Wildflower Season: Poetry by Carolyn Wing Greenlee

We are wildflowers—
scattered
wind-sown
warm, rich meadows are our homes
ice regions of the North
sand-washed, sullen hot-breath plains
cracks of rocks
cheerful cascadings
celebrating roots that hold.

We are often
individually 
unseen
we have beauties known
mostly to ourselves.
We have learned to live
where greenhouse flowers die
we
who are vapor ourselves

From a window of a passing car
we are massing all alike
an array of force and color
covering the world.
From where we sit
we are each 
ourselves
separate
but close
opening and closing
alone

We bring delight with variety
tears
with the soft yellow dust of our fertility
We are opulent, lush, generous
gone

trusting the rest to integrity of seeds
and the faithfulness
of tomorrow

Carolyn Wing Greenlee

Carolyn Wing Greenlee first discovered poetry as a child looking through her mother’s library. The love affair with carefully crafted words has never ceased, though her own skills increased as she majored in comparative literature with a specialty in poetry at Occidental College and in creative writing with an emphasis on poetry in grad school at UC Davis. She has taught poetry in schools, been a guest teacher and reader at schools, universities, literary festivals, and literary gatherings, taught and read as a featured poet several times at conferences of Women Writing the West, and was a member of the group Poetrio, with Lake County poets laureate Jim Lyle and James BlueWolf. She has written 18 books and edited more than 30, bringing to print unusual subjects such as her mother’s life growing up inside a Chinese laundry and her own experience of blindness and guide dog school. She is currently completing her last book. After 38 years of writing, she’s planning to rework and bring to performance the musical she co-authored with Dan Worley, and work on a new album of her original songs. After the grueling labor of writing a book, it will be kind of a vacation.

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