle around color in recounting the life cycle. A wonderful poetic matching to the photograph! Also, some well placed rhymes that seem to balance the flow of your short stanzas, adding hints of melody to the depiction of the intoxicating subject matter.

    • chris says:

      Thank you Dustus.
      I enjoyed the feeling of the rhyming lines as I was writing this. I wrote the poem in a hurry, having suddenly remembered about the challenge as I was preparing for bed. I wanted to post it on Sunday so as not to be late for the challenge, and considered returning to edit and possibly add some rhyme today, while shortening some of the lines. Now, I’m looking at it again and maybe I’ll leave it as it is, with the spontaneity I wrote it with yesterday. Let me know your opinion. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. yamabuki says:

    Opium haze
    Coleridge eyes
    Dim lit halls
    shadow cries

    Poppy dreams
    poetic lies
    Milky sap
    Something dies

    Beauty lives
    Danger calls
    Full moon visions
    Dark rain falls

    Poppies live
    People die
    Earth abides
    Ocean sighs


    • chris says:

      Hi Yamabuki,
      Your poem, as usual, blows me away. Love the reference to Coleridge, the impact of the two- and three-word lines, the rhyme, the flow, the imagery…the perfect poem. I see that this is an excerpt of the full poem on your site. Thank you for posting it here.

  7. yamabuki says:

    Hi Chris,
    I wrote the poem in response to your poem. I posted it on my site and posted the rhyming section on yours. The second part seemed less connected to your poem so I left it off. I wanted to add the first five lines from your poem with link to your poem as quote at top of my poem, above the Coleridge quote, but thought I should ask you first.


  8. Fee Easton says:

    wonderful poetry…. i don’t know how you do it.. i struggle with words at the best of times…. x

  9. Pingback: One Stop Poetry Challenge (via Chris Galvin) « Fee Easton's Photos And Other Ramblings

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