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cultivating beauty with andromeda jazmon

#21 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.

 © 2010 Andromeda Jazmon.

Doesn't this photograph take your breath away?

I love the intense colors, the sunlight on the petals. I also love that any time I want a dose of natural beauty, I can click over to A Wrung Sponge, and Andi (Andromeda Jazmon) will fix me right up.

Every day in April, most Poetry Fridays, and on many other days during the year, Andi will post a haiga -- a photograph paired with an original haiku. She's mastered the fine art of capturing "the essence of a moment" in both words and image. They are perfect opportunities for reflection and meditation, gentle reminders to slow down, breathe deeply, and appreciate what's around us. 

Just as Tanita loves limes, Andi is enamoured with figs. Her blog banner features a green fig from her tree, a gift from a bookclub friend. She first planted it "in the sunniest spot in my side yard and waited to see what would happen." This was her first fig experience, and through the years, as she watched the tree grow, and waited months for the green figs to ripen, she also experimented with a few fig recipes.

Today, she's brought a haiga sequence for us to feast on! It's so lovely to be privy to buds, unfurling, growth, ripening, harvest. Naturally, it's all gorgeous.


sprung from brown sticks
little nobby green figlets;
whispered promises

hands unfold
in prayers of growing green;
slow budding fig

this fig's sweetness;
hiding flowers inside the fruit
fragrance distilled

once green and hard:
now luscious, purple figs
softly beckoning

one bite
reveals the world;
ripe figs

a soft dark shell
cradles scarlet moist seed;
heart's center

© 2010 Andromeda Jazmon. All rights reserved.

There, don't you feel refreshed and serene? Andi has now piqued my interest in figs. I've only eaten them preserved, as in Fig Newtons, but Len sometimes buys fresh figs from Whole Foods and devours them. I didn't realize the fig "fruit" is actually the flower of the tree. Flowers and seeds grow together to form a single mass -- and the flowers are never visible because they bloom inside the fruit/bulb. Pretty cool, no?

Speaking of Fig Newtons (which are called Fig Jamas in our house because I was always jealous my brother had a cookie named after him), Andi is sharing her recipe for Homemade Fig Bars! She's posted beautiful step-by-step directions (with mouthwatering photos, of course) here. She uses a gluten-free flour mix, but says regular flour can be used, by adding 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. salt. We shall have to keep an eye out for fresh figs to appear in the grocery store! These do look yummy.

Thanks so much for this generous serving of peace, beauty, and deliciousness, Andi!


photo by Ethan Allen.

Andromeda Jazmon is a library media specialist and mother of three who is known online as "cloudscome," a moniker derived from her favorite Basho haiku:

clouds come from time to time
giving us a chance to rest
from looking at the moon

When not composing haiku or taking exquisite photos of her home, garden, and family, she likes to hike, bike, quilt, knit, experiment with gluten-free cooking, and wreak havoc compose amazing poems with the other Poetry Princesses. She reviews multicultural books and media for children and young adults at
A Wrung Sponge, and posts even more photos (365 Project) at Sandy Cove Trail. I was quite pleased to learn that she's also fond of Pooh! Obviously, her heart is in the right place.

Congratulations on earning your MLS degree, Andi!

More Poetry Potluck posts here.

*Unless otherwise noted, all photos are copyright © 2010 Andromeda Jazmon. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan's alphabet soup. All rights reserved.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2010 11:57 am (UTC)
Elaine Magliaro

A Wrung Sponge is a lovely place to visit. Andi's photos are exquisite! I love reading the haiku she writes that are inspired by the pictures she takes. Her garden must be a gorgeous place to sit and dream. I certainly hope Andi publishes a book one day!
Apr. 28th, 2010 12:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, her photos are always exquisite -- her haiga would indeed make a beautiful book!
Apr. 28th, 2010 12:43 pm (UTC)
Those flowers are indeed breathtaking! I can only imagine what it must be like, to actually visit the garden from whence they came.

