poetryrepairs #240 v17.08:086

JUDY HOGAN : Can Flowers Change Your Life? III
086poet2 : Can Flowers Change Your Life? IV

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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