Poetry Sundays: Spirit Flowers

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Spirit Flowers

By Della Burt

Spirit flowers are our lives,

We move in the

promise of the future.

We watch the ones

born unto us

walk, talk, dance, sing

grow

into the futures we’ve dreamed.

Sometimes losing faith

we bemoan

the wind which blows too strongly

losing our perfection.

We berate the sun

which shines too brightly

baking us black.

We deny love

tormenting our waking hours.

We kill the dream

leaving goals unattended.

But then the gentle breeze blows;

The sun breaks open our smiles;

The dream is reborn

Our love blossoms and

we are fulfilled.

The blue sky and warm sunshine

caress our shoulders

and wrap us in security

making us believers again.

We create

and what we create

is our future.

Spirit flowers we are.

This poem found me a few months ago when I was losing hope and faith.  I remember how it felt when the “dream” first came alive for me.  The energy and power I felt in fighting for a better future for my children.  But this year, especially in Mormon Feminism, it feels like the elements have raged against us.  Like the flowers, we have been scorched and beaten by the sun and wind until we feel like withered, lifeless forms.  It’s hard not to lose ourselves, not to become hardened in this harsh climate.  It’s hard not to become angry at the institution that has hurt us.  It becomes hard to love, especially to love those who don’t agree with us.  I have even felt that a loving bond that was created between us as feminists through our acts of courage to fight the patriarchy has cooled somewhat.  The stress of the harsh elements has caused fighting and division among us.  It’s true, as the poem says, “We deny love tormenting our waking ours.”  That is how it feels to deny love.  It’s torment.  But it happens, understandably, when we feel beaten.

But I found a renewed hope in this poem because seasons come and seasons go.  Even now in the middle of a cold dark winter when I feel sad and hopeless, there is hope.  There is hope that spring will come again and life will be renewed.  And the very elements that once beat us down will one day be less harsh, will be more moderate, will be the very life-giving energy that will bring us back to ourselves.  Will open up our smiles, fill us again with love, “wrap us in security making us believers again.”    What a beautiful, hopeful thought.  And we will continue to create our future.  That’s what we are doing, creating our future, creating our children’s future.  Let’s not forget that, not even when it’s hard.

This poem feels even more meaningful to me when I think about the fact that it was written by a black women, Della Burt.  I have been unsuccessful in learning anything about Della Burt, other than a small glimpse of her life through three different poems published in an anthology called, “Black Sister: Poetry by Black American Women, 1746-1980.”  But I can imagine what her experience in life was, living and raising her children as a black women in mid-twentieth century America.  So grateful I am for the women and men of the past who dreamed and who created a future that is better than what they had.  This poem has reminded me to work to keep that dream alive and to continue to create a better future for the next generation, even when it’s hard.

Jenny

Jenny graduated from BYU with a bachelor degree in humanities. she teaches yoga classes and spends her time hanging out with her four kids, reading, writing, and running.

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2 Responses

  1. Patty says:

    Seasons come and go. The hopeful signs are few, but I look for them. Thanks for the poem!

  2. EmilyCC says:

    This means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing it.

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