Moon stories (for Beltane)
Tunes for a Monday Morning

Sun stories

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers by Odilon Redon

Farm Garden with Sunflowers by Gustav KlmitThe Sunflowers

by Mary Oliver

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines
creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky
sugars of the sun.
Come with me
Sunflowers by Gustav Klimtto visit the sunflowers,
they are shy
but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,
the wandering crows.
Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life!
hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
The Lesson, with Sunflowers by Carl Larssonin a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,
is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.

Clytie by Louis Welden Hawkins

Oh how I love this line from the poem: the long work of turning their lives into a celebration is not easy.  Because easy or not, that's precisely the "long work" I want to do too, in both life and art.

Two Cut Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh

The art above is "Vase ith Sunflowers" by the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890); "Farm Garden With Sunflowers" and "Sunflowers" by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt (1862-1918); "The Lesson, with Sunflowers" by the Swedish Arts & Crafts painter/designer Carl Larsson (1853-1919); "Clytie," a water nymph turned into a sunflower in Greek mythology, by the German Symbolist painter Louis Welden Hawkins (1849-1910); and "Two Cut Sunflowers" by van Gogh. Below is "Sunflower," a 19th century wallpaper design created by Bruce James Talbert for Jeffrey & Co. London (1878), and a sunflower child from one of my old sketchbooks.

''Sunflower,'' a 19th century wallpaper design by Bruce James Talbert

Sunflower child sketch by T Windling

The poem above comes from Dream Work by Mary Oliver (Atlantic Monthly Press); all rights reserved by the author.