Flowering

Jan 12, 2018

Today’s poem is “Flowering” by Linda Buckmaster. She grew up in “Space Coast” Florida during the Fifties and Sixties and moved to mid-coast Maine in the Seventies. Linda has published three chapbooks of poems and her hybrid memoir, Space Heart. A Memoir in Stages, will be published by Burrows Press in September 2018.

She says, “I wrote this…after a visit to the Aran Islands in Ireland. For centuries, the people of Inishmoor have been building and re-building potato-growing soil in the cracks of the limestone karst with seaweed and what is left from the year before that the winter wind didn't blow away. Although the details of the landscape may vary from place to place, wherever I travel, the basics of life, especially stone, bees and water, remain the same. At the time of writing this particular piece, the freshest loss was my husband's sudden death. With subsequent losses over the years of mother, brother, and stepfather, I find the poem serves as a necessary reminder on how to live.”

Flowering
At the Ruins of Seven Churches, Inishmore
by Linda Buckmaster

Pick a crevice
a homey gap
between stones
and make it
your own.

Grow a life here
from wind, rain,
and the memories
of ancients embedded
in limestone.

The bees will use you
for their sweet honey. The rock will soften
under your touch. You will
draw moisture from fog
and hold it. Your presence
will build soil.

This is all we have
in this life, all we own:
a flowering
an opening
a gap between stones
for tiny tender roots.

Poem copyright © 2006 Linda Buckmaster.
Reprinted from Heart Song & Other Legacies,
The Illuminated Sea Press, 2006,
by permission of Linda Buckmaster.