Invitation to Poetry: Requiem for a Sunflower

Invitation to Poetry

Welcome to our fourth Poetry Party.  These are posted every other Monday.  I select an image and a title and invite you to respond with your poems and other words inspired by the image below.  Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to the body of the post as they come in along with a link back to your blog if you have one (not required to participate!)  I’ll add your contributions all week and then on Friday I’ll do something a little bit different for everyone who writes their own poem. I’ll make a laminated prayer card for each participant with the photo below on one side and your own poem on the other and then mail it off to you! Yes, everyone.  Even if you are one of my wonderful readers who lives in England, or Australia, or New Zealand.

Feel free to post your poem accompanied with my image below on your blog with a link back to this post and invite others to come join the party. 

To put the Poetry Graphic at the top of this post on your own blog, here is the code:

<a href=”” title=”Poetry Invitation”><img src=”” width=”100″ height=”50″ alt=”Invitation to Poetry” /></a> 


What stirs in you this autumn day as the season invites us to contemplate letting go?


So much happens at once…

So much to learn…
Peace in the flower’s slowly nodding head
Joy as leaves turn to flame and gold
Patience as earth cools and lies fallow for spring
Vision to see new life
even as summer’s glory fades
into the subtler beauty of winter

The grass withers and the flower fades
but love
and joy
and beauty
-Anne Sims at Telling Stories and Learning Faith


Letting go of youth,
letting go of possessions,
the joy of poverty,
of autumn — the sheer splendor
of leaves dropping from trees.



The Drive Home

Clouds may be the death of me.
My eyes will not stay on the road.

Instead, they are transfixed by
the changing shapes,
the changing light,
the shifting moods of the skies.

Around the next turn,
the mountain appears.
Look, it calls,
Look at my magnificence.

Sometimes it is the glistening water
that reaches out for me.
Or the raw hillside
freshly exposed by a slide
from drenching rains.

How can asphalt possibly compete
with this riotous beauty?
This ever changing palette of God?

The car continues along
as I am drawn in
by the sights around me.

What a miracle
that I get home at all.

-Pamela McCauley

My Dear Little Katie
You lay here beside me,
Crumpled and crying,
Rejected and hurting.
Your sunshine is fading.

But there underneath
Your tears and your doubting
I see greening and growing.

The Spirit has told you
More often than chance,
Your gift…you will blossom
With fresh self-reliance.

My Dear Little Katie
Twenty-eight years and growing.
Loosing one’s love
Makes us crumple and wither
But will one day brings riches.

-Suz Reaney


Out of Bounds

no shading for California
no mark on the range map
predicted this bird

moving through my landscape
along the dead-end road
where I linger in clear light

where it left its dried-up body
soon to disappear
a lone bird, ill-omened

shouldn’t it be at work
building a nest somewhere
where are the others

alone, it looks foreign, puzzling
without literal meaning
leaving me to witness its passage

moving through my landscape
how will I know
if the world is changing

if the farmer ever noticed this bird
when he plowed the orchard
assaulted is more the word

if I can’t teach the children
what the animals express
moving through my landscape

why announce their passage
when meaning remains unknown
value instead what we fear

casual cruelties and unrealistic expectations
form each encounter with the world
underneath this prosperous life

moving through my landscape

-Catherine Montague


Requiem for a  Sunflower

A telephone poll— a friend— supported her heavy
great stem, hearts of leaves, and glorious head
bent in prayer, her  golden fingers released their cup of life 
its great congregation of seeds 
Emptied, relieved, resigned to death
she came into her own and autumn 
she bends and is no more  
what joy there is in giving 

– Martha Louise Harkness


Our burning bush
is just starting
to singe around
the edges.
Before long
without smoke
or fire, the leaves
will blaze brilliantly
without burning up
and fall to the earth.

We talk about
colors, yet name
this season
for the letting go,
the breeze-ride
down from life
into death.

How can it be
so energizing
to see what was
once verdant
and vibrant
flame and die?

I try to listen.
I want to hear
what the leaves
are saying
as they burn
and fall.

All I can do
is go barefoot.

-Milton Brasher-Cunningham at Don’t Eat Alone


Was May so long ago?
Do you remember when I broke
the hard surface of the spring ground
with the dull blade
of last year’s hoe?
Tossing a single seed into a shallow hole
then brushing dirt, gently at first,
into contact with its shell.
Pressing dirt firmly down
and then that first drink of water
you poured to quench a sleeping thirst.
One sleepy morning,
sooner than we could imagine
a hint of green poking its head
in search of friendly skies.
Face, always brightly turning toward the light,
growing faster than its back could bear,
a sturdy stake, a crutch, its companion.
In full glory, the days became too heavy
and the haloed head sank to its chest.
Some think these are the saddest times
but I treasure sunflower’s wisdom
as I, too, bow to my creator
in these, my final days.

