From The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, Dr. Bach, 1854
Impatiens is, as its name suggests, the remedy against impatience and against frustration and irritability caused by impatience. Anyone can get into this state of mind, but there are also genuine Impatiens types, who live life at a rush and hate being held back by more methodical people. To avoid this irritation they try if possible to work alone: the Impatiens boss is the one who sends staff home early so she can get the job finished quicker! The remedy helps these people be less hasty and more relaxed and patient with others. It is also an ingredient in the composite Rescue Remedy, where it is used to help calm agitated thoughts and feelings. Those who are quick in thought and action and who wish all things to be done without hesitation or delay. When ill they are anxious for a hasty recovery. They find it very difficult to be patient with people who are slow, as they consider it wrong and a waste of time, and they will endeavour to make such people quicker in all ways. They often prefer to work and think alone, so that they can do everything at their own speed.
Common Name: Busy Lizzie, Impatiens, Jewelweed
Scientific Name: Impatiens wallerana                     
Notes: · Usually treated as an annual, however, as to the origin of its name, the seed pods will "throw" their seeds when touched or fully ripened and may self-sow for the next season.

We looked at two poems: "Hummingbird" by Donna Bamford  and an Emily Dickinson poem. Both include references to the impatiens plant.
Here's Emily Dickinson's:

I held a Jewel in my fingers --
And went to sleep --
The day was warm, and winds were prosy --
I said "`Twill keep" --
I woke -- and chid my honest fingers,
The Gem was gone --
And now, an Amethyst remembrance
Is all I own --

Have you ever pinched an impatiens or balsam seed pod and felt it explode with its seeds? As a child it was one of many garden delights that was passed on to me by my parents and grandparents. To pull the end of the honeysuckle flower for that one clear drop of sweetness, to crush lemon balm leaves and smell the rush of green citrus aroma, to gently squeeze the jaws of a snapdragon and see it open its mouth.

The two poems we look at for this prompt use as part of their inspiration the impatiens plant. It's name and the reason for it, clearly suggest the eagerness for change or for something expected, the restlessness, fretfulness, even passion, of that word.

Select any flower and use it in your poem to evoke an emotion or state of mind. It's not necessary to personify the flower, or even to feature it in the poem, but to use it's name and qualities to suggest.

Need some botanical inspiration? http://gardennet.com/     http://www.garden.org/     http://www.gardenguides.com/flowers/flowers.htm



She could not abide azaleas! She told me so,
vehemently, emphatically, unequivocally.
Found them too assertive, emphatic, pervasive, obtrusive;
too common, as well.
But then, there wasn't much she did care for that I could see,
including gardening, mothering, nurturing, or me.
Oh, yes, she did adore the Opera,
which I could bear only moderately, partially, vocally.
Can you blame me then for adoring the flash of azaleas in May?
Because they're assertive, emphatic, pervasive and common,
setting streets and homes ablaze, thereby
causing mates to flee - one another occasionally.

Ben Copito


Robbie’s first summer
we water impatiens, late blooming
in clay pots.
We pick dead heads:
day-glo orange, purple, marbled red
and white.
Under the browning
petals, a green pod swollen big
as his thumb.
I go to touch it and
the pod bares its lips
to us.
Sudden as an angry dog --
POP -- it scatters seed like
tiny teeth.
We hissss in a surprised mouth of air
ha-aaahh it back out, dig for another
ripe pod.

Laura Shovan

(to Gertrude Stein)

My yellow iris is
a sizzler
- a frying egg in the sun -
not trying to turn
its pyre of beauty
- its burning flame -
into the frozen song
of a poem (as in 'a rose is a rose').

They bag no such repose,
my iris folk.
They have chose(n)
to scatter
their bursting yolk
- their shattering flower-power -
full course,
from birth to earth,
in one pyromic force
from stalk's exalted tower!

Catherine M. LeGault


He'd say I rotted him out with my leaf mold love-
too rich, like the infinite species beneath my skin.
I told him he shouldn't send poems.
The pages get soaked, words turn to pulp.
With me, I said, you'll need to withstand steam.

I'm one of those grotesque blossoms hung
from branches of sweating rainforest trees,
the kind of flower about which observers
cannot decide-rootless, too large to be pretty,
just out of reach from the ground.

What kind of red are the petals?
Come closer, you can't be sure.
The bottom layer of sunset?
Bitten skin of an overripe apple? Blood?
Impossible flower. It wants to be eaten, or burned.

Svea Barrett-Tarleton


Such a bold showing each summer.
High prairie scarlet field
reaching my walking boot tops.
Pronghorn feeding down wind
for a million years.

Flower of the hour.
My hands rest palms up
on sandy soil covering creeping roots
able to survive this drought.
Looking up, the antelope are gone.
Prairie ghosts.

I lift the air beneath them.
Fine grayish star-shaped hairs
feel almost as if someone is here.
Raising my hands to the blue,
wide, open sun sky,
close my eyes,
listen for a voice -
and hearing none

I step carefully through the scarlet,
watching the earth instead of the sky.

