Sunflowers ~ For Dad

June 10th is a date which has always been special for me as it marks the day my late father was born  and, as I wrote last year, I associate his birthday very much with sunflowers. He had a great love of nature, colour, art and the sun.

Dad (1919-2010)

I think, too, that he would have liked this poem by Mary Oliver:

The Sunflowers

Come with me

into the field of sunflowers.

Their faces are burnished disks,

their dry spines


creak like ship masts,

their green leaves,

so heavy and many,

fill all day with the sticky


sugars of the sun.

Come with me

to visit the sunflowers,

they are shy


but want to be friends;

they have wonderful stories

of when they were young –

the important weather,


the wandering crows.

Don’t be afraid

to ask them questions!

their bright faces,


which follow the sun,

will listen, and all

these rows of seeds

each one a new life! –


hope for a deeper acquaintance;

each of them, though it stands

in a crowd of many,

like a separate universe,


is lonely, the long work

of turning their lives

into a celebration

is not easy. Come


and let us talk with those modest faces,

the simple garments of leaves,

the coarse roots of the earth

so uprightly burning.


Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

6 thoughts on “Sunflowers ~ For Dad”

  1. I always think of the word “teeming” when I see a sunflower. Teeming within each, teeming in the field, and now, teeming with memory.

  2. I think he would have loved Mary Oliver’s poem, too, Jean. When I think of sunflowers I think of Vincent Van Gogh who so loved them and made them the subject of his many vibrant paintings.

    1. Nancy, thanks for writing. Yes, Van Gogh’s paintings are stunning. Sunflowers certainly seemed to be a source of huge fascination for him. I just love the way he captured them in so many different moods and in their different shades. I would love to know more about what drew him towards them to begin with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: