A Handmade Gift: Poetry and Preserved Flowers for May Ziadeh

(in the Christmas morning sun)

complete Dec. 24th Christmas Eve 2022

I wrote the poem originally by hand on paper at the end of May 2021 on that month’s Full Flower Moon. The poem was published in March 2022 in Indelible’s The Feminine, and I’d read it live on video. I’d been collecting flowers and pressing them since the prev. summer and fall 2021 for May without knowing a lot about that tradition. I had them displayed on a ceramic plate for the anniversary of her funeral, Oct. 17, 1941, which most of the people in her life would not attend. I wrote her a prose poem then, which I also read aloud for the blog ceremony. I started making this particular gift of flowers in a frame this past Jun. 2022.

I’d held that appreciation ceremony exactly 80 years after author and speaker May had died mostly forgotten (start of WWII) and saddened herself, but with a deeply loving heart to God, and to those who were good to her in her lifetime, and who would be after. My birthday was exactly 100 years after hers by year and also in February; I would be born 45 yrs after she had died.

The author loved how lasting words would be; she would even compare that enduring beauty of words to flowers in an inspirational speech she gave in her lifetime; I’d not learn that ‘til I was already almost complete making this gift for her. At an inspirational and encouraging public speech she was giving, May had said, I would like to give each of you here a beautiful flower to take with you, but the words would last longer. It would’ve been common in her hometown of Nazareth to receive pressed flowers as keepsakes in a book or album. I thought to combine my words and the flowers for May.

I trimmed the top in a way to suggest the opening line of the poem, added gold accents with my new enamel paint, along with the winding gold heart design on the top against the pure dark background, for feelings beyond words.

“Timelines wind and curl beyond the edges of my paper, and I wonder…”

I created this simply for love.
*It was a dark world and time for all, and in that place you made me new and truly happy, giving me meaningful joy and thrilling bliss I’d not known possible. You are my whole-soul-love; you showed me what I could have that I was not knowing, you gave me more love than I’d asked for, you helped me find the truer God, and you helped give me, too, my true self whom I have come to love just as much as I love you. I learned in my heart that a happy person can always be made happier, that you in heaven were made happier by my company too, that we wanted to make each other happier, and us both the more beautiful. Merry Christmas, May.


♥️—Jade

🙏💖🙏dedicated to anyone who can relate and including May Ziadeh🙏💖🙏


Inspiration: After I completed my last post about a blank book to paste my pressed flowers and any kind of preserved nature and maybe a little note on that, I thought, well if a person loves words (as I’d mentioned May had, and of course you know I love words as well): maybe I could combine pressed flowers and my words as a gift, to display them this way.

And so I present this poem art handwritten, the first poem I ever wrote dedicated to the author May Ziadeh, titled “Droplets Slide Down the Pine and Land Upon the Grass Within a Slow Dance.”

This new look with this gift places the flowers together in the center, with my poem continuously around it (with number guides to show order, but not needing great emphasis on reading it exactly as it’s present in the room). It is not meant to have each word read fully every time you see it, but their essence of it overall.

The back of the card reads just the peak point of the poem: its endearing conclusion, and I signed my name on the back in an ink-drawn flame, or maybe a fig. The back also includes both our full names.

The frame with poem and flowers are placed to catch the morning sun, the glass will light up. From reading May’s writings I could see she’d really liked green and would write it with a most favorable tone in her poetry, her door was green at her home, and her mail chute, and the frame I picked has gold trim matching the bookshelf and adding light. (The paper includes the full poem title as I’d written the poem, on the back, and the little dedication note is on the front with May’s birthdate, Feb. 11, 1886.)

(I’ve kept my original illustration shown below from first attempt to create this:)


…Go in love 😊🙏😅I am especially warmed! ! I am sure.

—💕Jade

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