Wild Flowers in Japanese Forms

bleeding heart flowers
Please see author’s note at bottom. This is one wild flower poem in 5 parts.

Wild Flowers in Japanese Forms

I. Coneflower
Each bloom, a dreamt gift.
Greek’s sea urchin. Touch beyond
gentle pricks, which start
flat as a daisy. Each phase
an evolution
a notion within. Full grown,
an inverted strawberry.

II. Float
Float animated
spirit of wild rose. Float wild
pastel hydrangeas
pillowed clouds into higher
realms & notice soft purple
clusters of milkweed flowers.

III. Goatsbeard
Insist on faded
dry whistle of creamy plumes
to sail us to distant lands.

IV. Blackeye Susan
Unfurled as golden
ribbons. Enter into &
through pupils’ portals.
Travel to an inner you.
Tunnel through chapters of Time.

V. Jacob’s ladder & Wild Bleeding Hearts
Ascend fern pinnate
rungs of ladder, connecting
earth to heavenly
realms & from heaven back home
to earth again. Know
full well angels tread these ways—
coming & going.
Life, a cluster of bleeding
hearts, purplish red,
nodding & from each ringing
heart a drop of blood
event hangs by a fragile,
somewhat invisible thread.

Author’s note: “Wildflowers in Japanese Forms” is a poem written about American Wild Flowers (coneflower, wild rose, wild hydrangeas, milkweed, goatsbeard, blackeyed susan, jacob’s ladder and wild bleeding hearts) and is constructed in various Japanese syllabic forms called wakas (translated as “Japanese poem”), such as the katauta 5-7-7 syllabic pattern, the tanka 5-7-5-7-7; the bussokusekika 5-7-5-7-7-7, and the choka 5-7-5-7-5-7-7 which can have indefinite lines. My first choka has 7 lines and the second one has 11 lines.

Poem by Diane Sahms

Diane Sahms is the author of a chapbook and five full-length poetry collections, most recently City of Shadow & Light (Philadelphia), Alien Buddha Press, 2022. Published in North American Review, Sequestrum Journal of Literature & Arts, Brushfire Literature & Arts Journal, The Northern Virginia Review, POEMS-FOR-ALL, The Philadelphia Inquirer, among others, with poems forthcoming from Valley Voices. Former high school English teacher, she works full time for the government and is poetry editor at North of Oxford.
& http://www.dianesahms-guarnieri.com/