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Flower Communion


What a gathering-the purple
tongues of iris licking out
at spikes of lupine, the orange
crepe skirts of poppies lifting
over buttercup and daisy.

Who can be grim
in the face of such abundance?
There is nothing to compare,
no need for beauty to compete.

The voluptuous rhododendron
and the plain grass
are equally filled with themselves,
equally declare the miracles
of color and form.

This is what community looks like-
this vibrant jostle, stem by stem
declaring the marvelous joining.
This is the face of communion,
the incarnation once more
gracefully resurrected from winter.

Hold these things together
in your sight-purple, crimson,
magenta, blue. You will
be feasting on this long after
the flowers are gone.

-Lynn Ungar, from Blessing the Bread

-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

(poem is “Flower Communion by Lynn Ungar, photos are mine taken in Seattle yesterday)

PS — If someone can tell me the name of the purple flower in the second photo I would be most grateful!

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8 Responses

  1. Thanks Wendy, Lucy, and Suz! So glad you liked the photos and poem!

    Bette, how wonderful you were able to identify those flowers. I have never seen them before and was absolutely captivated by them, they look like purple dandelion seed pods! I think the two of us should start a Lynn Ungar fan club. :-) I wish I could justify spending $50 for a used copy of her book!

  2. You are doing some really excellent photography, Christine. We have had tulips and lilacs and that’s about how it is here in Minnesota.

    Poem is lovely…I will send it on to a few friends who will appreciate it!

  3. Daybreak at the Eastern Edge of the World

    Every day I drive into a Technicolor sunrise.
    Such is daybreak at the Eastern Edge of the world.
    I must cross two rivers before I reach the sea.
    Each river is spanned by thin web of steel and concrete.
    I work a stone’s throw from the ocean and I gauge the tempo of the day by the colors of the sea.
    A dark blue sea portends a calm day.
    A green sea speaks of storms to come.
    A slate gray sea: the storm is here.

  4. fabulous photo display and poetry. my poppies are still blooming and i only wish they had a longer season!