-Rich Murray at Pilgrim Path 


summer is gone
the songs of Bella Domna
fill this still house

-Bette Norcross Wappner at Surimono Garden


Requiem for a sunflower

Child so proud, her own
small patch of garden.
Single seed planted,
watered painstakingly:
old rusty metal can.

Fat green shoot grows fast
like Jack’s rogue beanstalk.
Unfolding bud tracks the
arc of its inspiration,
daily journey, east to west.

Now full-blown head far
out of reach, tilted up
away, its golden mirror
hidden from eyes too near
the earth to see. Yet.

Child understands privacy,
ignores arms to lift her,
chair to stand on. Nor will
she try to bend the stalk:
flower cloistered in the sky.

Change creeps slowly. The
great head withers, stoops
to greet the child’s eyes which,
never having seen its fullness,
see only beauty in its death.

-Tess at Anchors and Masts 


Tomatoes race the frost to ripen
all at once

Please come to my tomato party
Bring mayo

And lots of friends with bacon and bread

Carla Sanders 


The Death of Hope
A time, an eon: long ago you shone
As if the sun in glory bright and fair
Had from the grasp of sky become undone.
And those that passed you by still stopped to stare

At beauty never seen upon this earth.
But now, your body torn and wracked with pain
Lies still and cold. Where once was joy and mirth
Now just a shell, devoid of hope, remains.

Hope is dead, and soon will be interred
In winter’s chill embrace. And so the end
Of time begins. But yet a seed, a glimpse, a word
Remains. If only light would shine to send

A ray of hope beyond the grave. And then
I wonder…will you really rise again?

-Kievas Fargo at Sharing a Journey 



The winds blow through the trees
The sun warms the leaves
The smell of autumn fills the air

I want to sit in the hammock
Absorb the last vestiges of Indian Summer
Duty to others calls
What season puts duty to self first?

-Carmen at Simple Pleasures

SUnFlOwEr rEQuiEm

in the popular sense to eternally rest
is nothing I’d ever desire to test
fall every year bring us hope very blessed
as nature becomes fast somberly dressed
reminding us life always waits upon dying
the outcome all reasonable logic defying

equinox plus with this evening’s full moon
September day twenty-six late afternoon
warm days cool nights as they wait to maintain
grace in the shadows, mercy in rain

this beach town’s still Paradise sand and high tide
blaze into the world, please don’t stay outside
instead of just settling reaching for the sky
celebrate God’s bounty and abundant sweet supply

bread sent from heaven and fruit of the vine
community’s nurturing right down the line
embracing this planet to shelter us and bear
everything we offer as we lift it up in prayer

church’s singing cadence sometimes preaching up a storm
bidding Holy Spirit to enter and transform
blogging more for desert fire, theology, recall it?
get on out there, scratch for life don’t ever ever quit

after sleep-filled months of darkened winter’s dearth
finally in springtime arriving full of mirth
God’s glory full incarnate declaring our worth
descends to us from heaven, yet reborn from the earth

in the popular sense to eternally rest
is nothing I’d ever consider the best
sunflower’s requiem, our requiescat, too
not slumbering peace but creation’s latest hue
astonished with rejoicing easter day returns
from the heart of the earth as all yearns
eternally in Christ sent into the world
resurrection banners triumphantly unfurled

-Leah at This Far By Faith


tears weeping
shoulders stooping
time to sleep
time to rest

shedding the shouldered burden
fading into compost
feeding the garden of life
regeneration & rejuvenation


tired of holding face to sun
departing for a season
may others carry brightness now
regeneration & rejuvenation

-Kayce Hughlett at Diamonds in the Sky With Lucy



Walk to the edge of all you love,
leap into the abyss
with outstretched arms.
The night enfolds you,
taking you back as seed.
Your own arms
encircle you
with glossy
stems and leaves;
Your own legs and feet
send forth roots
into the dark earth.
Your own heart’s bud
breaks open.
You are
the blossom.
You are
the dizzying fall of petals,
raining back down
upon the earth,
leaping and risking
once again,
letting go of
fragile beauty.
This is the secret of your life:
You are here to be fruit and seed.

~Kathy Flugel Stone



-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts

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