Fruitful Hearts


by Karen Paul Holmes

Like grapes
hearts have existed for eons
can be consumed whole
fermented, can muddle the brain

Like pumpkins
hearts grow big, round, full
can be hollowed out
and carved into something grotesque

Like peaches
hearts have a warm fuzzy feeling
give to gentle touch
might be sweet or sour

Like pears
hearts have a distinctive shape,
wider at the bottom,
ideal for child bearing

Like pomegranates
hearts come in more than 700 varieties
can withstand drought
are associated with abundance, fertility, luck

Like vines
hearts easily tangle with each other
benefit from a little pruning
flourish with frequent feeding

Like fruit trees
when properly propagated,
hearts will live on in others
will nourish generations.

Author’s comment: For some reason, I woke up one morning thinking about similes for the human heart. My first two ideas were, “Like peaches, they can have a warm fuzzy feeling” and “Like grapes, hearts can produce fine whines.” The latter got deleted from the poem because it seemed too corny… though the fuzzy peaches border on corny too. Once I decided to create a whole poem of similes, the ideas started rushing in, and I had to narrow it down to the most effective or the poem would have been 100 lines long!

Bio: Karen Paul Holmes is an award-winning freelance writer and poet. A former VP-Communications at ING (a global financial services company), Karen now regularly participates in poetry readings throughout Atlanta and the Blue Ridge Mountains. She belongs to the North Carolina Writers’ Network, Georgia Poetry Society and Atlanta Writers Club. Karen’s publishing credits include journals such as Poetry East, Atlanta Review and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review and anthologies, including Echoes Across the Blue Ridge: Stories, Essays & Poems Written by Writers Living in & Inspired by the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In January 2011, she’ll be teaching a writing class at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.

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