Can Flowers Change Your Life? III
January 3, 2016
The hard frost came two days after
our year changed. No slight touch
this time. The lawn looks iced. A thin
ice coat lies even on the porch railing.
The meadow weeds are snowy white.
December was warm. Violets popped up.
Daffodils thrust up stems. The blueberry
bushes put on buds. The hydrangea lost
all its leaves and then started to put them
back. The zinnias were only dead stalks,
but one of the sunflowers opened in
defiance of all logic. I failed to weed
the flower garden so the crocuses could
get through. Maybe itís not too late.
Rain and work kept me indoors. Sun
brought in those Arctic blasts again.
Weíre promised snow this month and
next. Iíve been given wood and a
shelter to keep it dry, as well as a new
Hoganvillaea sign, and daffodils to rise
when warmth and rain return. My life
has also turned a corner. A watershed,
separating two valleys, is where I stand--
in the other one now. The end of my
life is some years off, but I see what I
must do in the meantimeĖtwenty years,
more or less. If I suffer doubts that I am
loved and even honored, I can let them
go now. There are no crowds, no loud
ovations, yet my work and my love are
celebrated and acknowledged. No point
wishing for what isnít there, when so much
that I longed for has come true. People see
and want to thank me. My leyline path
is well-marked now. I neednít hesitate,
simply keep walking, whether through
warm rain or frost and sun.
poetryrepairs #240 v17.08:086
Can Flowers Change Your Life? IV
January 10, 2016
Cold rain, cold sun. The indoor
flowers bloom. The small orchid
has dozens of flower stalks aimed
at window light, patient on grey days,
eager, when sun is full and skies blue
again. The amaryllis begins its slow
rise, a centimeter at a time. A reporter
came to my book signing, smiling the
whole time. He said his editor gets
a kick out of me. Jane calls me noble,
Susan gives me corn and potato chowder.
Zoila helped me harvest lemon balm and
weed in the orchard. Today I will
speak to my community about my
love for them and the war we fight
to stop the coal ash, and then we will
sing. Enough money has come in
for me to pay my bills and keep
publishing books. I have eased my
way through stressful daysĖtoo many
meetings, but now I rest and see my
way forward. Iím on my leyline,
more than Iíve ever been before. Iím
fulfilling a prophecy I saw fifteen years
ago: my books are coming into print.
What I never expected is coming true,
too. People are reaching out to help me
before I ask. Shawn repaired the
clothesline; Jane brought lights for
the sign. Julia traded her lovely calendar
for a new book. Dawn and Jim have
ordered fatwood fire starters. I have students
eager to hear what Iíve learned about
writing these forty-two years of teaching,
nurturing those who doubted their
powers. Cathy is praying for our gospel
sing benefit today. All these gifts are like
prayers, all these hands keeping me steady
on my feet like Terica did Friday. Somehow
the Universe is sending light to me, sanctioning
what I write, what I do, and even who I am.
poetryrepairs #240 v17.08:086
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Judy Hogan was co≠editor of a poetry journal (Hyperion, 1970≠
81). In 1976 she founded Carolina Wren Press. She has been active in
central North Carolina as a reviewer, book distributor, publisher,
teacher, and writing consultant.Four mystery novels-- Killer Frost (2012), Farm Fresh and Fatal (2013) The Sands of Gower (2015), and Haw (2016)--are in print.
Between 1990 and 2007 she visited Kostroma, Russia, five
times, teaching American literature at Kostroma University in 1995 and
giving a paper to a Kostroma University Literature Conference in
March 2007. A second paper was published in the 2013 Literature
Conference proceedings at Kostroma University. She worked on five
exchange visits, as well as cooperative publishing with Kostroma
writers and exhibits of their artists. Judy lives and farms in Moncure,
N.C., near Jordan Lake.
see Can Flowers Change Your Life? #229 16.10:120
and Can Flowers Change Your Life? II #229 16.10:120