Welcome to
Transactions with Beauty.
Thanks for being here.
I hope that this is a space that inspires you to add something beautiful to the world. I truly believe that 
you are required to make something beautiful.

– Shawna



3 Poems About Flowers

3 Poems About Flowers

Flowers are beautiful but they are not uncomplicated. Today I’m sharing three poems that get at the beauty and the sorrow of flowers, the way that flowers are surprising, and that the absence of flowers is powerful and brutal and heart wrenching. We cannot take flowers for granted.

I first read the third poem in this list months and months ago, and it has stayed with me. It’s a tough read but a necessary one. It’s one that I think you’ll want to read and come back to. And I’ve added the link to the book it’s from, at the bottom of the post, too, if you’d like to read more by the author. In my case, the poem made me really stop and think about my white privilege in all new ways and all over again. Something that I think I cannot examine and re-examine and remember often enough.

flowers in the sunlight

1. Flowers by Cynthia Zarin

This morning I was walking upstairs
from the kitchen, carrying your
beautiful flowers, the flowers you

brought me last night, calla lilies
and something else, I am not
sure what to call them, white flowers,

of course you had no way of knowing
it has been years since I bought
white flowers—but now you have

and here they are again. I was carrying
your flowers and a coffee cup
and a soft yellow handbag and a book

of poems by a Chinese poet, in
which I had just read the words “come
or go but don’t just stand there

in the doorway,” as usual I was
carrying too many things, you
would have laughed if you saw me.

It seemed especially important
not to spill the coffee as I usually
do, as I turned up the stairs,

inside the whorl of the house as if
I were walking up inside the lilies.
I do not know how to hold all

the beauty and sorrow of my life.

5-winter day march-31.jpg

2. Flowers by Wendy Videlock

for my mother

They are fleeting.
They are fragile.
They require

little water.
They’ll surprise you.
They’ll remind you

that they aren’t
and they are you.


flower in a small vase

3. my dad asks, "how come black folk can't just write about flowers?” by Aziza Barnes

bijan been dead 11 months & my blue margin reduced to arterial, there’s a party at my house, a house held by legislation vocabulary & trill. but hell, it’s ours & it sparkle on the corner of view park, a channel of blk electric. danny wants to walk to the ledge up the block, & we an open river of flex: we know what time it is. on the ledge, folk give up neck & dismantle gray navigation for some slice of body. it’s june. it’s what we do.

{continue to read the poem here}

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