Slender necked, softly furred appearing ultimately delicate.

Dancing with natural seduction in unusual fields.

Heavy pods sway, narcotic blood infused.


Illegal to farm them you know, you can treasure them wild.

They grow best upon blood rich fields of war.

Paper thin petals waving on pollenators.


She is a thing of beauty, watching her impossibly lovely.

Strengths you can’t even imagine inside her,

Hid beneath a flower smiled facade.


There is strength there, born of blood and in war.

She dances to cries under gunfire and hears.

She knows the strongest come after.


Battles wear the rage of men, their war cries.

After is where she is strong, growing.

War soaked soil bears new life.


Blooms last barely a season, frail and bright.

Seeds wait for generations to grow tall.

Waving fields of poppies and sons.


Poppies grow abundant in rich soil, bloody soil.

Women strong after battle, rebuilding.

Neither as fragile as they seem.


For With  Real Toads (Alphonse Mucha) and for dVerse (attempt at allegory)


  1. April 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    You have created a thing of beauty here, Shanyn. I love the personification of the poppy – somewhere in the middle I forgot whether it was flower or woman being described. This is an excellent piece.

    • shanyns said,

      April 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      It worked! Kerry you put to words what I was trying to achieve here. So glad you enjoyed it so much.

  2. Mary said,

    April 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I liked the comparison of poppies and women — neither as fragile as they seem. (And thanks for participating in Poetry Jam’s history prompt. Unfortunately war is part of the world’s history!)

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      War is a brutal, and too oft focused, part of history. Thanks for the great poetry jam prompt!

  3. Shawna said,

    April 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Oh wow, I really enjoyed this. Your word usage was particularly interesting and engaging. I can’t wait to read it again. These are some of my favorite lines:

    “Dancing with natural seduction in unusual fields.”
    “Heavy pods sway, narcotic blood infused”
    “watching her impossibly lovely” (I’m crazy about the last two words together without a comma)
    “She dances to cries under gunfire and hears” (I get the feeling she has extraordinary gifts)
    “After is where she is strong”
    “Seeds wait for generations”
    “Neither as fragile as they seem”

    Excellent work, Shanyn!

    • April 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      This is such vivid, beautiful writing! Very dark subject, but I love that small glimmer of hope…life will grow again. Loved this!

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      Shawna – it is so cool you shared your favorite lines. Thanks for that, and for the encouragement!

  4. Patti said,

    April 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    You did a wonderful job expressing poppies as woman and vice versa. You words could be read so many different ways. After reading through your poem twice, I went back and looked at the picture again, and that time saw her as another poppy in the field. Lovely all around.

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Patti – thank you! I”m so glad you enjoyed your read, and more than once too! 🙂

  5. April 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Fabulous comparison between the enduring blooms and the strength of womanhood. Especially love the closing line. Good one, Shanyn.

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Sherry – thank you! It took me a while to find the right Mucha image but when I did the poem just flowed!

  6. hedgewitch said,

    April 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Great use of the metaphor here, Shanyn–the connection between the blood red poppies of Flanders and other battlegrounds was probably there for Mucha too as he painted in that period, and no one was unaffected by what was just called The Great War back then–excellent work, esp the strong finish.

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Your comment is so right, and I agree…thanks for sharing and for stopping by!

  7. April 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Love your personification of poppies…My imagination sees the poppies getting their red stain from the blood they bloomed in. A marvelous piece!!

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Susie – you are such an encourager. Thank you so much, and I’m so pleased you stopped by!

  8. Helen said,

    April 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Lovely … comparing the strength of women to the bold poppy!

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      Helen – thank you! We share a lot with the poppy, I believe.

  9. April 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Perfect, Shanyn, the women, and the poppies born of war.

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you Kay…too often it is women, who like poppies, have to rise from the ruin and help rebuild and be reborn.

  10. brian miller said,

    April 28, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    ugh, heavy a bit on the war…but it is good to know that life still blooms after them considering that seems to be our only way…really well done though…and i like the personification of the poppy…

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      It is but then war is never anything light I suppose…glad you liked the poppy and so glad you came by my friend.

  11. peggygoetz said,

    April 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I really like the connection of the poppies and the women you have here. I wonder how many of Mucha’s contemporaries noticed that they appear to be opium poppies. A poppy responsible for much blood and perhaps it grows best on blood– now there is a sad thought.

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Peggy, and I think they probably did, but maybe at that time they didn’t quite know the true depth of blood a poppy and addiction can really draw…thanks for coming by.

  12. coalblack said,

    April 28, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I agree with Kerry. You should be very proud of this. Thanks for being part of my Friday challenge!

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      It was a GREAT challenge, I enjoyed it. Thanks for being such a great host! (and thanks for coming by :-))

  13. April 29, 2012 at 4:14 am

    I really enjoy how you come to a close tying in all of your ideas so succinctly in the last stanza. The images of blood and war and beauty all work so well with the poppy, great work, Shanyns!

  14. markwindham said,

    April 30, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Good stuff, really liked. The infusing of ‘blood’ throughout appropriate and well done.

    • shanyns said,

      May 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Mark – so glad you enjoyed the read, and I appreciate you stopping by.

  15. margaretbednar said,

    May 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    That last stanza is a humdinger!

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