Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pretty ... Hurts

Dahlia at the kitchen sink

Pretty ... hurts,
 --shine a light--
  on whatever's worse.

Perfection is the dis-ease //
  of (our) nation
.
.
.
It is the sOul that needs the surgery.

//

Attachment to things...
         let it go,
   let them go. It is for the
                 best.

All we truly own is this s.i.n.g.l.e.

precious m o m ent

And in the precious moment is a
simple choice --

    joy, sorrow
    love or hate
    life or death

There is no wrong answer here.

It simply is what it is
and based on our choice --

becomes what it will
    be
       c
         o
           m
              e.

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With humble gratitude to:
Beyoncé, Louisa, e e cummings, Alan Watts, HRH, and Him and Her and ...

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"Dahlia: A Study" in progress...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

My love, I will return to thee...

For Him For Him, different view For Him, different view, with the squirrels

It's there somewhere
the love between grows
with each passing minute
the love between ebbs and flows.

Marriage is work
filled with moments
of false riches, hatred of deeds,
the elegance left behind.

We attempt to dispel
these headaches - these
heartaches - to cleanse
and find the natural vitality
of life and love again.

We stumble in our pride
caught in the haughtiness
and find we miss what we were
not realizing the joy that comes
after the growing pains
subside.

Each love is thorny,
and we may complain
that rose bushes have thorns
but covering the thorns in
maternal love eases the pain.

My love, I will return
to thee, more fully me
than I ever was
before.

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Dahlia: elegance; joy
Rose: ambassador of love; beauty; grace
Foxglove: work; stateliness; self-ambition
Basil: hatred; best wishes, good luck
Zinnia: thought of absent friends; 'I miss you'
Moss: maternal love
Sunflower: haughtiness; false riches; natural vitality

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sunflower: A Study

Library Sunflowers Close Up

The sunflower.  The sunflower is such an iconic flower.  Most who can little distinguish one flower from another can call the sunflower by name. 

The genus name of sunflower is Helianthus which comes from the Greek "helios" meaning sun and "anthos" meaning flowers. The sunflower is native to America and Peru. Ancient Peruvians used the sunflower as a symbol to worship the god of day. It has been a muse to many including Vincent van Gogh.  In the language of flowers the sunflower holds several emblematic meanings. Let's explore them together in this study.

In the quaint Language of Flowers by Kate Greenaway the symbolic meaning for the sunflower depends on it's height.  If it is the dwarf sunflower, adoration is its claim.  The tall sunflower equates to haughtiness.  The Secret Language of Flowers by Shane Connolly also echoes these sentiments however for the dwarf sunflower he adds, 'Your devout admirer.'

Haughtiness is also the symbolic name given by Sheila Pickles in The Language of Flowers.  She quotes Thomas Moore in her explanation,

"No, the heart that has truly lov'd never forgets,
But as truly loves onto the close,
As the sun-flower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turn'd when he rose."
 
Haughtiness seems to be prescribed because of the sunflower's great height compared with other garden flower friends.  But being haughty is not all the sunflower represents.
 
In Flora's Lexicon by Catharine Waterman, she prescribes "lofty and pure thoughts." She notes that in its native of Peru and Mexico the sunflower can grow to 20 feet in height! I love this quote Waterman includes from John Clare's poem Rustic Evening...
 
"Where rustic taste at leisure trimly weaves
The rose and straggling woodbine to the eaves,
And on the crowded spot that pales enclose
The white and scarlet daisy rears in rows,
Training the trailing peas in cluster neat,
Perfuming evening with a luscious sweet,
And sunflowers planting for their gilded show,
That scale the windows' lattice ere they blow,
And, sweet to habitants within the sheds,
Peep through the crystal panes their golden heads."
 
 
In Henry Phillips' Floral Emblems the sunflower is prescribed as ''false riches."  He states that the sunflower is so associated with false riches "because gold of itself, however abundant, cannot render a person rich who is poor in spirit."  He also provides a delightful quote from Barton...
 
"Uplift, proud sunflower, to thy favorite orb
That disk whereon his brightness loves to dwell;

 And as thou seem'st his radiance to absorb,
Proclaim thyself the garden's sentinel."
 
