By Ruth Goring

Poems for Contemplation: "Showy Sunflower"

This summer The Well is featuring a series of poems by women. Before reading her poem below, you might enjoy reading Ruth Goring's invitation to approach poems curiously and meditatively.

Showy Sunflower

(Helianthus rigidus)

Wait here quietly
as stalks climb
before your eyes
into exuberant height,
as if sucking the moisture
& nitrogen of your whole
yard’s soil. Test the ground
each morning; walk on tiptoe,
whispering. Leaves
grow long, slightly serrated,
in spiraled steps. Wait, wait
through insistent greenness,
sudden appearance of
spiky-fisted buds; pray
proliferation, give thanks
when first yellow fringes sprout
around hearts porous & brown.
                And then
it’s a matter of remembering 
to breathe as petals open
like fingers, burst into small but emphatic
shouts, golden trumpet blasts,
banners unfurling against
bluest sky, ecstatic
speech that tosses & leans
in winds of September
like your mouth saying Oh, oh,
unable to contain its clean
& delirious song.

You can learn more about purchasing work by Ruth Goring at WordFarm and at Ruth's website.

Photo by Olia Gozha from StockSnap.

About the Author

Ruth Goring is a poet (Soap Is Political; Yellow Doors), writer-illustrator for children (Picturing God; Adriana’s Angels), and manuscript editor (University of Chicago Press). She has also worked at InterVarsity Press and served in campus ministry. She grew up in Colombia and is besotted with the Spanish language. Find her at

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