Ken Ronkowitz



eager development
struggling to begin
feeling warmth engulf me
unknowingly entering
a world full of sin
but to be proud
i shoot forth
beautiful extensions
that scream of unforeseen
until the cold wind comes
beaten bleak doldrums
yet i lay seed around me
so others can try
keeping peace
in a violent world

Michael Burns


The ground here is thinner
than any ice you've ever feared.
Every step a potential
mistake. You have to make
believe you're walking
on air, the heaviness
you brought here an illusion.
You can see it if you try:
green and wispy exhalations,
finials of white hovering
just above the crib,
unremarkable as any life
less beautiful than the rose.
But take away this bloom,
this stem--the rose is left
there heavy, black spot,
thorns and all. Tread lightly
and the ground will hold,
this frailer fragrance rising
and you, buoyant through the night.

R.G. Evans


Proud first comes to mind.
Proud, inviting, pink-petaled peonies poised on tall green stems,
Emitting the sweet essence of natural sugar,
Enticing ants to climb to feed in feathery sculpted heads.

An old-fashioned, flowering bush rooted in colonial days.
Cultivated by the Japanese for 1000 years.

In my country garden the blooms attract neighbors who
Slow to a halt alighting from cars
To enjoy the perfume and delight in temporary beauty.

Though attributed to flowers, emotions are the pride of poets, not of blooms.

Ellen Kaplan


All poets have an Aunt Rose
Of whom their mother says
We differ so.

She's short or sprawls or scrambles,
A Rose who climbs on others,
The rose who loves thorns,
So sweet, so nearly thornless.
The Rose who suffers being without a spine.

How many are the Roses?
I thought Rose a French maid
With laughing pink and perfume yellow
Or blood red Chinese empress,
Generous virgin of Maggio
The Italian month for roses,
The antique English
In cabbage form or hybrid tea
Or else open American beauty
The chorus girl
Beauteous Floribunda.

My daughter has a poster
Framed and unfading on her wall,
Rosie, the riveter,
Who boldly spells it out,
"I can do."

Edward N. Halperin


Mornings at six she gardens in old clothes.
Kneeling on green foam pads, she stops to rest,
to appeal for strength in her failing arms,
and sees angels borne upon the sun's rays.
Their extended hands help her rise--not fall
on delicate bones, wound her skin, make tears

in cartilage. This place will have no tears
but those of joy. This garden gate will close
on stress from early spring until late Fall,
and open wide for passersby to rest
their eyes on dahlias, sweet peas, phlox, and raise
their hearts to the All Wise, stretch out their arms

to friends, and to their foes lay down their arms.
With this in mind she digs, she waters, tears
weeds in early mornings till warm rays
soothe her aching feet and legs, the sun clothes
her thin shoulders and gently comes to rest
on silver hair, polishing coils that fall

down her back. She palms seeds then lets them fall
through stiff fingers, or on better days, arms
herself with seedlings she trowels in, then rests.
Petunias will volunteer themselves, tear
willy-nilly through the flower bed, close
to breaking all her rules. So hard to raise

flowers--like those sons of hers. How they'd raise
cain, tease each other, fight until they'd fall
from roof tops, trees, skin elbows, knees, rip clothes
come home with brier scratched, bee stung arms
and act so brave; only sissies shed tears.
Except for one, ever unlike the rest.

The one who gave his parents little rest.
Who taught them forbearance, and how to raise
a special son, who in the end would tear
their hearts in two, heal them up, then fall
still farther from the garden of their arms,
to leave his life before they'd held him close.

Mornings at ten she rests, absorbing Fall,
feeling sun rays massage arthritic arms,
brushing at tears, while angels hover close.

Ruth Zimmerman


i was nothing more
than despairing seed
planted in angry soil
bathed in the sunlight
of apathy
nourished by waters of hate
yet with gentle hand
you picked me
sparing me the fate i so deserved
to die slowly upon the vine
at summers end,alone
a rose no more
to never be
but yet i stood proud in crystal vase
upon the finest mahogany table
i was held once to your bosom
there above the lace
and was not my fragance
stronger still than all the finest perfume
that filled the parlor?
it was my day to blossom
yet as evening shadows sliced
the sunlight like a razor
you laughed and danced
with no regard
while i sat alone, to slowly wither
and die
a rose no more
to never be

Ray Cutshaw


The middle of May,
safe from danger of frost,
I pull limp roots of winter
from the flower boxes that last
spring my husband built
and painted the deep green of a jungle -
low double walls converting the terrace
into a room of freedom.
I work the soil thoroughly,
turning, turning,
pulling layers of air through
like egg whites. Then
I lift the petunias from plastic cells.
into their new beds,
mixing colors as nature does.
I give them water and they drink,
still scared - but by morning, I know,
they will stretch toward the sun
and reach out, groping
for each other's velvet touch.

Marianne Poloskey









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