Finally, The Language of Flowers Symbols and Myths by Marina Heilmeyer provides a completely different view of the sunflower which I greatly admire.  Heilmeyer marks the sunflower as a "vital source of food, medicine and oil; natural vitality; loyalty; pride; devotion..." She comments on how the American Indians were cultivating the wild sunflower species dating back to 3000 BC.  They used it as an "important source of food and medicine as well as a pigment for body paint." Heilmeyer also states, "In Christian iconography, the sunflower signified believers' devotion to the Catholic church.  Like the flower that always grows towards the light - towards the divine sun- it represents the devout soul striving towards god."
 
I feel each lexicon has its place.  Sometimes one may feel haughtiness or false riches is needed.  Other times one may want to express loyalty and devotion.  The yin and yang of this lovely, brilliant flower is delightfully welcomed.



Saturday, September 5, 2015

I yearn to return

-...With Love to a Good Master...-

I yearn to return
to a simpler way of life
without the multiple
distractions that cause
such strife.

I long for personal connection
without a screen in between.
A time of quiet and peace
where people call on one another
for long walks beside a stream.

Certainly simple does not
equate with easy.
But the question I have
is would the loneliness feel
so potent - leaving me squeezed?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Lost Poems: i guess love is...

At Night Wedding Album Illuminated

i guess love is...

Red painted stains against the
       chiseled heat.
Tears breaking me open.
        Pained sweetness
as honey sucked through a straw.

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i guess love is... written in the Spring of 2003 by Annette Larkin
Photographs taken in Summer of 2015 by Annette Nelson

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In remembrance of:
Liz and Greg
David Russell
Him and Her and ...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lost Poems: 4:30 AM

17Twilight

Iridescent swollen moon
wakes me with its glow
nesting on my pillows.

Before I rested my head,
the orb was hanging
low in the east sky.

Now he's starting his descent
to the west to set
until tomorrow's night.

Train's whistle gone
unheard had the moon not
bobbed his head in my window.

The metal wheels pound
against the cold steel rails
as it drones through the night.

Seven whistles blown
in the last five minutes
distorting the sympathetic silence.

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Listening to: Run by George Straight and Miranda Lambert

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4:30 AM written by Annette Larkin in 2003.
Photograph taken by Annette Nelson in October 2013.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lost Poems: One Gun ...One Arrow... One...


Blossoming Evelyn
Blossoming Evelyn
Pulling teeth out of the gums
and only numbness comes.

Man on trial, history of God,
glory and honor,
are they no longer?

Knuckles are broken
on the shadow puppet stage,
and who do we have to blame,
but ... ______________.

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The Poppy is "communicating sentiments of consolation, poppies symbolize oblivion to sorrow.  Red poppies have also come to represent remembrance."

The Rose is the emblem of England.
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Poem written by: Annette Larkin in the spring of 2003.
With slight edits by: Annette Nelson in 2015.
Rose photograph taken in June 2015 by Annette Nelson.

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With humble gratitude to:
The Duchess Kate blog for the photograph of the poppies
Shane Connolly's "The Secret Language of Flowers..."
Him and Her and ...

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Listening to: Dave and Tim, their Christmas Song
       oh and Jon too if you need help to turn that frown upside down. :)
        or Frou Frou to get you through.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Foxglove: A Study

0612Foxglove Arrangement Detail 0612Foxglove Arrangement3 0612Foxglove Arrangement

The foxglove is a quintessential cottage flower that grows wild here in the Pacific Northwest.  It is a flower that baffles me.  In studying the language of flowers I am finding most flower dictionaries prescribe the sentiment of 'insincerity' to this handsome flower. Such a hurtful sentiment.  I understand that with the language of flowers not all flowers can have rosy, sweet meanings but how can any flower be 'insincere?'  Let's dive into the history of the foxglove and see what we find.  The language of flowers is a bit subjective so perhaps after the study we will redefine the foxglove. 

Diana Wells' book 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names lists some of the common names for Digitalis as foxglove, fairy-bells, and ladies' thimble.  She suggests 'foxglove' comes from the Old English foxes glofa meaning foxes' glove.  The myth being that foxes wore magical gloves to sneak in to raid the chicken coop. Cunning, shrewd little foxes using the bells of the foxglove as gloves to soften and quiet their attacks but does this make the flower 'insincere?'  'Self-ambition' is an alternative suggestion for the foxglove's symbolism given by Shane Connolly in The Secret Language of Flowers: Rediscovering Traditional Meanings.  I hesitate to accept 'self-ambition' as its meaning because are not the foxes the ones with 'self-ambition' and not the flower itself?

