Posted in Poetry

Wildflower Season

Spring has sprung here in Austin, and the roads are decorated with our state flower. In honor of these brilliant blooms, I’d like to share my poem, “Wildflower Season.” This poem won first place in the Austin Poetry Society’s Mary Oliver Award in 2015 and is published in Best Austin Poetry 2014-2015.

Wildflower Season

Highways are bridges across red seas,
oceans of blue—
bodies of color that wave
when the wind blows.

Tourists in our own land, we wade
through ankle-high blooms, then venture deeper—
trying to capture something
that can’t be caught in a photo.

What we want to remember
is our moment of awe
when we crested that hill
and gasped at the painted landscape.

One bluebonnet looks just like the next
up close.
They are not zebra stripes, nor snowflakes.
Their power lies in the collective,
beauty in numbers.

Let’s put down our cameras,
keep our kids in the car,
stop stopping on the side of the road
to see the blanket turn to threads,
the ocean of blue become a dried up lake
of bald spots and litter.

Let’s just drive, look,
enjoy with our windows down.

Make a U-turn if we must.

© Carie Juettner

BluebonnetsAtDusk
Bluebonnets at dusk, photo by Carie Juettner, March 15, 2016
Posted in Poetry

Things That Could One Day Find Their Way Into a Poem

BestAustinPoetry

This week I’d like to share a poem with you. It holds the record for the longest title of any piece I’ve written so far.

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Things That Could One Day Find Their Way Into a Poem
(in no particular order)

the way I hold my hot tea by the cup instead of the handle
after it has cooled to the perfect temperature;

the little glass coasters with the photos in the center—
a sunset, a statue, you when you still had long hair;

the spot of green paint on the windowpane;

the smell of the dog’s blanket (not a nice smell
but not a terrible one either—sharp, earthy, a hint of salt);

the postcard lying on the desk, corners bent, ink smeared;

the look on your face when you’ve just said something clever
and you’re wondering if I noticed;

the person who walked by the house while I was writing this,
not the one the dog barked at, but the other one
with the backpack and shaggy hair,
who the dog sensed was not a threat;

the sound of the space heater dulling the season’s chill;

the itch in the corner of my eye that would not go away;

and the photo of the bird, taken on our honeymoon
at the Chinese tea gardens in Portland, Oregon,
just after you read a poem to a group of strangers
because the guide asked you to, delighting your new wife
who didn’t know that might be the only time
she’d ever hear you do that

© Carie Juettner

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This poem won the Austin Poetry Society’s Elzy Marathon Thompson Memorial Award last May, and was published in their anthology, Best Austin Poetry 2014-2015, which just came out last week. If you’re interested in reading the rest of the winning poems, including a second one by me, you can order your own copy of the book from Lulu.com.

Have a very merry holiday!

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[Don’t forget– if you comment on my blog posts between now and December 31, 2015, you’ll be entered to win my book giveaway!]