A Daffodil Under Close Inspection

Today, under a sudden blue sky, I knelt down
In the grass, dipped my head and saw:

six slender men wrapped around
a single pistel,
gold dust on the anthers,
a black sailor drinking new wine,
a fragrance, a hint of green
inside the yellow cup,
a small, light-eating engine
trembling in the wind.


Posted on

June 19, 2014


  1. Aloka

    I always loved this one. This is in your book. I never forget it. I have wanted to teach it in class. In fact, I wanted to teach the poem about the black jacket this summer to my amazing students. But I wait because we want to save it all so your poems will be published and the whole world will read them. Love the website. It is beautifully done. Thank you for sharing the results of your gift with us.

    • Ruelaine Stokes

      Aloka — You are the best reader a poet could hope for! – because you open your heart & mind to the poem, so the poem can find a place to live there . . . Your words give me courage and strengthen my belief that all our voices matter. And yes, feel free to teach this poem to your students. I can provide a little commentary on the lines for them, if you like. They might like it, especially in the spring. Ruelaine

  2. Anna

    Ahhh, to see the world as a child, or a poet, with fresh eyes and openness! A much-needed perspective, to find things beyond labels, and just embrace them in their fullness, just as they are, in all their beauty and uniqueness.

    • Ruelaine Stokes

      Thanks for the beautiful comments. They sound quite poetic, you know. . . And yes, poetry gently nudges us toward that fresh vision of the world as it truly is, in all its complexity.

  3. Margaret Matlin

    Dear Ruelaine,

    I just rediscovered the book that you gave me in 2005. It sounds as if you’re having a great life. I’m looking forward to reading it again.

    Best wishes for 2022!


    • Ruelaine Stokes

      Dear Margaret . . . what a happy surprise to discover your New Year’s good wishes here! Wishing you and your beautiful family a safe and joyous new year. May we all transcend this long season of pandemic. Best wishes, Ruelaine


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