Wednesday, April 20, 2016

ARTSPEAK! 2016: Poem #20 "Child in the Garden"

Hello, and welcome to day 20 of my National Poetry Month poem-a-day-project ARTSPEAK! in which I respond to images found in the online collections at the National Gallery of ArtPlease join me, if you feel so inspired!

But first, please visit Ruth at There is no such thing as a godforsaken town to see how our Progressive Poem is progressing!

This year's ARTSPEAK! theme is "Plant. Grow Eat." It was inspired by the release of my latest book FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers' Market.
Here are the poems so far:

"Math Lesson (from the Garden)" after Still Life with Lemons and Oranges and Blue Gloves" by Vincent van Gogh
"Gardening Basics" after The Watering Can/Emblems: the Garden by Roger de La Fresnaye
"Mary in the Garden" after Reading in the Garden by Pompeo Mariani
"This Wheelbarrow" after A Woman Emptying a Wheelbarrow by Camille Pissarro
"A Dream of Sheep" after Warm Afternoon by Winslow Homer
"Harvest" after The Last Days of Harvest by Winslow Homer
"Anticipation (in the Garden) after George Moore in the Artist's Garden by Edouard Manet
"Gathering Fruit" after Gathering Fruit by Mary Cassatt
"Bread's Lament" after Boy with Basket of Fruit by an unknown American artist
"After the Fire" after Ruined Farm by Hubert Robert
"Cow at the Gate" after Landscape with Open Gate by Pieter Molijin
"I Am the Plate" after Still Life with Milk Jug and Fruit by Paul Cezanne
"Courtship (According to the Cat)" by Winslow Homer
"Courage" after Planting Corn by Stanley Mazur
"Orchard Barber Shop" after Gardener Pruning a Tree by Jacques Callot
"Gardener's Companion" after The Watering Can by Georges Seurat
"Triolet for Planting Day" after The Artist's Garden at Eragny by Camille Pissarro

Today's poem is kind of mysterious to me... it was inspired by "The Artist's Garden at Vethuiel" by Claude Monet. There's a stanza there (about sky!) that I don't know where it came from, or what it means exactly... and it may need to be cut. But for now I've left it in there. A big part of what draws me to poetry is how it helps me discover things about MYSELF. I think these lines are a perfect example of the poem speaking to ME. I try to really slow down and pay attention when this happens. I can always edit (or expand!) later. Also, the "flower"? It's in honor of the skunk in the movie Bambi. :)

Child in the Garden

Sometimes Papa
calls me Flower

but I am drab
compared to these
sun-topped towers

that swoop and sway
and rustle and droop –

all day they whisper
to each other

while I walk
beneath them.

I want to tell them
the sky isn't always

the same dirt
that cradles their roots
sleeps between
my toes –

I have secrets, too.


  1. I like that sky stanza. And today I'm thinking about the mystery of where poems come from too. So magical, this whole writing thing. Sun-topped towers! xx

  2. What has happened to the progressive poem? I found nothing on Charles' site, nor Ruth's. There hasn't been a change in schedule, has there?


Your thoughts?