The rapture of tulips cover

Two Poems from
The Rapture of Tulips

Published by Pudding House Publications, 2009

We Were Ripe Green Figs

We were stars lost in daybreak
We were dawn’s roses drifting through the wallpaper
cedar waxwings gliding in on morning’s wind

The truth is, we were thistles purpling in a field
mountain hollows receiving shadow
ravens’ voices muttering in obsidian

We were little girls in a Russian orphanage
dressed in cotton frocks
our shaved heads crossed by long scars

We were indoor cats
computer children afraid of the grass
We had lost our sense of eternity

Sometimes we were goblets, sometimes flares
No, we were a fountain inlaid with pennies
Through telescopes we watched sunrise on the moon

We were wind whirling fine sleet
We were birds devouring seed
the cold steering in famine

The blizzard, just enough light to see by
In each snowflake, we were the surge of spring


My Lineage

You want to know my life story, who my ancestors were.
I descend from a line of Sandhill Cranes crossing the moon.
One aunt and uncle were Reeds
shimmering at the edge of a mountain stream.

Another pair were Wings tilting to night-blooming jasmine.
On one side, cousins Lightning and Thunder were Storms
followed by Fragrances: Rose, Lilac, Rain on Dust.

On the other, the Chantings at Dusk—Birdsong,
and a Stream of Words—I don’t know what language,
what country, probably differing tongues.

Before that, like you, I come from Shade Tree, Seed,
Bees, a Point of Light. I come from Darkness,


All content copyright protected. © 2009, Jane Lipman. All rights reserved.