New Idea for Poppy Flora

This week I’m taking a break from another story, or excerpt, that is, and am instead going to post a photograph. So, as I’m beginning to understand what it is I’d like to create with this site and with my art, I’m also starting to realize how influenced I am by the various cultural, political and geographical surroundings of Arizona.

With the use of my lady, Poppy Flora, as my artistic pseudonym, I elaborate on my mixed feelings towards many regulations, developments, laws, education, and cultural impacting as seen in the news as well as in local and urban art of the Phoenix Valley.

Yes, it’s broad, I know. I will elaborate more. But I felt like there was one major land mark that really ties a lot of Arizona’s cities, the southwest, and Mexico together both culturally and economically. This land mark is of course the Colorado River.

Anyhow, I don’t have much else to say here, but as I was playing around with a mural design idea of Poppy on Photoshop, I thought, ‘hey, why not incorporate the Co. River in with it’?

So, here’s just a silly idea I have visually concocted. It may or may not go anywhere, but I thought I’d share with you all. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. Yay or freakin’ nay.

And here’s a more recent sketch I have conjured.


The Stairway

I never know how it happens, but I always end up here, in the same house. I can’t quite recall the first time I’ve been here, but the smell of the rotting wooden panels and the creaking under the stairway were all too familiar. I always hated walking up this stairway, the age of the house and the feebleness of the steps made it seem like it was going to collapse beneath me any minute. Yet, I know there is something up there, something special about that attic; I had to go there.

The architecture of this dream is always the same; it seems as though there’s a party going on, I always hear music and laughter from that old kitchen up the hallway, but whenever I turn around, it is the same old tattered house, with that red glow of the bare wood, and the lavish, legitimate Persian rugs on the floor and walls. It always looked like a party had happened long ago.

Now it was about halfway up the stairs when I reach that big grand window. Every time I entered this house, I would always stare out this window for a long time, just to see the world around me. The scene stays the same: desert stretches far out into a distant river bank, and the dust would reflect the sun, creating this sort of crimson haze that sunk in contrast beneath a hovering, sapphire sky. The brilliance of the wilderness shines in magnitude compared to the darkness of the interiors of the ancient house from which I stand and gaze. Man, just to think of the number of times I always wanted to run through that field. I would venture through the grass and trees and explore what’s out there; or who.

I can’t go, however. I will never be able to scout out there, in the wilderness, I have a responsibility. Until I can go into that attic and retrieve whatever it is that’s up there, I will never able to do what I want. It’s simply dedication.

After every other failed effort, I’m determined to make it up to that attic. I never knew what was up there, I never could understand what it is about this house, this stairway, this wide window, that drew me towards the attic. The stairs are creaking, the voices grow louder, the dust falls from the ceiling, I can see old cob webs hanging right above my head. The more I remember why I’m here, why I need to get into that attic, the more I begin to notice how disgusting this haunted house really is.

A jolt of fear and panic just struck at my spine. Something awful is up there. Yes, now I’m beginning to remember. It was never a duty for me to retrieve something, the attic itself was trying to lure me in. Now that I’m more than halfway up the stairs, I’m starting to question whether I should continue or head back down the steps. I am so close to that tiny square door, and as I look down, I notice that the stairway is decaying; I won’t be able to stand here for much longer. I can’t move, I am too frightened to enter that doorway, but if I descend, I’ll probably fall to my death.

I’m stuck, like a bolt. Maybe I’ve become a part of the house, maybe those voices belong to spirits of people who were like me, lured in and trapped, slowly but surely transforming into planks or chairs or nails in the wall.

And now I realize this isn’t a memory, it’s not a recurring dream; this is happening right now.

When Poppy Flora First Emerged

Poppy Flora made a mistake when she was just a tiny sprout. It was towards the end of winter, when the sun was beginning to peak through the clouds, and life above the ground for Poppy and other young plants like herself had just begun.

And boy, what a site it was!
The most interesting, spectacular thing Poppy had ever laid her little eyes on, was a beautiful bay horse. She had never seen anything quite so magnificent in height and in strength; it seemed to glide over the valley like a sun ray. She watched this wonderful being with amazement, yet she couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by its power and mystery.

One day, she felt outside her usual meekness, and summoned the courage to talk to the beast. She asked him what it would be like to run; but the horse did not answer. Soon after a prolonged silence, she asked what the grass tasted like, but again, silence. This led to a flood of questions pertaining to his nature, to his view, to the world up in the air, but no matter the question, the horse never said one word. Poppy began to feel frustrated and embarrassed.

