Liz Minette is the next poet in the series "What Light: This Week's Poem," a feature sponsored by Magers and Quinn Booksellers that brings you a poem every week by a Minnesota poet, selected by a panel of writers and publishers.
September 11, 2006
Liz minette
Liz Minette

Liz minette


an idea in

the well-weeded

garden its purple

exclamation points

leave my mouth

ajar the thistle

a hairy stem

w/a white flower

a fairy's petticoat

flapping on

a green wire

red wing

blackbirds have

unbuttoned the

shirts of ripe


i harvest the

green ones &

the thistle

place it in a

jelly jar next

to the sink

green tomatoes

rowed on the shelf

above wait this

change doesn't

please thistle &

it soon departs

slumped shoulders

in a brown paper coat

under green moons

turning blood


How this poem came about: "Thistle" was the result of images and notes on wanting to write a garden poem. I concentrated on harvest time, the image of the last tomatoes ripening on the windowsill as the throwaway of the garden, the weed or thistle sits there too but is dying. I really had a lot of fun with the ending - when the images of that finally came, I had fun putting it together. I really like the last two lines.

What I think about poetry: I think poetry is a great medium to express succinctly messages and/or images and that that is also the challenge. I love how images can be shaped through lines and stanzas, hopefully, into saying something meaningful.

What I read: I find I'm reading a lot of non-fiction. Stuff I've read recently: bell hooks' autobiography "Wounds of Passion"; "Messengers of the Wind - Native American Women Tell Their Stories" edited by Jane Katz; and "Her Blue Body Everything We Know" - a collection of Alice Walker's poetry, 1965 - 1990.


I live in Esko, Minnesota, 20 miles outside of Duluth. I have been writing poetry since the early 1990's and published in magazines such as Main Channel Voices, blood & fire review and Earth's Daughters. I work in Duluth at a community access television station.

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