A Slice of Poetry


Have you ever had the experience of passing an object on a daily basis and not really seeing it? We get so wrapped up in our busyness that we fail to notice the beauty present all around us. This is certainly true of this silk embroidery. It was given to my husband’s grandfather, an Army major, when he served in Southeast Asia during World War II. (I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know exactly where or by whom.) When our son, the first son of a first son, was born, Rodney’s grandparents gave it to us. It’s been hanging in our upstairs hallway ever since, but I never really stop to LOOK at it.

When Laura Shovan announced that her February Poetry Project would be ekphrastic poetry inspired by art in participant’s homes, I knew I wanted to share this embroidery. These playful birds and delicate petals deserve a poem. (Or a dozen or more!)


Playful swallows swoop
among dancing white blossoms
chittering, chirping
iridescent acrobats
tumbling on a spring breeze

© Catherine Flynn

Don’t forget to visit Renée LaTulippe at No Water River for the Poetry Friday Roundup. Also, thank you to StaceyBetsyBeth, KathleenDeb, Melanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and each Tuesday throughout the year. Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers to read more Slice of Life posts.




20 thoughts on “A Slice of Poetry

  1. Isn’t nature beautiful? Indeed we are so ‘busy’ we can’t see the woods for the trees. Thank you for reminding us with your lovely poem. Your choice of words bring a beautiful image to life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The embroidery is beautiful as is your poem. I especially love those last two lines. This month’s ekphrastic poetry has made me realize how superficially I interact with what surrounds me in my home. I’m hoping that I’m more attuned now to the stories that resonate in art and objects.

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  3. I love this poem – the length, spacing, and word choice bring the embroidery to life! What a great idea to inspire poetry. I might give this one a go! Thank you.

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  4. Love your last line, Catherine — “tumbling on a spring breeze.” I’m ready for a spring breeze when I can be outdoors and watch swallows tumble. I enjoyed the art and poems we all shared in Laura’s Feb. challenge.


  5. ‘Passing an object on a daily basis and not seeing it.’ I have realized how writing allows us to truly notice the details of items as well as our environment. Thanks for prompting us to do just that.


  6. I haven’t really looked at this yet to write. It’s been a busy week, but reading here about the origin and how you relate to it now inspires me to look more closely.


  7. I love that embroidery! It’s absolutely gorgeous! You created a wonderful poem to go along with it. I love all the lines, especially the images of “dancing white blossoms” and “tumbling on a spring breeze.”

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  8. We do pass by things without a glance in our busy lives, but I’m glad you shared this treasure, Catherine. Like others, I love your “iridescent acrobats”!

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  9. I am so ready for those spring breezes, and the tumbling of birds!! Thanks for the reminder to really LOOK at the everyday things around me!

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  10. Lovely poem for a lovely piece of art. Those embroidered birds are a sure sign of spring–and I enjoyed learning the history of the piece as well. Makes me wonder what stories the cloth could tell.

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  11. Over the weekend, I read Bolivar where a dinosaur was completely ignored in New York simply because people are too busy to pay attention – so I totally get what you’re saying here, especially since I also live in such a frenetic-paced city-state where time is of the essence always. Thank you for making me stop and savour your words here.

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