Around that time in the afternoon, a nymph appeared before the blossom, and told her, in a rather snarky tone, that the horse could not hear Poppy because she was too small.
Realizing this, Poppy suddenly became very self conscious of her overall being. Although her pedals were bright with rich reds and yellow ochres; it did not matter, for it was not quite the same as his long illustrious mane. Her stem was long, delicate and slender; however, that, too, did not matter, for it was not so tall, thick and strong like the horse’s. No matter how perfect of a blossom she could be, Poppy Flora was no horse, and could never be heard like one.

Furious with herself, she called for the nymph to return.

The nymph did so, and the blossom demanded that she is transformed into a wonderful horse. The nymph surely agreed, although, as our young heroine was too naive to know just then, that the sureness of a nymph should never be trusted. Then, the nymph told Poppy that on the next Blue Moon, she will transform Poppy into a Bay horse, so that she could finally woo her distant lover. Poppy asked in grand excitement when this next blue moon would be, and the Nymph replied,

“As far away as your longest leaf.”

Right here, I must explain, that back in these early days in the Valley, full moons appeared quite often, and so a blue moon was only relatively striking.

Sure enough, it seemed as though the next evening the opal night sky was light up by a beautiful, pearl of a moon. The nymph reappeared before Poppy, along with beetles, ladybugs, spiders, rats, snakes, hummingbirds, bees, and all other creatures of the valley, to watch this wondrous event. As the viewers settled into a circle, the Nymph prepared her magic, and turned back to the blossom, warning her of the responsibilities as a free-walker. Poppy agreed, regardless of any outcome, she was dead set. And so, the Nymph gathered a spell, and danced around the blossom brilliantly like a firefly.

Suddenly, Poppy felt incredible horrid pain in her stem as it begin to split! Legs, she though, I’m growing legs! And as the legs spread, her leaves grew also, and so she had for legs! Her pedals, although brilliant and soft, split apart into millions of tiny shreds. The pain was worse than a thousand scorpion stings; but alas, she was growing a mane! Through the mess of pollen, she grew two large, almond shaped brown eyes, and a pale smooth skin formed and grew over what had now become her face. A horse, she pranced, I’m becoming a horse!

However, as she stood in great height, looking over so much more of the valley than she ever could before, Poppy noticed that she would not bend down like a regular horse, and coarse fur had not grown on her back. She reached towards her behind, and there was no tail. She looked around, noticing that the once incredible insects now looked tiny and insignificant in shape. They gazed at her in trembling horror

“What happened?” She finally spoke, and her broken voice, although beautiful and strong, did not sound like a horse’s. The nymph approached her, and her usual smirk had changed into a grimace.

“I’m sorry, m’lady, I have been mistaken. Tonight was the first moon, not the blue moon.”

Silence reigned the plain, as Poppy looked over and around; the valley that once looked as though a wonderful forest, had now looked quite desolate. She began to cry, and her tears formed a river that drowned her tiny insect friends. Poppy Flora was all alone, away from nature.

She asked the Nymph, “What am I? What have you done?”

The Nymph responded, in solemn, “It looks as though you are neither a blossom, nor a horse, but somewhere in between, something new. Yes, something new, indeed. I think we shall call you a Human Girl.”

When Poppy had awoken the next day, the field was dried, for the bees, the beetles, the spiders, and the snakes had drowned or been stepped on; and that beautiful bay horse, the one who could never hear her, was nowhere to be scene. The nymphs were all that was left, and they looked at her with smirks, but they felt pity. She tried to join them in their spirit, but they explained that she did not have the magic or the roots of a nymph.

And so, she had no choice, but to wander through what is now the desert, enriching the soil with her tears, leaving only a trail of poppies behind.

But alas, one morning, near the rocky bay, she heard something quite extraordinary; it was no horse, nor was it any creature she’s ever heard before. It was music, she was hearing music for the first time, and it was off into the west.

“This shall be my destination,” she decided, and headed off towards the music in great haste.

The nymphs snickered at her pathetic ignorance. They knew exactly what the sound was, but wanted to see what kind of trouble Poppy could get herself into next.

What Poppy would realize, in time, that it was the sound of wind, drifting through the rocks and dead leaves. This did not matter to Poppy, it gave her something to discover.

“You got hand it to her,” replied the guilty, sinister Nymph, “coming from just a poppy seed, she’s got a lot of courage.”

Be Still, My Blooming Heart