Ikebana – Freestyle by Helen McNaughton



Helen McNaughton lives in Oregon where she grew up and also raised her family. She has been writing poetry since she was a child. Her poems have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. Being out in nature has always been an important part of her life and is included not only in her poetry but also in her photography.























Ikebana – Freestyle









Winter is past but

its imprint is still visible

in lowered gray skies,


in unraked dead leaves

caught in new green growth, Japanese quince

have begun to bloom,


long branches lacing

through the holly hedge, dappled

with bright coral blossoms


and tight, round buds.

Camellias and daffodils

have not yet begun


to open. The deer have

disappeared back into the hills,

no longer any need


for the unmown grass

and dandelion blades

in the side yard. Ducks


and mergansers gather

in the creek behind the house,

sounding like a singles’


party, noise and uneasy laughter

as each one looks

for someone to go home with;


while we fall asleep

each night to the soft hooting

lullaby of an owl


who early this month

moved into the neighborhood

along with spring.



Helen McNaughton