Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ruth L. Schwartz: "Tangerine"

It was a flower once, it was one of a billion flowers
whose perfume broke through closed car windows,
forced a blessing on their drivers.
Then what stayed behind grew swollen, as we do;
grew juice instead of tears, and small hard sour seeds,
each one bitter, as we are, and filled with possibility.
Now a hole opens up in its skin, where it was torn from the
branch; ripeness can’t stop itself, breathes out;
we can’t stop it either. We breathe in.

"Tangerine" by Ruth L. Schwartz, from Dear Good Naked Morning. © Autumn House Press, 2005.  

Image credit: "Peeled Tangerine," oil painting by Justin Clayton, 2005 (originally color).



  1. I love this poem--and the whole project. It's a treat, both to be reminded of so many poems I love and use in my work and to discover new mindful poems. Thank you for doing this!

    I think there's a problem with the attribution for this poem. I believe it's from Ruth Schwartz's "Dear Good Naked Morning." The "Essential Rumi" attribution must have slipped in from another poem. :-)

    Thank you again for a wonderful site--supporting a rich practice!

    ~Debby Palmer
    Write Mindful

  2. Thanks for your feedback, Debby, and also for catching my error! Now corrected! :)



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