Tag Archives: tulips

five red tulips in a white pot IV

Holding aloft their fiery cups,
flames they have caught
as they flow from the sun,
they are full now,
filled to overflowing,
their bowls brimming
and their petals saturated.
And yet still they are insatiable,
glowing like greedy coals
that are not dimmed by the sunlight
but fed by it.


Fourth in the “five red tulips in a white pot series” – and yes, there are only four tulips in flower. One was eaten by something. But 80% is pretty good. 


Filed under gardening, poem

five red tulips in a white pot III

How can I describe
these whorls that have risen from the soil?
Somewhere between green and blue,
cyan, teal-green…? Or… yes… Persian-green,
this name so apt for the colour of tulip leaves,
that mountain flower
brimming with the poetry
recited by a young man
ten thousand miles from home,
with a smile like an oasis.
I listened to his words,
though they were not spoken for me,
but for someone else
ten thousand miles away.
And now I find them echoed
in these Persian-green whorls.


I went looking at colour charts to find the right word for the colour of the foliage of the tulips I have in a pot on my porch. And Persian-green was a good match. It reminded me of an Iranian student I had in a post-grad class many years ago. One of the tasks was to give a presentation, and I gave the class free-choice of topic. He recited some Persian poetry, and then provided a translation in English. Like a couple of other Iranian students I’ve taught, he had the most extraordinarily beautiful smile. 

I’ve seen tulips growing on a mountainside in Kazakhstan, small yellow ones, tiny compared to the garden princesses bred from their ancestors that we now grow. And they were beautiful in their own right, and in part because they were unexpected. I didn’t know at the time that tulips are native to Iran and central Asia. The name “tulip” is a corruption of the Persian word “toliban”, meaning turban. So Persian-green seems seems very apt.  


Filed under gardening, poem

five red tulips in a white pot II

Five white hearts
wrapped in brittle brown paper,
stir in the dark,
reach out.

Standing in a flurry of snow,
a scatter of hail,
I am torn between eagerness
to see green shoots,
and trepidation at their daring.


Five red tulips in a white pot I


Filed under poem

five red tulips in a white pot

Today I am planting tulips.
I am planting five red tulips in a white pot. Continue reading


Filed under poem