Peonies are in full bloom here and we try to wish away any hard rainfall that would dampen their blooms. This poem by Mary Oliver says it best.


by Mary Oliver

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open–
pools of lace,
white and pink–
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities–
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again–
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

About elainereardon

Writer, forest dweller, gardener, herbalist, and painter, often bumping into magic, peeking around new corners.
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4 Responses to Peonies

  1. Luci H Buckner says:

    Dear Elaine, What wonderful images & lovely poem. I love the vase of peonies. Bless you for sending out into the world this special flower & I love when you speak of the ants. Because I never knew why ants show up on peonies. Now I know. Take care….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kathleen Corbett says:

    Elaine,thank you again for your beautiful words.I,too am enjoying peonies. Their scent is intoxicating & permeates my home.
    ❤️ Kathleen ❤️


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