Of Mum and Chrysanthemums

Of Mum and Chrysanthemums

A Poem by Moonie

~I think my heart is still enjoying autumn, even in bright May~

Autumn clusters around my house,
days cooling and shortening
under the candied sunshine of
mid April. I watch
pickled pumpkins on the porch
where there used to be
pots full of chrysanthemums-
long strong stems sticking out and
petals full of rosette whorls--
growing sunny side up
right under the nose
of our kitchen window.
I wonder what became of them--
were they uprooted
'gainst their solemn will or
did they grow barren till
they withered
and died out
away from my eyes
under the yellow haze of
a cold starless night.
I was five
when I saw them last--
puffed up and proud
and just as free-spirited as I was.
I remember sitting on Mum's lap,
my hair combed and braided,
and reciting their spellings for her
over and over
to watch her eyes twinkle
whenever I got them right.
Now, I think of their gleeful ghosts
dancing in the afternoon sun and
watching over with
seed-pod eyes
as I sail off towards my destiny,
against currents so strong
you can smell defeat
in the breath of darkness,
spiraling through the seasons and
adapting to the madness that is life.

© 2020 Moonie

Author's Note

I wrote this for mum. In Australia (where I lived for some years in my youth) chrysanthemums are associated with Mother's day (We have autumn in May there... Maybe subconsciously I'm still expecting that, which is why I keep coming up with autumn poems even in summer :)) )
We had chrysanthemums in our garden and my mum taught me their spellings back when I was hardly 5, and she remembers that I used to recite them for everyone as a game, so it just felt natural that I should mention that memory in the poem.🧡

My Review

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Featured Review

clever. very sweet and enjoyable read. i find beauty in all seasons but autumn is probably my favorite. this is a very beautiful and endearing write. i like the way you've so skillfully woven childhood remembrance into the season along with a tribute to "mum" and a philosophic ending. well done ... :)

Posted 1 Year Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


Was so interested in your author's note! What beautiful memories... for any season. :) And then... how your poetry awakens these memories for all of us to share. Autumn... what a glorious dream of earth... what abundant colors rise even as the world begins to fall into winter's sleep. Thank you... thank you for sharing this beautiful place in you.

Posted 3 Months Ago

goodness this poem is just filled with beautiful imagery, strong heart and soul...
i wanted to bite into it...i did...and the taste, the scent...
it was autumn all over again...my favorite season..my mom is gone some years now...but she planted mums...so we had them in fall...you let me remember her with a smile.

Posted 11 Months Ago

this is just about as sweet a poem as the smell of those chrysanthe-moms I love how you would recite them to her! this is just lovely expression hear dear Moonie

Posted 11 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Loved the impressions of Autumn and the beauty of the garden you left behind! Some beautiful things stay with us no matter where we go. It was great to read.

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for the review!

my words are not new, but they are placed here and I am happy to leave them behind... this is just another example of why I first fell in love with poetry..

All Good Things,


Posted 1 Year Ago

I grow chrysanthemums in my garden. Not in pots but in a flower bed. They are splendid in autumn and mine are the shade in your posted image, a rich deep orange. When I think of chrysanthemums there is no history, other than reading a short DH Lawrence story, many years ago which has stayed with me. I enjoyed your memories of your Australian garden when you were five, and how your mum would encourage your learning at such a young age. A difficult word for a five year old to remember. That reminded me of my Grandad and the spelling games he would play with me on Sunday mornings. This lovely poem you have written for your mum has sent me on a journey of my own. I thank you for that. Your style of writing suits my taste. Descriptive, poetic and easily readable. Just my cup of tea.


Posted 1 Year Ago

You know when you read something that just flows and lets you feel related with it even when you actually don't have absolutely nothing to do with it, but yet it touches some fiver in you? Well, that just happened to me with your poem.
I wish I could make a more educated review about it, since I myself don't really like the simplistic "it's awesome" reviews about my work, but I am unable to say anything informed about how can you improve this piece.
It really feels natural. It made total sense to me what you say in your author's note about the memories with your mother, as I strongly believe that the best writing always comes from personal memories and experiences.
I am new here but I haven't been able to find much quality reading material in here, but I can say without a doubt that this is high quality content.
It is really great, I look forward to reading more of your work.

Posted 1 Year Ago

The chrysanthemums spelly thingy around here is spelled 'mums,' which requires considerable less cranial effort to do and why I would never overtax my limited spelling capabilities in an attempt to spell chrysanthemums, or even for that matter, try to spell chrysanthemum, which, you'll no doubt agree, is so much easier to spell than is chrysanthemums!
I am more inclined to doing things the easy way!
I do have to agree that there seems often to be a madness to life, especially when spelling is involved.
Enjoyable read

Posted 1 Year Ago

dearest Moonie... I enjoy so much reading about your childhood. My Mother was so much like you describe your Mother. She loved flowers and I do also... she raised Parakeets and we had one Male parakeet that talked up a Storm. He flew around our house and would return to his Cage.
So in my adult life I adore all the Birds... Chickadees and Cardinals and so many more. I often refer to Birds in my Poetry. Your candied sunshine and pickled pumpkins are a reason to be fascinated with your poetry. Hope your days are carefree and safe. truly, Pat

Posted 1 Year Ago

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Such a descriptive poem here, Moonie! Chrysanthemums.....now that was always a tricky word to spell! Well done, you, for getting it correct at such a young age! Beautiful flower, too! Your lines here are brilliantly described; the memory in your mind leaving a well crafted impression on the page that reads very lovely to the reader. It's always sad to see such things of beauty wilt and fade, but we can't beat Father Time, can we? Your longing for the simplicity of the past is very well contrasted with the complexity of an unknown destiny and that is something that we can all relate to. It's a lovely poem and one that deserves more readership. Much enjoyed, this one!

Posted 1 Year Ago

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11 Reviews
Added on May 20, 2020
Last Updated on July 13, 2020
Tags: Chrysanthemums, mother, mom



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