News From the Natural World: Poetry Friday Edition

Welcome to the Poetry Friday edition of News From the Natural World, my National Poetry Month project. Be sure to visit my friend and critique group partner, Molly Hogan, at Nix the Comfort Zone for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

Today’s poem was inspired by the photo below, taken on March 20th, just after our quarantine began. I was quite surprised to see this at the end of a driveway I pass by when I go out for a walk. I still have no idea why it was there, but I knew immediately that I had to write about it. However, finding the right form wasn’t easy.

Yesterday, poet, teacher, and mentor extraordinaire, Georgia Heard, posted this video on Facebook. The poem she shares, “Where Do I Find Poetry,” is one of my favorites. As soon as she started reading it, my mind went back to this red chair and I knew I’d found a way in. A greeting card by British artist Rachel Grant provided me with the first line. Thank you to the owner of the red chair, Georgia, and Rachel, for helping me with this poem.

The Red Chair

It begins here,
in a red chair
at the edge of a field
still wearing its stubbly
brown winter coat.

Sit. Be patient…
Watch the last bits of snow
dissolve into the quickening earth.
See grass slowly turn green
and vermilion tips of peonies
poke their heads up through
the softening ground.

Stay a while.
Soon robins will be cruising the field
searching for fat pink worms
and tufts of dried grass to line their nests. 

Feel March winds ease
into warm April breezes
that coax daffodils and dandelions
to shine like a thousand suns
under spring’s clear blue sky,
and seep into
your winter-weary soul.

It begins here.

Draft, © Catherine Flynn, 2020

Previous “News From the Natural World” poems:

April 16: Dear Venus
April 15: Listen
April 14: Ode to a Tide Pool
April 11: What Does A Bird’s Egg Know?
April 10: Clusters of Clover
April 9: Song of the Pink Moon
April 8: Jewel of the Jungle
April 5: Phantom of the Forest
April 4: To Build a Nest
April 3: Apple Cake
April 2: Specimen
April 1: Forest Snail

29 thoughts on “News From the Natural World: Poetry Friday Edition

  1. I had a red chair very much like the one in your photo at my childhood desk. I felt like I was sitting in it while reading your poem. Love the progress of spring, and the repetition of your opening at the end.


  2. Catherine! This is beautiful….”It begins here” is a wonderful entry. I need to borrow that line for some poems. I love it. The winter sitting in its coat, watching spring bloom…is gorgeous. This is a poem I wish I had written. I want to sit with those daffodils like a thousand suns.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, you found a way in and I love your intro as well as the poem, Catherine. The feeling of waiting, patience is so good in your poem, something that will make us all wish for it, even wish for “a red chair”. Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful! I love the invitation to st, to observe, to welcome spring as she peeks out of winter’s cloak. I’m glad someone left the chair for you to find and wonder about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Catherine! I love this! I’m so glad you hung in there until you found the right form. Your imagery is wonderful and that first line is such a gateway line. It reminds me of a Williams line like “so much depends…” or “This is just to say…” Clever you to recognize the potential of that line on a greeting card.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Catherine,
    I really like this poem. Just what we need today, and tomorrow… So many lines resonate… and could lead to even more writing: it begins here… at the edge of the field… sit, be patient, watch…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It begins here is the perfect beginning and ending to this poem. Your descriptions are luscious!

    Stubbly brown winter coat
    vermilion tips of peonies
    shines like a thousand suns
    winter-weary soul

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Catherine, it is amazing that you found the table and chair. It invited you to write about it.
    that coax daffodils and dandelions
    to shine like a thousand suns
    You have found beautiful language to flow through your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think this is my favorite of your series. The invitation of the red chair to sit and observe the natural world as winter changes to spring and all your images makes me feel right at home.

    Liked by 1 person

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