Poem for Saturday: Feverfew Feverfew Do flowers make us happy? Especially those little smiling faces of daisies and daisy-like flowers? Used to represent a universal flower type, little white flowers with yellow centers and a circlet of white petals have always been recognized as symbols of innocence and childhood. I’m a sucker for a little white flower, be it chamomile or a daisy or an aster or…feverfew, even the mounds of it that take over sections of my garden every summer. It’s a native wild plant in my area and once it gets a root in the soil nothing can stop it. Yet it looks as delicate and happy and innocent as a flutter of butterflies. Through the years caring for my mother and brother, money woes and running my business, the coming in and sadly, leaving, of members of my feline family have tended to pull me deeper into myself until I can’t get past myself to my creative self that is totally unaware of all these daily things. Sometimes when I’m weighed down by everything around me, a trip to the garden and seeing little smiling flower faces dotted with dew can awaken my creative senses and lift the weight off my shoulders—and a good thing because I need all my strength and balance to run around with my camera and sketchbook. A trip to the garden in the morning pulls me out of that space for just enough time that I can reach that creative self in time for another day’s work in my studio, and my kitchen, and around my house as I smile back at all those little happy faces covered with dew and suddenly see photos and paintings and fabric designs and, for the moment, forget anything else. Feverfew Oh, I can’t stop looking at all the feverfew in my garden, I just keep running from one cluster to another those tiny perfect daisies in umbels as if floating without stems on waves of bright green leaves the dots of dew flashing, sparkling in the day’s new sun just arrived over the horizon its color still warm and yellow as if it’s a cookie just taken out of the oven and I have to look at all the feverfew from every angle until I’m done looking and I discover I’ve forgotten all the problems of yesterday and all the ills of the world that I feel the need to carry and I’m laughing and dripping with dew myself and visualizing stunning works of art and amazing poetry and prose most of which will ever be realized nor do they need to be the inspiration only needs to settle into my soul in this early morning in June and its glow will warm heart and keep me laughing with joy through the day and the next and the next. Poem “Feverfew” by Bernadette E. Kazmarski © 2008, may not be reproduced in any way without express written permission of the author. Links to this blog are fine. I read this poem at my 2008 poetry reading at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall which you can read in Paths I Have Walked, outlined below. Also visit the writing section of my website to read more poetry and see more art and photos. Read more poetry here on Today or visit my poetry page to see more about my poetry and other writing, and to purchase Paths I Have Walked. I’m proud to offer a folio of my poetry Paths I Have Walked: the poetry and art of Bernadette E. Kazmarski FROM FOUR ANNUAL POETRY READINGS AT ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY & MUSIC HALL IN CARNEGIE, PA People who attended one or more of my poetry readings encouraged me to publish some of my poetry in a book from the beginning. Once I completed my 2010 poetry reading, my fourth featuring the final piece of artwork in the “Art of the Watershed” series, I decided it was time to publish something and it should be those four poetry readings. Poetry books are not best-sellers; it’s difficult to convince a publisher to risk effort on a beginning poet, and while self-publishing is the best option it’s not inexpensive and once you’ve got the book, someone’s got to market it. Plus, I’m a graphic designer and I designed books for years, and I want things my way. All of this is a recipe for a little bit of trouble, but I decided the book was well worth the effort so I designed the book myself and had a set printed—no ISBN or anything formal, but it’s a start! I’m really excited to offer it. Books are 4.25″ x 11″, 40 pages of information and poetry, with glossy covers featuring “Dusk in the Woods” and little thumbnails of all four pieces in “Art of the Watershed”. $8.00 each plus $2.50 shipping (they are oversized for mailing first class). You can order one on my poetry page, or in my Marketplace. About the books and the poetry readings My biggest inspiration for poetry, prose and artwork is the world right around me, and I enjoy the opportunity to share it from the perspective of one who walks and hikes and bikes and carries a camera, art materials and journal everywhere—even around the house—so the inspirations are fresh. In December, 2006, two of my poems were chosen to be published on a section of the Prairie Home Companion website entitled “Stories From Home/First Person” for submissions of writing about the place we feel most familiar. I’m a long-time listener to PHC and reader of Garrison Keillor’s books as well as a daily listener to The Writer’s Almanac featuring news about writers and writing and of interest to writers as well as a poem, all compiled and read by Keillor himself. I was astonished to find my poems were among the first chosen from apparently thousands, and so happy to be able to share them with a potential audience of so many similarly inclined writers and readers. My poetry readings and art exhibits were the vision of Maggie Forbes, executive director of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, after learning of my publishing of those two poems. I owe her many thanks for encouraging me to present this combination of my visual and literary art, a first for me. I love that building, every inch of it, and the opportunity to bring people in to visit is an honor. 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