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Barbara Crooker


What must it feel like,
after months of existing
as bare brown sticks,
all reasonable hope
of blossoming lost,
to suddenly, one warm
April morning, burst
into wild yellow song,
hundreds of tiny prayer
flags rippling in the still-
cold wind, the only flash
of color in the dull yard,
these small scraps of light,
something we might
hold on to.

From Slow Wreckage (Grayson Books, 2024).
Used with permission.



Barbara Crooker’s award-winning poems have appeared in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies and have been featured on the BBC, the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Company), The Writer's Almanac, and in the Poetry at Noon series at the Library of Congress. Recipient of many fellowships and residencies in the U.S., as well as in Ireland and France, she was also a Grammy finalist for her part in the audio version of the popular anthology, Grow Old Along with Me--the Best is Yet to Be. Barbara lives in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. Learn more about Barbara at





Post New Comment:
Beautiful--there is always hope! Love the title of the book this poem is from!
Posted 04/10/2024 12:00 PM
Wilda Morris:
I love forsythia - and love this poem with its exquisite images!
Posted 04/09/2024 10:10 AM
As always, I love a Barbara Crooker poem. Happy to have this book - full of equally delightful pieces.
Posted 04/08/2024 09:10 PM
Carol Clearwater:
Wild yellow song - wonderful phrase! It is Autumn where I live but I promise you, this image will live for me next Spring.
Posted 04/08/2024 08:00 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful images!
Posted 04/08/2024 05:38 PM
"Wild yellow song" how lovely!
Posted 04/08/2024 04:55 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
Love to wake up to a Barbara Crooker home. Her poem is like birdsong. Cheerful, uplifting and welcome.
Posted 04/08/2024 12:38 PM
Larry Schug:
This poem grabbed me with the first line. I like the sense of wondering it inspires.
Posted 04/08/2024 11:27 AM
Larry Schug:

Posted 04/08/2024 11:24 AM
one warm April morning, burst into wild yellow song Yes, wild yellow song on Forsythias brown stems.
Posted 04/08/2024 10:56 AM
You bring such clarity and life to spring's forsythia's yellow prayer flags for us who cannot see the magic of its brown sticks bursting into wild yellow song. Thank you Barbara for the beautiful image that I shall not forget.
Posted 04/08/2024 10:53 AM
Such beautiful images from one of my favorite poets! Here in northeast PA those yellow prayer flags are slowly making their appearance.
Posted 04/08/2024 09:36 AM
wild yellow songthats exactly how my heart feels when I see my first forsythia in April. A wonderful tribute to this most welcome sight of spring.
Posted 04/08/2024 09:00 AM
Pat Brisson:
I love the image of "hundreds of tiny prayer flags rippling in the still cold wind" Thanks, Barbara!
Posted 04/08/2024 08:59 AM
lovely images
Posted 04/08/2024 06:15 AM

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