The Scarlet-Throated Rhododendrons Blooming

Very suddenly, it is summer in Western Oregon.* The first warm day was just three days ago, late April. In that one day, my arugula seeds pushed above the soil, and the cherry tree outside my window popped straight from bud into both leaf and blossom. My rhododendrons’ buds were green two days ago; as of this morning, their clusters are swelling with color.

I have spent even more time than usual these past three weeks arranging and photographing flowers (and branches, and leaves, and rocks, and). Local blossoms of all sorts have shifted in these few warm hours from a lovely handful to a glorious profusion.

The Scarlet-Throated Rhododendrons Blooming

They start 
with their hearts 
on their sleeves. 
Red buds 
peal to petals 
the pale of tenderness.
You might blush for them.
Even as they glory.

That’s from Serpentine, a very spring/summer, green/gold, lush/verdant collection of poems by me and illustrations by Lucy Bellwood. I am once again working with Bored Wolves, who make utterly tactile, delicious books that qualify as physical objects of art in themselves.

Today is Beltaine. Serpentine comes out at the next turn of the wheel: the summer solstice. Details soon. For now, a hundred summer blessings.

*I count summer as May 1, and winter as November 1, and spring and fall as flavors of the two main seasons.

One thought on “The Scarlet-Throated Rhododendrons Blooming

  1. Arugula!!
    I’m so excited for Serpentine. After having Tell The Turning for a couple of autumns/winters, I’m looking forward to a spring/summer book of poems.


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