Prose and Pelargoniums

scented pelargonium
Photoart Source @hanginguptodry

I’ve come to the imaginary garden again, hoping for pointers and a whiff of inspiration- the scents after all are so sublime. Or should that be ambrosial, aromatic or even redolent?

“Just say what you mean” said the Muse in a voice resembling Hemingway’s gravelly tones: “I’m not a bloody thesaurus”

“No but one is always searching for a bon mot that just fits the metre”

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over”.

After a considered pause what else was there to say:
“Well the advice of course is quite appreciated. I take your point but a man of bulls and fire-power is not my kind of stimulation”

“Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you”.

“Ah  now I see the confusion for that is where poet and writer diverge. We’ve no need for stories that begin with a head and finish with a tail if you’ll forgive the pun – those somewhere starts that end elsewhere. That genre belongs to Old Norse and the hypergraphic epics of seagulls and doom”.

I walk away downhill, to the dry lowland garden and wonder how much Ernest was beset with the bold and resolute weight of his Christening. Evidently out of touch now. Past post modern, poetry has been freed from dramatic narrative. It is sweet and fitting now to say everything in a symbolic stream of consciousness unfettered as free verse. Sort of  nonsense poetry with sophistication. Dylan showed the way; Bob even more so than the Welsh bard:

“The kings of Taurus with their convict list
Are waiting in line for their geranium kiss”*

Ah! I perceive the half-rhyme of-course and their kiss is by the way. But adjective is prompt and turning to its noun, the poet steps into a Spanish garden and sees:

pelargonium mounds
a chorus of  crisp, creased skirts
spread low as the dance troupe’s final bow

 dusky dust bathers in dry heat
slapping on sun-seeping oils
pine, apple, apricot and mint

fruit flavoured pastels in aromatic shades
even attar of rose pink mimickers
tender as the night

and long after the flower show
tiny long-beaked birds
flock to fragrant foliage


Pelargonium/geranium from Greek meaning Stork/Crane in reference to shape of seed heads. Hence cranesbill.

Emboldened quotes from Hemingway

* From ‘Sad eyed lady of the lowlands

Experimenting with description in both prose and poetry for the With Toads prompt:”Bits of Inspiration“.  And joining the open link night at DVerse

22 thoughts on “Prose and Pelargoniums

    1. finnicky over the finalisation Walter but the prose seemed to just pop out of nowhere – the poem is a vivid memory

    1. I do have silent talks with Hemingway as we differ on the use of adjectives!! nonsense poetry ?probably see much of it here 😉

  1. Wow! This is a stellar piece of writing. Well done, Laura! I loved it. Very entertaining. The conversation made me smile. A very witty write.

    1. so glad and many thanks for that Sherry – the Muse after all should be amusing 🙂

    1. its a difficult line to tread and my Muse often works best as critic and worst as inspiration!

  2. Hemingway would be a much better partner to discuss writing with than my addled, insomnia drained muse. I really enjoyed your combination of prose and poetry. Thanks for taking part in the prompt! Oh and ” a chorus of crisp, creased skirts” Love that!

  3. The florid prose intro (petalled with thought where the poem is with descriptives) fashions a special diving board or proscenium: it makes the startling splash into the poem both bracing and delightful, for this poet at least. Poetry infects prose, for sure (no matter how the fundamentalists of construction would have it, but prose is like a dreamer in Inferno when lost in the poem). The first half is the freewrite which bowers the poem– for me anyway–which is a delightful unencumbered plunge, all image, naked of narrative and rhetoric. Anyhoo, amen.

    1. I have plundered your proscenium for my word hoard- and I always welcome the way your comments tumble into such edifying prose – reassuring to know how the poem is received at the end of such a conversation piece.

    1. fine is Hemingway’s favourite word it seems so thank you for using it here 🙂

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. The first was entertaining and filled with well-chosen references, and the poem is perfectly descriptive. A delight.

    1. thank you for your lovely remarks on the prose preface because it evolved naturally and took me my surprise as well as leading me somewhere I had no idea of beforehand

feedback is food for thought....

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