LOL about Fig Jamas. My Nana had a fig tree...so delicous, eaten fresh!
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely going to have to try some fresh figs soon, if nothing else, to live up to the name, "Fig Jama." :)
Apr. 28th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
I don't know what I'll do when Poetry Month is over and the Poetry Potluck will end! I've learned so much . . . a haiga sounds more within my reach than a redouble. I'm a fan of A Wrung Sponge and cloudscome's work. Her name! Her online moniker! The woman is a living poem!

This post makes me want to run out and buy a Canon Rebel SLR camera...but I won't. I can write haiku with my homely little snaps.
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
I'm sad that NPM is just about over, too. It was wonderful posting about all these wonderful poets -- I learned a bit more about each of them on a personal level, too. Such a treat!
Apr. 28th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comments here! I wish I had a Canon Reble SLR too. I am just trying to learn how to use my Powershot A590 though. I am working up to more!
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
I leaned in to smell those flowers ~~ BEAUTIFUL!
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Aren't you lucky to have a smellivision computer screen!
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Andi's haiki, like her photographs, are exquisite bites of pleasure. Thank you for highlighting her.
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
"exquisite bites of pleasure*

Stated perfectly! Glad you enjoyed the post, Susan.
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Like Laura, I moved into the computer to breathe that rose. And my senses stayed piqued through every poem. What a haven here today of words and pictures. Thank you Andi and Jama (although, it's hard to think of you now without Newton attached).
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
You may call me "Figgy" from now on. :D
Apr. 28th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
Ooo, thanks for the tip. Given what I'm lookiing at outdoors, I need these photos, and haiga--gotta love 'em.
Apr. 28th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
I especially appreciate Andi's floral photos because we can't have any flowers in our yard (because of the deer).
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Dear Figgy,

Thanks for shining the spotlight on Andi. I agree with Candace -- she is a living poem. I learn so much from the way she looks at the world through her viewfinder and through her poetry. Her blog slows me down and calms me down.
Apr. 28th, 2010 08:43 pm (UTC)
That would be "Miss Figgy," if you please :).

"A living poem" -- yes, I like that! Great way to describe her.
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
I mean Candice, with an i.
Apr. 28th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC)
I confess I've never eaten a fresh fig either. Andi makes them look and sound exquisite. I'm always in awe of her talent for image---her poems work like a camera on me, focusing me in on what's vital and life-giving.
Apr. 28th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
OK now I am blushing. You guys are too much! Thanks Figgy, I mean Jama, for giving me such a great show. You are too sweet!
Apr. 28th, 2010 08:46 pm (UTC)
Thank YOU, Andi, for giving us a great show, here today, and every day at A Wrung Sponge! I can see this "Figgy" thing is really catching on :D!
Apr. 28th, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC)
Vital and life-giving -- absolutely correct! She has such a skillfully trained eye for perspective, detail, angles, lighting . . .
Apr. 28th, 2010 10:05 pm (UTC)
Lovely! Andi's garden photos are always almost heartbreaking in their beauty.

I didn't realize that fig flowers were inside the fruit. What a lovely thing to know!
Apr. 29th, 2010 11:24 am (UTC)
I was pleased to learn that, too. Andi passed along that info with her poem. :)
Apr. 28th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
Hi Jama, I LOVED the haiga on the figs! Jim and I are taking a class called "Octane for the Brain", designed for seniors to facilitate brain fitness. One of our assignments this week is to memorize a bit of poetry and I would love to memorize some of the haiku, but wish I had the pics to go along with them. Maybe I can find some in a library book... Love, Syl PS the fig bar recipe looks delicious too!
Apr. 29th, 2010 11:27 am (UTC)
What a cool class! Maybe you could write your own haiku and take your own pics -- that would definitely earn you a good grade :)!
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)

You are made of awesome. Also, those fig bars look REALLY GOOD. * wipes mouth *


". . . slow down, breathe deeply . . ." -----> Yikes, I don't know how to do this!

"Fig Jamas"? * dies laughing *

Apr. 29th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
Hey! No laughing allowed at "Fig Jamas!"

You need to visit Andi's blog more often so you can practice slowing down. Very therapeutic!
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
Andi's blog is like sunshine on my morning face, what with her gorgeous photography and poetry. Thanks for highlighting her, and congrats again to her on the degree!!


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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