These giant poppies are from my garden here in Toronto, Ontario…they are intruders..they pop up every spring growing taller and wider with the years..
The seeds were planted by squirrels years ago and they have repeatedly defied my attempts to root them out, so I have resigned myself to bright red poppies smack in the middle of a pink, blue, and mauve garden…
This morning I saw them tall and defiant as always, so I grabbed my pastels, went outside and painted some of them exactly as they grew, not changing a thing…it was as if they were posing for me…only the tops of the leaves show at this height, but they bent their heads gracefully as I scribbled…they are about five feet tall so I stood right in front of them and went to work…
Now I have captured them on paper, they will probably remain here forever..,..
From the Flowers Series
Pastel and White Sharpie on Handmade Paper
This is a year of Poppies: our land
was overflowing with them when I returned
between May and June, and got drunk
on a wine so sweet, so dark.
From cloudy mulberry to grain to meadow,
ripeness was all, in a gentle
heat, a slow drowsiness
spread throughout the green universe.
Now at life’s midpoint, I’ve seen
grown-up sons go off alone
and disappear beyond the net of flights
the swallow keeps to in the spent glow
of stormy evening..
And the pain gave way
naturally to the lights of home,
of another dinner in air refreshed,
by hail unleashed in the distance…Attilo Bertolucci