In The Language of Flowers by Sheila Pickles picks up the fairy theme by suggesting that the name foxgloves is "a corruption of Folk's-gloves." Folks being the little fairies.  Fairies-petticoats, fairy-caps and fairies-dresses are among the many common names. "If you see a foxglove bending over, it is because the fairies are hiding in the bells."  A story also goes that if you picked a foxglove you would offend the fairy folk. 

Pickles reminds us that there is a darker side to the foxglove.  For years foxglove was used as a herbal tea to treat dropsy but it was well known that foxgloves would kill or cure.  Foxglove is noxious with an overdose causing "nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as sometimes resulting in xanthopsia (jaundiced or yellow vision) and the appearance of blurred outlines (halos), drooling, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, and even death."*  One will notice that most animals, aside from the nimble bee, steer well clear of these flowers.  Perhaps this is why other common names for the foxglove are bloody fingers, witches' gloves, and 'dead men's bells.  "To hear them ring forebodes an early death." Here I can understand the sentiment of 'insincerity'.  But there is more to tell of the foxglove's story.

In 1785 a British physician, William Withering, first wrote of the medical uses of foxglove in An Account of the Foxglove.  From this ground breaking research a group of medicines made from the plant's seeds and dried leaves called digitalin were developed to treat heart conditions and are still in use today.  How then can foxglove be claimed as emblematic of 'insincerity' when it has the ability to aid in the healing of heart conditions? 

Fortunately three early floral language dictionaries provide an alternative to 'insincerity.'  Henry Phillips Floral Emblems suggests foxglove be the symbol of  'youth.' In his explanation for youth he says, "The light down which covers the stalks of this plant, induced the poets to make it the emblem of youth."  I like this emblem of youth as I consider myself an amateur poet.  Many of the common names that follow the fairy theme seem to me to carry a youthful outlook.  One may even stretch to say that the medicine that the foxglove provides gives one a return to 'youth.'  This may be a stretch indeed so let's look at the last sentiment of the foxglove.

The French author, Pierre Zaccone writes in Nouveau Langage des Fleurs : avec la nomenclature des sentiments dont chaque fleur est le symbole, et leur emploi pour l'expression des pensées that the foxglove is the symbol of 'travail' meaning 'work.'  My rough translation of his explanation is "Plant is thus named because its flower reminds one of figure sewing, hence the symbol it represents. There are two kinds of foxglove: white foxglove and purple foxglove.  Administered a high dose it becomes soothing narcotic for certain conditions."  The last sentence there makes me feel quite uneasy as we have learned how toxic foxglove is especially at high doses.  Being that it that this was written in 1853 clearly the understanding of foxgloves' noxious nature was not widespread knowledge.  'Travail' or work is an apt sentiment to the foxglove.  We see Wells' common name of ladies thimbles working during sewing, the work of the medicine, digitalin, in heart disease, and finally this study itself certainly was some work.


   



*See Wikipedia article: Digitalis 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lost Poems: The Yellow School Bus

First Press Birthday Pansies_ Petunia 'Rainmaster' Subtle Pinks Wildfire_

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The Yellow School Bus

In elementary school, the big yellow school bus picked us up,
down on a quiet street, next to a big field.
We set our backpacks up in a line and
played in the field while our moms talked until the bus arrived.

In middle school, the yellow school bus picked us up,
it wasn't so big anymore,
just outside our neighborhood along a more trafficked avenue
and we grouped up and talked with our friends.
There weren't any moms anymore.

          One afternoon walking home from the bus stop
          Josh, Yvonne, TJ, and I got in a big water fight
                    in and around Josh's house,
          The girls were winning, Josh grabbed food
                    from the refrigerator in retaliation.
          I ran home with apple juice in my hair.

                    Josh's brother, Luke, hung himself in his garage five years later,
                    with red scratches on his neck from trying to stop the suffocation.
                    They built a wooden porch outside their front door but
                    no one comes to sit there anymore.

In high school, the bus picked kids up,
but it didn't come for me.
I walked alone.


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Pansies = thoughts, 'think of me'
Petunias = resentment, anger or never despair
Single Rose = simplicity; 'I still love you'
Tulips = fame and renown
     red... declaration of love
     striped... 'You have beautiful eyes'
     yellow... hopeless love

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Lost Poem: The Yellow School Bus written by Annette Larkin in the Spring of 2003.
Photographs taken by Annette Nelson in the Spring and Summer of 2015.

