The Poppies’ Apprentice


Late in August, after the poppy petals have faded and dropped,
and the stalks have dried, I cut them, timed just before their
tiny round ground-pepper seeds spill upon the fertile earth.
I am the poppies’ servant, gently upturning their slender stems
and rattling pods into small brown paper bags, biding quietly
through all the dark winter for the gradual break of brittle husks,
the hushed eased release of ten thousand miracles, handfuls
of treasure to scatter on pale February’s diminishing mounds
of dispirited snow. The seeds stay or drift, eventually coming
to rooted rest, and it’s not I, the earnest gardener, who will say
which will bloom or where; this is the secret magic of poppies.

I tend and plant my gardens just so: tall in the back and
short in the front, all seasons’ colors carefully arranged,
organized surprises, designed to delight in texture, color,
and patterns that gracefully rise and fall, suggesting elegant,
unplanned perfection. But I am only the poppies’ apprentice,
humbly and forever learning from their wisdom, the one who
witnesses and yearns to master the wiser magic of scattered
poppy seeds, erupting in random joy, fully themselves, birthing
incomparable rainbows among my detailed and reasoned rows.


© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.

6 thoughts on “The Poppies’ Apprentice

  1. Kitty, how lovely – both the poppies themselves, and the concept of you as their apprentice. You are truly a gardener. I have neither the time to learn about what blooms when and how, nor the space. So I just admire from afar. But if I did? I, too, would just love seeing the beauty of nature in bloom like you do.


  2. Thank you so much for your visits and kind comments, Jeanne: what a treat!

    Yes, nature in bloom is amazing to me, always. Gardening, for me, is deeply meditative and therapeutic…It is a passion, but I am a rank amateur, which doesn’t at all detract from its gifts to me as a form of artistic expression…it’s good to have passions like this, I think, where we don’t have to excel or “compete,” just express ourselves and allow the joy derived from falling deep into such a love to fill us up. 🙂 Throwing the poppy seeds everywhere reminds me that spontaneity, like mystery, is a necessary ingredient for feeding passion. 🙂 xxxxx


  3. I agree – passion needs elements of mystery and spontaneity. The wonder, the sudden spark, to do something unexpected or to see it in a new way. Plus the acceptance of what is in the moment allows us to be open to the mystery, solutions, and bursts of expression. Hope you have a wonderful day! xoxo


  4. Before I began to read the title had me hooked. What a brilliant post, I loved every word and smiled throughout, this was pure joy and a total treat. You are a brilliant writer. The photos were a joy too. Love and hugs to all.xxxxx


    1. Oh, Snowbird, my dear friend, you’re so kind. Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed the poem and photos. Wouldn’t it be grand if we could walk into each other’s gardens? 🙂 May it be so one day. xxxxx


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