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Edgeworth & Stephen – Nov. 15

Carol A. Stephen and Eleanor Edgeworth traded art and words. Eleanor shared this image, titled “Blooming,” with Carol:

In response, Carol wrote this poem:

A Desert Flowering

Deep in her dry Sonoran world
of wind and sand and wind, the Fairy Duster wakes
from long months of heat and sun, waits
for the seldom-days of rain, the warm breath
of desert sky to stir what grows within.

Each day of her travail, she senses quickening,
each day her body nourishes the life that’s waiting to begin.

With the first touch of spring rain, her belly tightens,
her skin stretches taut and thin, opening to the air.
She arches upward, pointing the way,
setting her children free, sharing the fruits
of her blooming.

Note from the author: Calliandra eriophylla, commonly known as Fairy Duster, is a low spreading shrub which is native to deserts and arid grasslands in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and Mexico.

* * * * *

Carol shared this poem with Eleanor:

If I Leave

I have never slept in barns, nor called
a cellar home, walls have never held me
safe from tractors I couldn’t drive.
How awkwardly I’d ride furrows filled
with rain and promises of seeds.

I’ve tilled myself a garden, made a home
for frogs. They hide under inverted clay pots,
wait for flies, tongues curled, sticky with anticipation.

If I leave first, bury me with a memory of this garden:
a blackeyed susan, blue delphinium,
or an explorer rose, everywhere thorned and twisting.

Scatter the petals of those spent blooms in the doorway,
crush them underfoot. Their scent will hold an answer
to when or why. Do not cry then. Walk the old growth forest,
scatter my memories among roots of its oldest tree.

Give what remains to soil and sky, and with each kneeling
do not speak of what’s gone but listen: in the movement of trees
a voice echoes each blade of grass. Your upturned palm releases

energy to the universe.


In response, Eleanor made this painting, entitled “Passing”: