family, poetry

Celebrations and Poetry

I was given a lovely gift for my birthday! This is a poem by my friend and co-author Jimmie Bise. He just came off a month straight of writing a poem every day, and I was so honored when I received this from him. 

To My Friend, a Scientist, on Her Birthday

You know all things by their names:

Flowers and vines, bristling bushes,

Trees that tower and those that loom.

You see them as they are — their times

And their tastes. You hold in your hand

Healing and harmful, those that cheer

From those that grow the charnel ground. 


You know true names of the small plants

Not the hasty nicknames and familiar

Titles passed by passers-by to the young

Along with an equally-hasty story of caution

Or worse, a new legend of calamity.

You know them by root and heart.


You know also the formal names

The names they wear in fibrous bones

When they sit in cabinets and bottles, the

This name and that name. Binomial

Linnaeus-speak. For sorting and science.

That, too, is known in full to you

Who is beauteous soul with rigorous mind.


You call things by their names.

Year upon year you gather the 

Whole Earth to yourself, plant and tree

And weed and the crawling and flying things

That flourish where they flourish.

You call them by their names and they

Speak to you in practical, pretty, perfect delight.

Jimmie, thank you. You made me well up with this. 

As birthday’s go, I came into this day not expecting much. I planned to just fly under the radar, have a day just like any other day. Over the course of the day, though, there were wonderful things. Jimmie’s poem, which he gave me permission to post. An invitation to be a guest at a SFF convention (more details later!). And best of all! We got an offer on the house, and it’s more than the asking price. We will be making that decision by Friday, waiting to see if we have more offers to decide between. 

I get my husband back! We’ve got our future back! I’m giddy with excitement. It was getting worrisome there for a while. 

4 thoughts on “Celebrations and Poetry

  1. This is a lovely poem! What an amazing gift. I’m happy to hear that things are moving upward for you. And very happy to hear that you and Sanford will be sharing the same roof again very soon. Happiest of birthdays to you!

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