Màk (poppy)

red flower near white flower during daytime
orange-yellow, California state flower
petals delicate, velvet richness you dive into
wiry, fierce, sprouting despite harshest soils
wind-seared sand, impenetrable clay, disruption—

your golden meadows signal springtime
luxurious in years with late rains
bee heaven, she tumbles in pollen
somersaults, pulsating abdomen
her body hairs yellow-powdered halo

my grandmother knew blue, the breadseed form
estranged from my roots I know it not
new roots, mine
California taproots cling to sandstone

Eschscholzia, soporific nervine
the dark side, toxic, poison
skull and crossbones, beware
what darkness emerges next

my poppy popcorn, here-there-everywhere
runs in dizzying directions
disorienting, incomplete
(do not show the darkness—
find the turn, make it bright—
yet it oozes out nonetheless)

she slips from my pen
nimble, lithe, transfixing
can I learn patience with nonlinear?
my alter ego, my shadow, inspiration, delight
orange-yellow petals curl to a funnel in late afternoon

J. Maak

J. Maak is a writer and change-maker in urban Los Angeles. Her ecopoetry has appeared in Tiny Seed and several other literary journals. She teaches environmental sustainability at a private college as well as to the general public. When not writing, she can typically be found in a garden: helping others with their vegetable plots, maintaining her own fruit trees and veggies, or watching birds and butterflies in the backyard wildlife habitat she stewards. Her work can be found through Change-Making.com/jmaak.