Was it just over a month ago
Fremantle for me was all aglow
With brave red poppies on the street?
Now everywhere I go I meet
Sunflowers, big leaved and tall,
Bold yellow against sky and wall.
From whence they came who can tell?
Untended and not watered well,
Under the glaring sun they stand,
Smiling, proclaiming, ”Ain’t life grand!”
PS And here’s a picture from Fremantle where sunflowers grow!”
I have to thank a real estate agent, Paul Donnelly, for lifting me out of my writer’s block and thinking about versifying again. About sunflowers though, certainly not politics! Not yet, anyway. He has sent me, and I imagine every other householder in Freo, a pack of ‘Sunbird’ sunflower seeds and suggested we plant them on our verges and in our gardens, photograph their progress and send them in to his photo competition. Which I shall do, but that has sent me back to my polliepomes site to pull up a draft of a Sunflowers poem from a post I did for Cafe Whispers back in 2010. Wow! How time flies!
A natural extension of the poppies story came to me on my daily walks here in Fremantle. I have always been impressed by the sunflowers growing wild on our streets every spring. as I leave the house for my morning walk with Tacker. They seem to be everywhere – on nature strips, alongside stone walls and fences and in quite a few gardens too where some people are happy to leave them wherever they’ve sprung up.
Back home, I grab the secateurs and cut some so that I can enjoy them indoors, just as Vincent Van Gogh did so famously more than a century ago.
Sorry, I haven’t got the right jug or background to really recapture his mood! And I don’t yet know how to cut out the extraneous bits! Still, being very new to a digital camera and transferring these pictures to my computer I am beside myself with amazement at what I see before me! Inevitably though a poem emerged. So, in my own small way, I too have been inspired to create by sunflowers and write…….
Sadly though, this year 2014, there are far fewer sunflowers than in previous years. My initially healthy little seedlings from Paul’s seeds have not not survived. Surely those two very hot days shouldn’t have killed them off? As far as I could see even before Christmas there were fewer young flowers on the street…….some…….but not as many as in previous years. And that pre-dated our heat wave last week. Does anyone know about sunflowers and their growth patterns?
POST SCRIPT, 12/12/15. Had to make a note here of my discovery only today (or is it re-discovery?) of the Chinese dissident artist Ai Wei Wei. I was drawn to his work ‘Sunflower Seeds’ once before, I think. Anyway after his arrest in 2011 he was conditionally released in late 2015 and now recently given his passport back and freedom to travel abroad. Was this what I saw, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ai_Weiweire? or has there been more recent news of him? He seems to have been imprisoned and recently released in China since his days of international fame in assisting with the design of the Beijing Olympic Stadium. Ostensibly his crime is not for his outspokenness but s0-called ‘economic’ crimes, or tax evasion. After all, he did make millions out of his international fame, and particularly his ‘Sunflower Seeds’ which employed hundreds of ceramic craftsmen in the handmaking of millions of sunflower seeds.
Anyway today is a good day, at the end of Spring and the start of Summer, 2015, here in Western Australia to write about Sunflowers again since I have been garnering Sunflower seedlings from our suburban sidewalks here. Well not so much ‘garnering‘ as rescuing them since they were already wilting in the early morning sun as Tacker and I walked down to the coffee strip for breakfast. I’ll keep them alive and thriving as well as I can in my own front yard, aware, as each precious day passes in this my 80th year, that we all live on borrowed, or is that gifted time? Meantime we must, Carpe Diem!
Patricia Weston, 01/02/15, Found the first few comments below on an old site when I was cleaning up and dumping stuff this morning. Had second thoughts about trashing these, the first compliments I’d ever had on my writing! Seems like yesterday Miglo (Michael Taylor) was encouraging me to write. He published the Sunflowers poem there and I copied it all with the comments to my own site, not knowing then that I could just link it. Amazing place, the Internet, isn’t it.
Cheryl Rourke, 30/12/10, Wonderful sunflowers!
Mobius Ecko, 30/12/10. Agree with the others Patricia, good effort!
Miglo, 30/12/10, Thank you for this lovely post, Patricia
Lyn Sherwood, 30/12/10, Great poem, and great photo (it could almost be Greece!).
Gillian, 30/12/10, Lovely Mum. The photos look fantastic too. Well done.
nasking, 01/01/11, Lovely Patricia. Poem & pics. Luv a positive thread. Thnx.
Michael Taylor, 16/01/14,
……but that has sent me back to my polliepomes site to pull up a draft of a Sunflowers poem from a post I did for Cafe Whispers back in 2010….
Wow! How time flies! Has it really been that long, Patricia? Incredible. Or should I say – have I been around that long. (Great to see you posting again though.)
Sarah Stapleton, 15/12/14. Your poem makes me nostalgic for poppies! Lovely picture of the sunflowers on my boundary. Van Gogh is not bad either.
Patricia Weston, 03/01/15. Yes, Sarah, it is your boundary wall with its sunflowers. Lovely, isn’t it?