"Wheels Turning Inward" is a is a rich collection of over fifty poems, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. The artwork at the top of this page, is one image found in the Gordon Moore Memorial stain glass window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, by the artist Kim Clark Renteria. The image of these three circles, is emblematic of both the Trinity and the title for this new collection of poetry now available from Friesen Press.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Azaleas II

this year our azaleas                                     
have come late
right on time
on how you look at it

it has been a long winter
for Houston,
for me.

The azaleas
quiver in the air,
Like can-can dancers
their pink and fuschia skirts held high
their stamen legs kicking
corralling my attention
and beckoning me
to come closer
and inhale this solid mass
of buzzing blooms.

do you remember
that each flower has both
both male and female parts?
horticultural hermaphrodites.

there are two types of flowers:
imperfect and perfect.
the imperfect ones are always
either all male or all female
while the perfect ones
have both male and female parts.

Our azaleas are perfect.
Their silky magenta petals
Puff and sing their way through our home
revealing spring
in a chorus of floral angels.

Julie Macksoud and Ron Starbuck
Copyright 2010

Julie Macksoud is an internet friend of mine who is at Colby College up in Waterville, Maine. We’ve been friends for quite a while now, since before Joanne and I were married in 1997. Our initial connection was due to Nanci Griffith, we’re both fans of Nanci. Julie was inspired with my original poem about our azaleas at home and came up with this lovely version that I wanted to share with folks. She asked me if she could revise it some, as a gift. At the end of the poem, I put her name first, because ladies should always go first, and because she did such a lovely job of adding something special to the poem, with a certain touch of femininity. It’s fun to look over the difference and a lesson for me, I say this humbly, in how to compose good poetry. I say compose, because writing poems is probably more like writing music, than prose. Although, I do think that well written poems and prose, can both call to mind the feeling of a well performed symphony.

I get impatient with myself or the poem at times, and rush too quickly into print and publication. Perhaps that has something to do with instant gratification, something we all suffer from these days. There is a lesson in that too.