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References:
David Gray's album Lost Songs
Dave Matthew's song Gravedigger
Forget-Me-Not: A Floral Treasury written and researched by Pamela Todd
The Secret Language of Flowers: Rediscovering Traditional Meanings by Shane Connolly

with humble gratitude to...
Dr. Frederick Davis
Woodland Park Rose Garden
Roozengaarde
Him and Her and Me ... You know who you are.

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Listening to: Louisa Wendorff while I type this.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Space Between

Beware Beware Detail

 
Beware of the temptation to seek justice in the witching soul of music.
 
 
It feels like standing
at the edge of a precipice,
admiring the view,
in awe of the beauty
that surrounds.
 
Father Sky.
Mother Earth.
and Me ...
in the space between.
 
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Rhododendron = Beware or Be aware
Crabapple = Temptation
Rudbeckia = Justice
Northern Sea Oats Grass = the witching soul of music
 
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Listening to Dave Matthews Band Everyday album.
 
 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lost Poems: Rabbit Hunting

With this ring-6 Storytime An Apple a Day

Rabbit Hunting

Driving

up highway 85 to take me to school,
catching a glimpse of Fort Vasquez,
sitting there, clay putty walls, a museum,
sandwiched between highway on either side,
my Papa would point to the hills to the east and tell the tale of

December 7th 1941:

"Me and Donald, who was really more my brother's friend then mine,
were rabbit hunting, which I hardly ever did.
Donald pointed out to a bushy area of the hill,
'I'm gonna get him watch.' I didn't even see a rabbit there.
Donald pointed his gun up to the sky.
I thought he was crazy but he arched his shot

and SMACK,

the little rabbit came tumbling down the hill.
I don't think I hit one rabbit that day.
Coming home that night in his little convertible,
we turned the radio on to listen to some tunes,
but there weren't any on. We flipped though all the stations but, no music,
all they were talking about was the Japaneses and somewhere called

Pearl Harbor."

~Annette
Poem written in the spring of 2003

Photographs taken on August 5th 2015


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Learning how to breathe

0408Thoughts
Bedside Pansies = thinking of you


 
 
A simple breath isn't as easy as it may seem sometimes.
A deep cleansing breath is composed of three parts.
The first step is to inhale, smelling the air,
filling up the diaphragm and allowing the air to travel up
to the base of the lungs, expanding the rib cage until
the clean air reaches the uppermost regions of the lungs.

At this point some may hold their breath, especially if afraid.
The cleansing has been trapped, on hold, paused.
If held for too long one collapses to the floor -
passes out...
or worse.

The natural next step in a cleansing breath is to exhale.
This is done to allow the now old, stale air
to exit either through the nostrils or through the mouth.
Both have there uses depending on the individual's needs.
If in severe pain or under duress might I suggest
the best course of action is to exhale through the mouth -
Forcefully if necessary.

The final part of the breath is subtle.
It is a small, quiet pause,
the space between.



 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Oh dear thistle...

Globe Thistle

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh dear thistle, how you do bristle,
unadorned and so forlorn. 
The austerity highlighted in
    your severity.
Being so ascetic --
    it's pathetic.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Globe thistle = austerity

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Delicate Lace

0604DelicateLaceonLinen 0604DelicateLace
 
 
 
"Delicate Lace"
 
You spoke to me of simplicity
and urged me to find virtue
amongst the delicate pleasures
of life that a secret love
may grow within and enlace
me in the arms of peace.

Off I went searching for this peace
of which you spoke. Simple
the quest seemed.  Only to lace
myself in the domestic virtues
of home and ponder love
until my heart was pleased.

But I forgot that these pleasures
are delicate indeed.  Peaceful
hands must render love
tenderly, gently, simply
or lost will be the virtue
and torn will be the lace.
 
         ~~~~~~
Single Rose: simplicity
Sage: domestic virtues
Sweet Peas: delicate pleasures
Pink Rose: secret love
Orlaya: white lace flower
Olive: peace

Friday, May 29, 2015

Worth

0528IamWorthy

     ~~~~~
There is virtue intertwined
in the lasting beauty
of knowing that 'I am worthy of you.'
     ~~~~~
Mint = virtue
Stock = lasting beauty
White roses = 'I am worthy of you'


So often I forget the beauty that lies within me.  I negate my worth and deny my heart it's song.  The gratitude is more deeply felt when I remember.  This walk is not done alone for certain.  Even though it can feel so lonely and isolating.  I am thankful to the flowers that help me to remember.  Those beautiful flowers that infuse me with their delicious scent and quietly whisper... 'You are worthy of you.'

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Introducting Violets & Vine

February Songs

Deep Breath In.  Deep Breath Out. 

