Camas Lillies

by Lynn Ungar

Original Language English

Consider the lilies of the field,
the blue banks of camas
opening into acres of sky along the road.
Would the longing to lie down
and be washed by that beauty
abate if you knew their usefulness,
how the natives ground their bulbs
for flour, how the settlers' hogs
uprooted them, grunting in gleeful
oblivion as the flowers fell?

And you -- what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down --
papers, plans, appointments, everything --
leaving only a note: "Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I'm through with blooming."

Even now, unneeded and uneaten,
the camas lilies gaze out above the grass
from their tender blue eyes.
Even in sleep your life will shine.
Make no mistake. Of course
your work will always matter.

Yet Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these.

-- from Bread and Other Miracles, by Lynn Ungar

<<Previous Poem | More Poems by Lynn Ungar | Next Poem >>

View All Poems by Lynn Ungar

Recommended Books: Lynn Ungar

Bread and Other Miracles Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems Blessing the Bread: Meditations

Camas Lillies