Friday, July 23, 2021

Be the Flower: List Five Facts

Queen Anne's Lace in Our Pasture
Photo by Amy LV

Students - I have been writing a lot in my notebook this week, about everything and nothing. My notebook is a place to spend time with an old friend -- me. And sometimes when I write, I think that maybe, just maybe, I don't know myself as well as I thought.

Well, while I was up picking blackberries, I was taken by the Queen Anne's Lace. Big hand-sized doilies of flowers looking up at the sky. They were begging me to write about them. 

I got an idea, walking Cali and Sage around the pasture, eating blackberries, thinking about flowers. My idea was this: I will find five facts about Queen Anne's Lace before I write any poemlines. Googling around, I found these facts, though there was a conflict about which Queen Anne...England or Denmark? 

Five Facts
Notebook Photo by Amy LV

The only thing I knew going into the poem was that I wanted to write about how Queen Anne's Lace looks like fireworks to me. I liked that idea of silent fireworks.

Many scribbles, cross-outs, and drafts later, here is where I chose to stop for now. Today's version is written in the voice OF the Queen Anne's Lace, but earlier bits were written ABOUT the flower, simply describing it. This is one way you can always revise your writing: try a different point of view.

As for five facts, I think I will play with this idea all week long. I plan find topics that interest me and search for five facts about each. Then...I will see what comes of it. Of course I know that sometimes five facts will lead to fifty facts...the secret is that the five will get me started and invite me in. Sometimes a kind and simple door is all a writer needs.

Feel free to try anything I try here. It's all play. 

If you think you see some Queen Anne's Lace growing near you, be sure that it is not Poison Hemlock. These two plants do look alike, and Poison Hemlock is very poisonous. Never eat something you are not sure about. Check with an expert.

Kat is hosting today's Poetry Friday roundup from Downunder at Kathryn Apel with some delightful pet poems and inspiration for poets of all ages to photograph and write about the animals in our lives along with the hashtag #petpicpoem. Remember: all are welcome each Friday as folks share poems, poem books, poetry ideas, and friendship.

I'm off now to watch Cali and Sage and Firepaw and Fiona and Winnie and Tuck and the chickens and some butterflies and ants.


ps - Update! I had read and then someone on Instagram shared with me that you can put Queen Anne's Lace in a jar of colored water and watch the flowers turn the color of the water. I tried this later today. If you look closely, you will see pinkish petals!

Pink Queen Anne's Lace
Photo by Amy LV

Queen Anne's Lace Five Days Later
Photo by Amy LV

And here, you see why Queen Anne's Lace is sometimes called Bird's Nest. When the flowers dry out, they look like birds' nests!

Please share a comment below if you wish. 


  1. What an adventure you had, Amy. I'm still stuck on the image of you picking blackberries. (That is such a storybook thing - but not something I've done. (Though I have picked mulberries as a young girl, while perched on our neighbour's chookpen roof.) And I'm fascinated by the fritter-flowers. (Or flower fritters.) I think there may be more poems to be found in your silent-explosion.

  2. Loved this poem, Amy. The silent explosion is great. And your suggestion of finding 5 facts as a door into a subject. Thanks so much!

  3. For some reason I have noticed Queen Ann's lace more this year. I think ours are finished blooming. I love the five facts idea. I plan to use that somehow. Five is better than 3 and not as hard as 10.

  4. A favorite flower...they remind me of home. Queen Anne's lace is so pretty AND so tough. A true powerful woman! I love that you share finding facts before you write. I do that a lot. It's fun and playful...and never hurts to learn! This week, I was writing an ox poem about a Dinka ceremony of South Sudan. I really loved the research!

  5. I love the pic of your pink Queen Anne's Lace, they remind me of snowflakes. Lovely lilting voice to your poem, have fun exploring/discovering more facts, thanks Amy!

  6. Queen Anne's lace and chicory are my two favorite wildflowers! I learned from your facts, and thanks for the link to Poison Hemlock. More learning. This goes straight into my notebook: "Sometimes a kind and simple door is all a writer needs."

  7. Queen Anne's lace is one of my favorite flowers, and they do look like fireworks exploding. Finding facts is a great way into a topic. Thank you for reminding me of that strategy! Happy berry picking!

  8. Oh, I love "silent-explode" soooo much. I'm now going to have a totally different experience in our back pasture. :) I love your five fact approach and this line: Sometimes a kind and simple door is all a writer needs. Thanks for opening that door!

  9. That silent explosion is beautiful! We have these growing wild on the roadside all around our nook of a neighborhood. I didn't even realize that's what they were until I used the Seek app last week to identify them. I hadn't seen (well, noticed) wild Queen Anne's Lace in a couple of decades, at least! I'm going to pick a few today and try the dye trick!

  10. PS Ack on the mountain lion on the back PORCH of your daughter's friend. I hope that was a nighttime visit caught on a motion sensor camera!

  11. I shared this post with my daughter, who used to bring me fistfuls of Queen Anne's Lace when she was little. <3