Introducing Violets & Vine, my floral design studio.  My dreams feel grand and big and yet now it all sits on this small parchment paper.  A small gesture announcement that has been pinned to mailboxes and passed around to friends and neighbors.  I spread the word slowly and in hushed tones of my little secret garden of dreams. 

Violets & Vine aims to source locally grown flowers and foliage, use sustainable business practices, and each and every stem in our bouquets is to hold meaning and substance.  There will be floral poetry in abundance.  One day it will be a little brick and mortar shop.  There will be botanical prints hanging on the wall, flowers filling up a walk in cooler, and a beautiful collection of unique vases and vessels.  Every afternoon there will be tea time with cakes and cookies on offer to those lovely few who stop in to say hello.

For now it begins humbly, simply, and with great love on this Valentine's Day.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lost Poems: Walking in the Greenbelt

2GoodOmen

Walking in the Greenbelt

Mom, me, Becca, and Charlie, journeyed for picnics each summer day,
in our little red wagon, carting our blanket and picnic basket,
with its red and white checkered lining, broken handle, and missing flap,
that should have closed over half the basket,
instead food would overflow.

We laid out the blanket, eat our sandwiches and chips,
skipping stones under the three big trees,
sharing their shade with the path that led to the fallen tree ---
where all the teenagers etched their initials in a heart with someone else's ---

Mom placed us on the red chipped railing used for tying up horses
so we could pretend to be cowboy and girls.

The red wagon dropped us off at the bridge
where we would tromp across, like in Three Billy Goats Gruff,
and the troll growled at us underneath.

After the bridge we rode up to the walk of the little stone house,
a family built long ago when it must have been the middle of nowhere,
carrying an old loaf of bread to feed the ducks of the neighboring pond.

Up the steep hill, the red wagon would climb,
taking us back home for our afternoon nap.

Mom and I still go to the bridge
tromping across it, like in Three Billy Goats Gruff,
and the troll still growls at us underneath.
It's just something we play at.


~Written by me, Annette, in the Spring of 2003.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Lost Poems: Carpenter

Window Gazing Practice Sloppy Studio

Carpenter

If I made something with my hands
I am afraid a sloppy carpenter I would make
trying to hammer hay into gold
only pounding away to mulch,
digging out the foundations
when I can not afford the concrete.

So I will stare at the prayer nailed to the door,
missing its hinges,
reading Rilke's:

      Because One Man wanted so much to have you,
      I know that we can all want you.

~ Written by me, Annette, in the Spring of 2003


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We Have Been Called

We have been called
   naïve
as if it were
a dirty word
We have been called
   innocent
as though with shame
our cheeks should burn
So
We visited with
the careful idols
of cynicism
to learn to sneer
and pant and walk
   so as not to feel the scales
   of judgment rub wrongly
But we say
   some things must
   remain simple
   some things must remain
   untouched
   and pure
lest we all forget
the legacy which begot us
the health of our origins
the poetry of our fundamental selves

And so
it is to
the longing hearts we sing
rise! spread
your wings!
Let no hand
nor ill will
keep you.

~Published by Jewel, "a night without armor" in 1998

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Lost Poems: girl

Altar Lost Now Found Found Poems


Shabby stings, of blonde hair,
ends colored as if dipped in honey,

               f

               a

               l

               l

down the grape blouse,
sleeves pulled over to hide half of her hands,


                      fingers exposed.


Hands rocking back and forth,
left fingernails torn between the teeth,
the right, cradling,
     perched
outside the mouth for its turn.


Those melancholy sage eyes
nestled in mottled skin
watch
the glassy figure in reflection.

~ Annette
Written in the Spring of 2003.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Listen

3Parkin3 7FoggyWalk 7Valley 7InTheWoods 7WinterCoats 7TheWaySheLooksAtMe 7Buds 7FreshStart

Listen.  It's the word that is centering me these days.  An intention, a resolution of sorts.  To pause, to listen inward.  I have ambitions great and small for this new year, 2015. Some will be met and achieved, others will fall away unrealized.  But that's okay.  The most important thing for me this year is to listen. Let's see what happens.

Listen!

Do you hear it?
I do.
I can feel it.
I expect a miracle is coming.
It has set loose this restlessness
inside of me.

Expect it.
Dream about it.
Give birth to it in your being.
Know! Something good
is coming down the line.
Finding its way to you
like all things find their way
to God's children.

Listen!

- "Miracle" by Jewel Kilcher